A new coalition of villains has risen to power, and Hearthstone players around the world get to be the bad guys in Rise of Shadows, the next expansion for Blizzard Entertainment’s smash-hit digital card game. Starting April 9, players will be able to join a league of miscreants as they embark on Hearthstone’s first-ever yearlong story line, with 135 dastardly new cards and some wickedly devious new mechanics.
After suffering defeat at the hands of the League of Explorers, Arch-Thief Rafaam realized that his designs on Azeroth would require more roguery than he alone could muster. In the years since, he has dwelled in the shadows, recruiting the greatest antagonists Hearthstone has ever seen to join the League of E.V.I.L.—a veritable supergroup of villains from previous Hearthstone sets, including King Togwaggle, Madam Lazul, the irrepressible Dr. Boom, and Hagatha the Witch. In Rise of Shadows, these ne’er-do-wells will once again act on their nefarious intentions, aided by Hearthstone players looking to get their hands dirty.
In addition to their promising player cohort, the League of E.V.I.L. also has Lackeys to boss around—1/1 minions with a variety of diabolical Battlecries. These low-level operatives will be crucial in unleashing the League’s sinister Schemes: new Spells that grow in power each turn they’re in a player’s hand. As if brains and brawn weren’t enough, their bag of tricks also includes callback cards that feature effects that pay homage to the Hearthstone sets that the League of E.V.I.L.’s masterminds hail from, giving players access to crafty new strategies.
“Hearthstone has a cast of fan-favorite villains, and it’s a thrill to see them take center stage in Rise of Shadows,” said J. Allen Brack, president of Blizzard Entertainment. “We can’t wait for players to get in on the mayhem in this expansion, with a bunch of sinister new cards at their disposal.”
Players looking to join the League of E.V.I.L. should watch their backs, as they’ll likely be targeted by a mysterious crime-fighting group known as the Defenders of Dalaran. These formidable guardians are rumored to wield Twinspells—potent magic Spells that, once cast, generate a copy of themselves that can be cast again on a later turn. More intel on the Defenders of Dalaran will be shared with operatives at a later date.
Coming April 9 to Windows® and Mac® PCs; Windows, iOS, and Android™ tablets; and mobile phones, Rise of Shadows card packs will be winnable in Hearthstone’s Arena mode, and players can purchase them with in-game gold or real money at the same prices as Hearthstone’s other card packs. Starting today and up until April 9 you can pre-purchase Rise of Shadows card packs in two different bundle options: the 50-pack pre-purchase bundle includes a random Legendary and the Jewel of Lazul card back, while the 80-pack Mega Bundle includes a random golden Legendary and Jewel of Lazul card back, as well as a new playable Priest Hero—the mysterious Madam Lazul. These bundles are available on any platform for $49.99 and $79.99, respectively—one of each can be purchased per account.
Are you excited for the new Hearthstone expansion pack?
More Than 40 NES Games Now Available to Play on Nintendo Switch Online
On May 15, classic NES games Donkey Kong Jr., Clu Clu Land and VS. Excitebike are coming to the NES Nintendo Switch Online collection, bringing its total number of games to more than 40.
- Donkey Kong Jr. – Based on the popular arcade game, Donkey Kong Jr. is the sequel to the immensely successful Donkey Konggame. Play as Donkey Kong’s son, and rescue your dad who has been kidnapped and imprisoned in a cage by Mario. Use jumping and climbing abilities to clamber up vines and chains, gather vital fruit and keys, and open the cage to free your father. Make sure you avoid the pesky birds, nasty electric sparks and creepy chompers. Four different worlds filled with numerous climbing and jumping puzzles await you in this timeless classic.
- VS. Excitebike – Fans love the Excitebike game for its frenetic races, high stakes and sweet jumps. With this game, you can take it to the next level with the Famicom disk version of VS. Excitebike – complete with two-player split screen. Create tracks from 20 classic Excitebike track parts, and go for a best time or take on friends. Racing is even more exciting when the rivalries are real. You can also try out the single-player mode in VS. Excitebike. It adds tracks, music and the ability to save your high score.
- Clu Clu Land – The greedy Sea Urchins have stolen all of Clu Clu Land’s gold bars and buried them in a series of mazes. As Bubbles, a brave bubble fish, you’ll set out to uncover all of the gold bars in each maze. With 20 stages to complete and increasingly complex conditions (like having to pass over the gold bars twice to uncover them), you might just want to bring along a friend for help.
These three games join classics like Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda and many others, all of which have been enhanced with online features.
EA Access Now Avaliable on PS4
Electronic Arts announced that it is bringing EA Access to the PlayStation4 system. Starting this July, players can sign-up for a monthly subscription, or an annual subscription through PlayStation Store. With the addition of the PlayStation 4 console to the already existing membership services on Xbox One and PC via Origin, EA now offers its subscription services on more platforms than any other publisher.
“As we continue to invest in digital and subscription services, bringing great games to even more players across more platforms is an exciting opportunity for everyone,” said Matt Bilbey, Executive VP of Strategic Growth. “Our goal is to give players more choice to try and play our games wherever and however they choose, and we’re happy to bring EA Access to PlayStation 4.”
Membership in EA Access lets players experience Play First Trials, where they can play up to 10 hours of most new EA games. Subscribers also enjoy a 10% discount on full game purchases, expansions, in-game items and more. Additionally, players can jump into a growing library of EA games, including the best of EA with franchises like Battlefield, EA SPORTS FIFA, Star Wars Battlefront and more.