‘Orcs Must Die!’ review

Not every game needs a big budget behind it, like Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3. Lately, a lot of games achieve succes without the backing of a big company. Games like Minecraft, which has sold over 20 million downloads, are the beginning of a new age for indie developers. A lot of these games are being offered a platform on Steam, a downloadable platform for games which resembles the likes of Apple’s iTunes.

One of these games is Orcs Must Die!, a tower defense-like game which features high-paced, third person action. Depending on how you play, it can be a shooter or a slasher. Hordes of orcs are rushing at your base, the ‘rift’, which you have to protect. You are aided by traps which set off when orcs approach them. So far, nothing new on the horizon of tower defense games.

It’s the combination of traps and third person action that’s the real gem of this game. It puts you, the player, right into the middle of the action. Wave after wave die by either your hand, or your traps. Let me show you a quick example of what I mean:

This is only the first level, it gets harder every level. There are about 30 different levels, and each and everyone of them is worth playing a second or even third time, trying to beat your friends’ high score. Nothing is more satisfying than noticing you just beat your friends highscore by a minimal difference.

Graphically, this games features a ‘cartoony’ style, which the game benefits from. It keeps the game light-hearted, and fun to play. The animations of Orcs being blasted to pieces by a ceiling mounted, swinging mace make for a good laugh at first, but certainly don’t get annoying.

The only thing this game misses, is a co-operative mode. This would, I think, certainly add another level of depth to this game. Working together to wipe out waves of Orcs can certainly add to the replayability of the game. Some level-designs just scream ‘CO-OP’, others don’t, but could as well benefit from it.

All in all, this is a great game to play. It is only available through steam (link), for the meager price of 13,99€. Be aware though, this game is often up for sale, going at -75%. Including DLC, I only paid about 6€, another great feature of steam. Not only does steam have games for download that you wouldn’t find in the stores (either because the developer doesn’t have the money to publish his game, or the game is just so old that stores don’t keep it in stock anymore), it also features very low prices, because the middle man is cut out, the stores.

Only downside: you don’t own a physical copy. But with games like Orcs Must Die!, you couldn’t have a physical copy even if you wanted to.

As an added bonus: here I am killing another load of orcs on a different level:

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