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Blizzard makes tens of thousands of arcade games available for free

Above: Starjeweled, one of the few Blizzard Arcade games made by Blizzard. The rest were made by the community.

Image Credit: Blizzard Entertainment

Only one thing is better than free games — more free games. And in Blizzard Arcade’s case, thousands more.

All of the games on the Blizzard Arcade website are now part of the free StarCraft II Starter Edition with the 2.1 update. In other words, “tens of thousands” of community-made titles built on the StarCraft II engine are now free to anyone who installs the limited version of the PC gaming fixture. Previously, only Blizzard-made titles and a rotating handful of Arcade Highlights were available without buying the full version.

Blizzard is the creator of World of Warcraft and Starcraft II, two of the most well-known PC games of all time. The company has developed a reputation for supporting creativity in the form of unofficial modifications to its properties. The openness of the modding system means that it’s easy to create new games using Blizzard’s resources, which is what thousands of aspiring game designers and hobbyists do. Its free StarCraft Editor provides them with all the tools and assets they need. Now that the entirety of the platform is free, anybody can play the resulting creations, which belong to many genres.

Here are some examples of the variety:

  • Chu Chu Madness, which has you either guiding a train through attacking enemies to safety or attempting to destroy the train
  • Aiur Chef, a cooking race where quickly and carefully gathering resources and making recipes will lead you to victory
  • Starjeweled, a mash-up in which players compete by playing a match-three puzzle game to gain resources for StarCraft-style war

These are just three examples of featured games that were already free, but if you install StarCraft II Starter Edition, you will gain access to more than you will know how to handle. While Blizzard’s move to make these titles free obviously serves its interest of getting more people to try StarCraft II, it still seems like a great opportunity for anyone wanting to discover new games but not wanting to pay a cent.

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