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    Orcs Must Die! 3 review

    Need to know

    What is it? A tower defense game where you slaughter orcs.

    Expect to pay £23.79/$29.99

    Release Out now

    Developer Robot Entertainment

    Publisher Robot Entertainment

    Reviewed on Windows 10, Intel Core i5-6500, 8GB RAM, Nvidia GTX 1060

    Multiplayer? Yes

    Link Official site (opens in new tab)

    Check Amazon (opens in new tab)

    Occasionally, as a new wave of orcs washes in to crash against your fortifications, you’ll catch a moan from a despondent greenskin on the breeze: “Feels like we’re never gonna get there.” It seems like a moment of realisation about their doomed role in tower defence, but invariably it’s a thought they don’t get to complete: they’re dashed against the rocks, tarred and burned, or electrified so that their skeleton flashes through their skin. 

    Recently freed from the shackles of Stadia, Orcs Must Die! 3 isn’t usually a thoughtful fantasy game. It makes little effort to contextualise its maligned title characters, to ponder where they come from or why they do what they do. Yet it is a thinking person’s game—a strategic siege simulator that rewards careful arrangement, inspired solutions, and a willingness to toss away past assumptions and approach a problem from a new angle. It’s a game that makes you feel smart, even as you swing your mouse desperately to slug an imp in the eye with a bolt of magic.

    Imagine you’re an interior designer, but in a universe where one of the tenets of feng shui is murder. Using a pre-allocated budget, you begin each level by buying, rotating and placing the traps of your choice in a small dungeon (or, less often, a large field), with the aim of causing as much damage as possible to any orcs who might pass through. 

    (Image credit: Robot Entertainment)

    Newcomers are better off embracing the new saw blade launcher, the ricochets of which are not just entertaining but, when fired in an enclosed archway, capable of shredding a troll in seconds. With experience, you can predict and plan for the 45-degree wall bounces, filling entire corridors with bladed boomerangs. This is Orcs Must Die! at its best: a comedy scripted on graph paper.

    We may not know much about the orcs, and they may not know themselves. But after years in the wilderness, Robot Entertainment has shown it still knows exactly how to make Orcs Must Die!. What a pleasure it is to have those pea-green boys back.

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