Quick Review - Orcs Must Die

The current trend in tower defense gives players an avatar to control and sends them into the action, rather than letting them simply place towers from a safe distance. Toy Soldiers did this with much success in two Xbox Live Arcade outings, but for a more medieval affair you should check out Orcs Must Die. From Robot Entertainment, developer of Halo Wars, Orcs Must Die lets you play dungeon interior decorator and build playgrounds of orcish murder.

The title pretty much says it all: orcs are busting into your keep and you must kill them. More specifically, you must prevent them from reaching your headquarters (pretty standard fare for tower defense games). Where Orcs Must Die excels is in the variety of toys it gives you to play with and the pace at which it doles them out. You earn something new with each victory so you always want to keep playing to check out your reward.

A nice array of traps means you have the freedom to decorate your own way. Drop hot coals that will incinerate the orcs as they stomp by or place a spring trap that launches them into a nearby lava pit. However you like to kill your orcs, this game probably has you covered.

But trap placement isn't your only concern. Your limited funds will only allow for so many spike pits and wall blades, meaning you'll need to get your hands dirty and kill some orcs yourself with your crossbow, bladestaff, and other fun weapons. The combat satisfies and can be utilized more by players that prefer action to strategy.

This is a single-player game, but you'll definitely get your money's worth from the lengthy campaign.


Orcs Must Die embellishes your devious side, encouraging you to devise clever ways of fulfilling the command of the title. For the not-so-clever, mowing down invaders with an automatic crossbow is also a great time. Whatever your approach, an orc's pain is your gain. You must download, because Orcs Must Die.