If League of Legends were a mobile game, I like to think it’d be something like a slickly produced version of last year’s sleeper hit Flappy Bird: cute, charming, distressing at its difficult low points and dizzying at its high ones. Riot probably feels differently about this, as evidenced by Blitzcrank’s Poro Roundup.
Poro Roundup is a cute little thing that Riot cooked up to coincide with the release of two new champion skins based around the theme of old-school arcade gaming. There’s Arcade Riven, which adds a bunch of adorable 8-bit animations to the deadly fighter’s inventory:
And Battle Boss Blitzcrank, which makes the handsy mech champion look something like the bad guys Buzz Lightyear fights against in Toy Story.
These are additions to one of League’s best champion skin lines, bringing the total number of arcade-ified League characters to six. While the arcade skins exist in the main League of Legends game, Blitzcrank’s Poro Roundup is a separate title that you can now play on the League website, or download for Android or iOS. It’s a cutesy, heavily pixellated sidescroller that puts in charge of Blitzcrank as he does his best to help wave after wave of poros escape from the gaping maw of the game’s iconic fanged monster Baron Nashor:
As you and the poros run towards the right side of the screen, Blitzcrank can move up and down (with the directional buttons on the keyboard, or by tapping the top or bottom of the screen on a mobile device) in order to bump into poros that are slowing down — nudging them away from being eaten by baron. He can also use his trademark rocket grab to rope them in and deposit them safely inside the empty cavity at the center of his metallic chest.
Blitzcrank’s Poro Roundup obviously isn’t much more than a casual game turned transmedia advertisement to help drum up support for the new arcade skins. But even by that standard, it’s a fun casual-friendly jaunt drenched in fan service-y references. Blitz has mock boss battles against other League of Legends champions, for instance, who carry traits from the main game into this silly little mobile title. Like Singed, who leaves a trail of noxious in his wake.
You can also unlock Thresh, Nautilus, and Corki as playable characters. Here’s Thresh (the one on the left) going against Katarina.
And it wouldn’t be a League of Legends title if there wasn’t some grinding involved — those this time its for achievements:
You can download Blitzcrank’s Poro Roundup for Android or iOS or play it online here. Riot says that it will only be available for download temporarily.