Wallet a bit light on funds? Need a new addiction? Want a game that you don’t need to play for hours and hours to receive any sort of payoff? Then look no further, my good friends, Orcs Must Die! is here to scratch the itches of PC gamers and Xbox 360 owners.
Labeled as a “tower defense” game, Orcs Must Die! is much more than your standard top-down grid-based strategy game.
Players control the hero simply known as “The War Mage” as he defends magical rifts from tides of orcs, ogres, and gnolls. Though he may not have a name, his personality and appearance are clearly inspired by Bruce Campbell. In fact, the only thing missing from the cover art from Orcs Must Die! is a busty lass wrapped around his leg.
Defending the rifts might not be easy, but it sure as hell is fun. Each map, you’re given new traps that can be purchased to stop the Mob. You can mix and match which traps you place down, but every trap costs money. Every head you collect fattens your wallet and chaining kills adds multipliers.
Played in a third person point of view, traps must be placed manually, so speed of navigation between mob waves is key. The maps get larger and more complex as you progress, so warp points are given to the player to help with getting from A to B.
But the horde won’t go down easy. Trap selection and placement is key. And at times when the orcs get to be too much, you can thin their numbers with your crossbow, your melee attacks or by using one of your many magical powers. Each trap and skill can be upgraded by spending experience skulls at the end of level.
Orcs Must Die! is well balanced. Though careful trap placement is essential, the dicotomy between trap selection and the environment guarantees a healthy balance of fun vs. challenge without the game ever being too overwhelming or too easy.
The game has a wonderful visual appeal that won’t tax your PCs. It’s easy to control, simple to understand, funny as hell, and quite frankly, it’s one of the nicest surprises of the year.
The main campaign is very lengthy for a budget title. In fact, since the game directly compares your score against those of your friends, you’ll be diving back in again and again to be top dog. The later levels will always leave room for improvement because of the intimidatingly huge Orc armies that rush your way and the nearly infinite combination of trap selection and placement.
Looks like there is some DLC already in the works for Orcs Must Die!, so it’ll likely be the game that keeps on giving in the near future. Orcs Must Die! will make a great purchase for yourself or for a friend in the upcoming holiday season.
– – – – – – –
Name: Orcs Must Die!
Available on: PC, Xbox 360
Developed by: Robot Entertainment
Published by: Microsoft
Release date: October 5, 2011
EG Score: 4 out of 5 / “Worth Buying”