Well, April Fools has come and gone and surprisingly it seemed to be a whole lot of hot air this year. Normally, April Fools is a beloved holiday by gaming developers and publishers alike, saving some great material in an effort to prank fans. Soemtimes, these elaborate pranks take on a life of their own and eventually become reality, like my favorite example from Red Faction Guerrilla: The Ostrich Hammer.
We’ve also seen some stealth announcements under the guise of April Fools like back in 2013 when Ubisoft revealed Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and everyone was confused over if it was a legit game or not. It looked outrageously awesome and was a perfect fit as an April Fools prank even though the game eventually released and was fantastic.
Typically, I come in here a day or two after everything has died down recapping some of the best pranks but this year? I’ve come up somewhat empty. It’s strange but it’s almost like the industry forgot about April 1. Sure, there were a few gags here and there but to me, it felt like the amount of jokes were not only down in number, but lacked dedication and effort.
Based on their track record, Blizzard is a massive fan of April Fools. It’s pretty much Christmas for them as they line up a number of pranks for each of their franchises, perhaps even going overboard at times. Last year alone I think they had three or four pranks going. It’s to the point where I believe that they have dedicated teams of people cooking up new April Fools ideas.
Based on that, it’s kind of hard to believe that Blizzard didn’t hit this year’s day with the same authority and zeal they usually do. The biggest thing they did was release patch notes for Hearthstone and add in a number of wacky lines which hardcore players may find pretty funny. Check it out here if you’re interested.
Personally, there wasn’t much that stood out to me this year, but if I absolutely had to pick something, I’d have to say Google’s idea was top notch. When using Google Maps, the program will actually turn your streets into a game of Pac-Man. The mini-game is available anywhere there are enough streets to support it (sorry rural readers) and is complete with classic music and sound effects. Want to play? Head over to Google Maps and click the Pac-Man icon to start.
Harmonix also brought the thunder this year and turned their “Dance Central” franchise into a “Romance Central” dating sim. What’s better is that this game is actually playable.
Overall, I felt April Fools Day 2015 was a little uninspired and disappointing. Sure, there was some stuff out there, but it seemed like companies didn’t bring their A game. I guess there’s always next year.
That’s my take, but what about you? Anything that stood out? Let me know.