October 5, 2011

It’s a Trap!

Lasting First Impressions of Orcs Must Die! from Robot Entertainment

OMD boxart Robot Entertainment may best be known for their work (when they were Ensemble Studios) on the classic Age of Empires III and the seminal XBOX RTS Halo Wars, but it is their first original IP that will bring them further into the spotlight of XBOX and PC gamers everywhere.  Today, after many months of anxious anticipation, the sure-to-be-a-hit Orcs Must Die! is available for download.  Orcs Must Die! is a brilliant and flawless fusion of two popular game genres, merging a third-person shooter with a tower defense strategy game.

You take on the role of one of the last of the War Mages, powerful guardians sworn to protect the rifts, the gateways between worlds. It is your duty to defend several fortresses from an oncoming horde of Orcs intent on making their way to the rift and into your world.  Lucky for you, a full arsenal of weapons, spells and traps are at your disposal to assist in the take down of those pesky creatures and their kin.  Additionally, your fortress also provides some assistance in the form of such accoutrements as chandeliers that can be dropped on the invading horde and pots of hot oil just waiting to be emptied on their heads (‘cuz let’s face it, what’s a castle without huge pots of bubbling oil?).


Orcs Must Die! is the kind of game you’ll find yourself playing over and over again trying the same levels just to attempt new methods of dispatching the horde of Orcs.  While each of the 24 included levels gets increasingly more difficult from the last, I find it quite satisfying to revisit the older levels after unlocking new traps and weapons in order to better my trap deployment.  I enjoy trying to beat my own scores in games and this is definitely one that allows that.  Additionally, along with your own score, each level shows you the scores of your friends which give you yet another reason to get better at the game.

Robot Entertainment has done a wonderful job with the animation and distinctly vibrant cartoon styling of Orcs Must Die!   The action may get hectic at times, and even frustrating in the later levels, but the inherent nature of the game is humorous enough to ease that tension.  This is the perfect pick up and play game as you can play any number of levels you want at any time.


There is something simply wonderful in finding the perfect set up of the traps and watching as hundreds of Orcs instantly die by your hands. The concept is simple but the execution (pun intended) of each level can take many attempts to perfect.  The ultimate goal of each level is to clear the horde of Orcs under the par time and that is not an easy task.  Learning to literally think on your feet will be key to dispatching the enemies in a timely fashion.

I keep coming back to Orcs Must Die! to play specific levels again as I find myself thinking about the strategies even when I’m not playing.  This is the kind of game that will stick with you long after you’ve turned off the TV.  It’s perfectly challenging, insanely fun, and unbelievably addictive.

Robot Entertainment, I gave you an hour and I am IMPRESSED.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I must yet again ignore my need for sleep and kill more orcs.  After all, Orcs Must Die!

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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