Instant Replay – Episode 5: Blackthorne


Building Blocks of an Empire

In 1994, not too many had heard of budding development studio, Blizzard Entertainment. Later in the year, they would release Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, the first in a line of extremely popular real-time strategy titles that would eventually spawn one of the most commercially successful MMORPGs. Other big-time franchises like StarCraft and Diablo would further solidify Blizzard’s place in the gaming history books. But all this was still to come for the studio.

The first game Blizzard officially published was a lesser-known but well-received action platformer for the SNES called Blackthorne. Being a slower-paced platformer than the big guys of that generation, Mario and Sonic, and putting emphasis on gunplay and cover mechanics, Blackthorne seems to draw heavily from Jordan Mechner’s Prince of Persia in terms of movement and the actual platforming.

Today, the game is all but forgotten. Join Pascal as he revisits this early point in Blizzard’s career to see if the game still holds up in the fifth installment of Instant Replay.


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