Blizzard is primarily known for making four things: World of Warcraft, Starcraft, Diablo and an obscene amount of money. But before they were the dominant power in the PC gaming biz, they were known as Silicon & Synapse, and they produced quirky console titles like Lost Vikings and Rock N’ Roll Racing. Those seminal games are now available for free PC download at Blizzard’s Battle.net site.
If you’ve never played Lost Vikings this is a great opportunity to remedy that nearly unforgivable oversight. A unique puzzle/platform experience, the 1992 SNES title tasks players with using the specialized abilities of Olaf the Stout, Erik the Swift and Baelog the Fierce in concert to navigate cleverly-designed puzzles and escape the clutches of the evil Tomator. It’s a somewhat obscure classic that’s a must-play for puzzle fans.
Rock N’ Roll Racing is an isometric view race/combat game originally released on the SNES and Genesis in 1993. The sequel to RPM Racing, it focuses heavily on combat, and features upgradable vehicles and weapons. It’s a solid old-school racer that holds up pretty well, but the removal of the original soundtrack, while understandable, is disappointing. You’ll need to pick up an original copy to hear unspeakably awesome chiptune versions of Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid”, Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild”, George Thorogood’s “Bad to the Bone” and Golden Earring’s “Radar Love."
Both games are well worth checking out, and a price point of $0.00 makes them tough to turn down. I did some quick math, and that price works out to zero cups of coffee. And I don’t even drink coffee, so I’m saving double!