26 Jan

Blizzard is the company that just keeps on giving. Starcraft II players new and old now have access to the beta versions of 3 new games based within the game’s multiplayer. Aiur Chef, Left 2 Die, and Starjeweled all debuted at this past BlizzCon, and have become available via the game’s “Custom Games” window. For further details on each game, follow the jump. We here at Elder-Geek recommend Left 2 Die first, naturally.

A free-for-all mode that features up to 8 players. In Auir Chef, each round features a theme ingredient and three succulent recipes that play upon its unique flavor. Before you can master these themed dishes, though, you’ll first need to scout across the map and collect a variety of tasty ingredients (including the theme ingredient). Each recipe has its own set of required ingredients, listed in the recipe menu in the upper-left of your screen, which can be picked up off the ground or acquired by killing specific creatures. Once you’ve collected the proper ingredients, you’ll need to return to the kitchen in the center of the map and use the Beacon to prepare your dish.

A survival/siege co-op mode that features up to 2 players. Left 2 Die is a cooperative take on the StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty campaign mission Outbreak that shifts between two phases: a night phase and a day phase. At night, you and a teammate are tasked with protecting your base against waves of infested terrans. During the day, the attacks on your team’s base will cease, giving you and your teammate time to train additional units and take them out to destroy infested terran settlements scattered across the map. It’s a good idea to continue building up defenses during the daytime so you can survive the merciless onslaught of zerg that swarm your base at night. In order to achieve victory in Left 2 Die, you’ll need to eradicate all traces of the zerg virus.

A solo vs. AI, Co-op vs. AI, or PvP mode that features up to 4 players. StarJeweled focuses on matching groups of jewels according to color and strategically selecting StarCraft II units to overcome an opponent’s forces and destroy their base. Each successfully matched jewel combination provides a burst of energy; the larger the jewel combo, the bigger the energy burst. This energy can be spent to train a variety of StarCraft II units, including zealots, banshees, and ultralisks, which will help you eliminate your opponent’s defenses. Since the goal of StarJeweled is to destroy your opponent’s base while protecting your own, you’ll want to choose which units you purchase carefully. StarJeweled is not just about matching as many jewels as possible, but also managing your energy efficiently and understanding how the units in the game counter each other.