‘Orcs Must Die!’ is a tower defence game, where you take the role of the apprentice at a castle. Since your master dies, it’s left to you to protect the rift fortress that the order of War Mages built to protect the villages from ‘The Mob’. During the game, you are given a variety of traps and weapons to use to hack and slash, flatten and torch the endless army of Orcs that is flowing through your fortress gates.
Within the game there are 6 magical spells and weapons to collect and unlock to help protect The Rift, as well as 17 traps that can be used to destroy the Orcs invading the fortress. To start with, the game gives you four items in your spell book, two weapons, and two traps. Your main weapon in the game is a crossbow, and the control of the game allows you to roll seamlessly from any traps you were laying to your crossbow by using the Y button. The first two traps that you are given are the floor spikes and the tar pit.
The tar pit slows down the Orcs making them easier targets for the crossbow, whilst the floor spikes shoot up when the Orcs run over them, which allows for multiple kills.
There is plenty to get through whilst playing ‘Orcs Must Die!’ since there are 24 fortresses to protect against 11 different villain types during the story driven campaign. Initially during the campaign, the game gives you the choice of two difficulties; The Apprentice and War Mage. Once all the levels have been completed on War Mage the last difficulty is unlocked; Nightmare mode. Based on your performance in each campaign level, you earn skulls in multiples of 2 (Apprentice mode) or 5 (War Mage mode) to be used for various upgrades to your traps and weapons.
The art of ‘Orcs Must Die!’ is very reminiscent of a typical high-fantasy RPG game. However, the game also displays a vivid cartoony style to complement it. A nice touch about the game is during the loading screens between campaign levels where the game shows you a new trap, the loading screen is some of the art boards of the trap development and how it affects the orcs, giving you some nice artwork to absorb in addition to learning your trap mechanics before you use them.
The game is very good looking, with a crisp and actually quite a varied colour palette, with a nice art style overall throughout. The added feature of concept art in the loading screens is also a really nice touch.
The gameplay for ‘Orcs Must Die!’ is good. However, there is a steep difficulty curve within the campaign. The game mechanics are simple to grasp with very straightforward controls in addition to the easy rollback button to the crossbow being a nice feature. The traps are all very fun to play with and use.
With 24 levels to play and plenty of unlocks to gain through the game, this game will last several hours of playtime. As well as the 3 difficulty levels to play through and a ranking system, upon which doing well means more upgrades. There are online leaderboards to battle your way to the top of, and 12 achievements adding a further 200 Gamerscore to your ‘tag.
Overall this is a really nice game to play, it’s easy to pick up and enjoy and will take a fair while to complete. This game has taken the boring old tower defence genre and made it fun again, it looks great. The only issue however is a lack of a co-op mode. That would have been a great feature for this game. Other than that, ‘Orcs must Die!’ is a thoroughly enjoyable game.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.