By Craig Pearson on November 5th, 2013 at 8:00 am.
The last time anyone ever said the word “Blackthorne” aloud was in 1994: a young man went into a games shop and asked the teller for the “new Blizzard game”. The helpful shop assistant handed the customer Blackthorne, who looked at and then said: “I actually wanted Warcraft”. And thus the 2D platformer was consigned to history and a bit of Wikipedia. Well, it looks like a Blizzard employee found it’s Wikipedia entry and decided to make Blackthorne work on modern systems via DosBox. The cheeky scamp also uploaded it to Battle.Net, and it’s free to download.
Almost none of the above is true, apart from Blizzard re-releasing Blackthorne for free on Battle.net. But it’s an old game that’s new to me, so I had to come up with something. It’s also been lovingly created: the manual opens with a 20 page short-story setting up the shotgunning anti-hero’s tale of going commando on an alien world. I spent a few minutes playing it: the controls are a bit awkward, and there’s no pace at all, but the reverse shotgun blast more than makes up for that. 10/10.
More intriguingly is it installs into a folder called “Blizzard Classics”, which suggests that this won’t be the only game from their back catalogue to receive some spit and polish. What other 2D platformer could I possibly be talking about, readers?