Product: Warcraft III Developer: Blizzard Price: $180 Pros: A creative and well-crafted expansion with high replayability Cons: So addictive you will find yourself neglecting the family It didn't take long for Warcraft III to become a monster hit. Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne is the inevitable expansion to an awesome real time strategy game from last year. The usual components of an expansion are all present in The Frozen Throne along with the generous sprinkling of Blizzard magic. New units, new heroes, a new campaign and an upgraded interface. Winning strategies in Warcraft III revolve around hero selection for each race. The Frozen Throne does not disappoint and serves up a hero for each race: Night Elves, Humans, Undead and Orcs. TFT brings four new mercenary heroes to Warcraft III that can be hired by any race. New anti-caster warriors have joined the ranks of each race. Previously, many Warcraft III battles quickly became spell-wars. The new anti-caster units are designed to punish spell-happy opponents and force them to bring a more balanced force to the field of battle. In particular, the Human Bloodmage hero can transfer all the opponent's beneficial buff spells from the enemy units to his own units, suddenly turning the tables on the enemy. Each race also receives a new merchant building to purchase equipment. As you upgrade your town centre, the items offered from the merchant become more powerful. This is to prevent people from getting powerful items prematurely. One unique Night Elf item will turn day to night, temporarily giving the advantage to the Night Elves. There are two story-orientated, medium-length campaigns in the expansion. The main campaign begins with the Night Elves and involves the Undead, the Humans and a mysterious Naga race that is unplayable, except in the campaign. The story picks up after the original campaign in Warcraft III and contains the usual Blizzard secret bonus missions. The second campaign focuses mainly on the Orcs. Neither story line contains a lot of big battles, instead Blizzard chose to focus more on story telling in particular, and the Orc campaign is very RPG-like. The Frozen Throne improves on interface design. Players can quickly unleash the full power of their armies with a slew of hot keys. Visual cues such as a bar that indicates if a gold mine is at full capacity make it a joy to play. At times, multiple upgrades might be in the process of being researched. The interface now indicates which specific upgrade has been completed instead of a generic, 'upgrade completed' message. Upgrades can now be queued too. There are many other thoughtful interface improvements, such as the semi-transparent graphic place holder for a yet to be produced building. For players with a creative streak, the map editor has been greatly improved and has led to some great downloadable content by the user community. Replayability is very high. I play skirmish games against the computer all the time to practice for my online encounters. Blizzard's Battlenet has an endless supply of eager online opponents. Free downloadable scenarios and maps make Warcraft III a joy to play. Blizzard has just released another free official map and the promised free mini-campaigns that continue the Frozen Throne story line will be available soon.