PC Game Review of Unstoppable Gorg

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By Jim Zabek, 6 April, 2012

Grumpy Grog Says: Flying saucers from space…what’s not to love? Just don’t mix up Gorg with Grogs.

I really enjoy tower defense games where my job is to weave a complex layer of defenses and watch mindless enemies walk into my trap. They aren’t easy to play, either. They generally have some kind of puzzle solving component – the winning solution needs to have a mix of different units. Unstoppable Gorg is no exception, but what sets it apart are the map and the atmosphere.

From soundtrack to graphics, Unstoppable Gorg has a wonderful 1950s style to it. The music could have been written for the original Lost in Space series, andthe writing has a perfect balance of cynical humor that will appeal to modern gamers. The graphics and sound are highly polished and satisfactory.

The story isn’t complex: aliens are attacking Earth and the player needs to defend it. Battles take place around various planets, moons, and space stations and it’s here that the map sets the game apart from other tower defense games.

Units are placed in orbital slots around whatever it is that needs to be defended. The location on the orbital ring is fixed, but the ring itself can be turned. Slots are limited. Players face the classic challenge of having more choices of units than they are allowed to deploy. Units range from power generators, to repair satellites to missiles, lasers, and cannons. Deploying a research lab allows the player to accumulate points which can be used to upgrade units. Proper unit selection is paramount to success and the failure to select the proper mix of units will result in getting clobbered.

The AI is scripted and brain dead. It will not react to any adjustments the player makes. Enemy units follow a meandering path from mothership to target and it is the player’s job to place the proper units in the correct orbital slots in order to destroy the incoming assault.

Playing the game can be very challenging even on the medium settings. Win or lose, a level lasts about five minutes, but can take numerous attempts to figure out the optimal mix of unit selection and placement for success. There are several levels of difficulty and a recent patch has been added to ensure players who want higher levels of difficulty receive correspondingly more points for success.

There are three different modes of play: Story, Challenge and Arcade. The story delivers on a progressive plot. Little details are sprinkled throughout. The game is set during the 1950s, but oddly the copyright for the videos is set in Roman numerals for the year 1914. I haven’t played the entire game to know if this works its way into the plot or if it’s just a curious quirk of the developers. – can you clarify this a little bit?

There is no documentation to speak of, but the tutorials are up to the task, and the game doesn’t present a steep learning curve. Priced reasonably, this indy game is a great time killer. At medium levels of difficulty I have found most levels require several attempts before I found the right formula for success. Sometimes this could be frustrating, but Unstoppable Gorg is especially well suited for a five minute break to give a level a shot, perhaps get a bit frustrated and walk away. But it is a testament to the addictive nature of the game that I never found myself staying away too long. A five minute game two or three times a night gave me some nice variety to break up the evening.

Unstoppable Gorg may not replace Defense Grid or Plants vs Zombies as a genre-defining classic, but it has a lot of fun and flavor with enough of a twist to make it worth launching some satellites into space.

If/Then Analysis: If you’re a fan of tower defense games, Unstoppable Gorg is a very satisfying twist on the genre. The ability to shift satellites in orbit and the fixed locations of each slot mean that players have to make some tough decisions on where to locate their units and which ones to use.

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