Unstoppable Gorg Review
Aliens + Tower Defense – goodbye social life.
Tower Defense games seem to be the new FPS – I say that because every other week there’s a developer putting out their own version of tower defense. It’s become all too comfortable to play these games, so it’s nice when a truly unique one comes my way. Sitting innocently in my inbox this week was Unstoppable Gorg from Futuremark Games Studio, coming to Steam, iPad, and Xbox Live.
Where Unstoppable Gorg first tries to stand out is that it technically doesn’t involve any towers at all. The action is instead set high above the Earth in the darkest regions of space, and your job is to defend the earth from the ruthless alien race known as the Gorg. Instead of just building towers, you have to strategically position satellites in orbit around the Earth and keep the aliens from invading Earth. This all sounds quite simple, but the game can be deliciously tricky at times, which is what kept me playing forward.
As your arsenal revolves around the use of satellites, the game gives you a variety to choose from as you progress through. While initially you have very basic satellites, the later levels reveal much more powerful ones that pack quite a punch. But where Unstoppable Gorg stands out from the crowd is that it employs a satisfying amount of strategy rather than building hundreds of towers to defend your base. Firstly, there are a limited number of locations that you can place a satellite in orbit, so choosing which satellites to place is key. Secondly, managing your money pool is also important – will your first satellite be a generator to bring in more money, or a defensive satellite to greet the first wave of aliens? Satellite management also kicks up a notch with the fact that you can rotate the orbits, so once you’re done defending one side of the earth, you can swing the satellite around to take down the wave of aliens sneaking around the back. Apart from placing the ever-important generators to bring in money for new satellites, you also need to place a research lab into orbit to earn research tokens – these tokens can then be used to improve your satellites before your next battle.
But while the gameplay is fast and requires a keen eye to catch aliens sneaking past your defenses, it truly is the game’s presentation and art style that really takes the cake. Each level is preceded with a short black and white clip, designed in the style of an old 50’s horror or sci-fi film, very reminiscent of Godzilla or old sci-fi movies. This ties in well with the general presentation of the game, especially with the newspaper headline clips and satellite selection screens. The seductive Sereia who pops up later in the game (played by the lovely LouLou D’vil) adds a bit of quirky humor to the game, not to mention the worthy appearance of the King Gorg (played by the head of Futuremark’s benchmark team). While you can play through the story mode to unlock the story and various satellites, there is also a challenge mode where your satellite selection skills are put to the real test, with less satellites to choose from and trickier enemies. There’s also an arcade mode for nonstop alien-busting mayhem, and a number of medals you can also earn while playing the game.
Graphically the game runs smoothly and doesn’t employ any over-the-top effects for explosions or the aliens, so the brownie points really go to the 50’s themed clips and overall effort put into the game’s presentation. The audio is minimal during the levels, and the acting is cheesy but totally adorable. I half-expected a line to go like “Danger Will Robinson, Danger!” but that would be more 70s than 50s.
Unstoppable Gorgs is a surprisingly satisfying game to play, thanks to its quirky presentation and smart use of satellite placement. While it certainly requires a bit more skill to master than a traditional tower defense game, it has a smooth learning curve and eases into the difficulty by level 6, so you have plenty of time to learn the ropes and which satellites to use. The team have put together an addictive and fun game, and it’s definitely worth a look at.