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Critic Reviews

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90 (Oct 30, 2008)
The greatest pleasure of Hinterland lies in its combination of simple mechanics to form an engaging and brisk gameplay experience. And my rating is adjusted to reflect bang for the buck. As of this writing, it can be fetched for $20 USD via Steam, Impulse, Direct2Drive, and GamersGate. In Hinterland, Tilted Mill has created an accessible, addictive, and deceptively deep experience with tremendous replay value. And in a sea of epic blockbusters, the overwhelmed gamer can find respite in the bite-sized play sessions that Hinterland has to offer.
Orc Lords doesn't reinvent the genre, but it doesn't have to. It keeps us busy, entertained, and challenged. It reminds us how much fun games can be without a variety of single or multiplayer online modes. One more thing, I've saved the best for last. You can get this game for less than twenty bucks. What are you waiting for?

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Game Shark (Nov 04, 2008)
Whether it's finding new types of resources to enhance your town or waiting to see what types of new visitors might turn up, a lot of the fun factor derives from finding out what’s in the game for you to discover. Once you reach the end of that discovery process, though, the only novel element left is trying out different mash-ups of your player character and various NPCs. There’s fun to be had in that part of the game too, but how much depends on you. Then again, for $20, a short-lived, but highly addictive experience is pretty much exactly what you're signing up for and you could do a lot worse with your money than to spend a couple of weeks playing Hinterland.
GameZone (Apr 07, 2009)
Hinterland: Orc Lords features a fairly appealing visual design. Characters and objects are bold, colorful, and easy to recognize; this reinforces the accessibility of the game. As is often the case with strategy games, there are places where the complexity of events take a toll on the frame rate, which can substantially frustrate the actions that must be taken in real time. There are plentiful icons to aid the player, though some can be ambiguous and are best examined with the classic mouse-over. Sound effects are appropriate robust for a game of this style, though little in the soundtrack stands out as particularly memorable or beautiful. Still, Hinterland: Orc Lords holds its own as a friendly real-time strategy game fit for most audiences, with a very competitive price tag. It may not be Total War, but it can safely satisfy a very difficult itch for RTS fans to scratch.
IGN (Oct 31, 2008)
It's not free from flaws, but Tilted Mill has done a solid job at streamlining and meshing together city building and action-RPG elements with Hinterland. By building and strengthening your town you strengthen your adventuring party which, after success in battle, strengthens your town, and on and on. It's a satisfying experience and a well designed loop or reinforcement, something that's easy to get into and won't overburden you with the ins and outs of complex micromanagement. If you can get over some sloppy AI, a clumsy interface, and technical problems, you'll find there's a quirky, engaging experience to be had as you test out different starting conditions and see how far you can get. For $20 USD, it's a lot of game for your dollar.
GameSpot (Jul 01, 2009)
Hinterland: Orc Lords may be one of the best games never released for the Commodore 64. OK, that doesn't sound complimentary in 2009, given that the computer system in question is a Cyndi Lauper contemporary. But this mash-up of a hack-and-slash role-playing game and a base-building real-time strategy has a refreshing old-time feel about it. Indie developer Tilted Mill has put together a likable, fast-flowing hybrid that manages to feel like a remake of a golden oldie but also brand new. While the game isn't entirely successful, due to inconsistent difficulty, poor production values, and the lack of a tutorial, it delivers some appealing action for a bargain price.
Hooked Gamers (Oct 26, 2008)
Hinterland doesn’t do well in the graphics department. The game looks outdated but this somehow adds to the experience of playing this strangely charming game. Playing it made me feel like I was playing a game from the good old days when developers were still experimenting with odd gameplay mechanics and graphics left much to be desired for but also much to be imagined. Objectively speaking, I would have to say that Hinterland lacks depth, is oversimplified and cannot hold its own in today’s market. Yet the fun I had with it tells a different story, one of engaging gameplay that is best enjoyed during a short game after a long, busy day at work. In the light of the many high-production-value titles that will be gracing the shelves this winter season, it would be unreasonable to score Hinterland anything higher than a seven, but that seven is well earned. Gamers on a budget will not be disappointed putting their $19.99 towards this one.
GameSpy (Oct 02, 2008)
In the end, the best thing about Hinterland is the price tag. The game is designed to be quite short. An average difficulty game should last between six and eight hours. It's also quite replayable, as every new game offers a new randomized world to conquer. Since the graphics won't tax any computer made in the last five years, it's a great game for a laptop and it certainly delivers on its promise of offering fun city-building and action/RPG thrills for a low, low price. It's too bad that the actual execution doesn't live up to the brilliance of the concept.
68 (Oct 27, 2008)
I then wondered why should I pay 20$ for a game experience that lasts a couple of hours, with very little to no incentive to play again? Multiplayer might have improved things, but it’s nowhere to be found. And so, Hinterland remains a nice little game, with a low price, relaxing gameplay, dusty graphics, and a questionable replay value.
Gameplay (Benelux) (Jan 30, 2009)
Toegankelijk, dat wel, maar we betwijfelen of hardcore gamers hier hun honger mee kunnen stillen. En toch, ondanks alle minpunten hebben we ook lol beleefd aan deze game waarvan de formule ongetwijfeld nog zal worden gekopieerd.
Absolute Games ( (Oct 22, 2008)
Кампания Hinterland однообразна, мультиплеера нет… Это серьезные недостатки. Впрочем, любителям возиться с инвентарем она подойдет. Развлечение на скорую руку для тех, кому некогда играть.
Mana Pool (Nov 30, 2010)
Despite the simplicity of the game, and its poor graphics by modern standards, I would still recommend giving Hinterland a go. It successfully combines city building and management aspects with a fun RPG experience, and never makes things too complex or stressful. On harder settings, the game offers an adequate challenge and by keeping track of your overall score (multiplied by your difficulty factor) it gives some satisfaction to complete a map. Considering that Hinterland can be picked up for under $2 from Amazon, it’s well worth purchasing. You can play the game several times and get a different experience each time, by alternating map settings and class choice – so it is incredibly difficult to argue against it. And who knows, if Tilted Mill see that there is still some interest for this type of game, they might produce a sequel which considers all feedback, and deliver something truly special.
61 (Oct 09, 2008)
In den ersten zwei Stunden war ich von Hinterland wirklich fasziniert. Die Mischung aus City-Builder und Hack&Slay funktioniert erstaunlich gut und es motiviert ungemein, nicht nur seinen Charakter zu verbessern, sondern zugleich die Stadt auszubauen. Als ich aber nach knapp drei Stunden so ziemlich jeden Sektor erobert hatte und sich die Ausbaumöglichkeiten erschöpft hatten, war ich enttäuscht über die fehlende Komplexität. Sowohl der Ausbau der Stadt als auch die Entwicklung der Charaktere und vor allem der Kampf hätten nicht so einfach gestrickt sein müssen – keine Spezialfähigkeiten, keine Statistiken und kaum Managementmöglichkeiten in der Stadt. Dem freudigen Auftakt folgte recht schnell die Ernüchterung über den fehlenden Umfang. Selbst Zufallselemente wie der Welt-Generator helfen kaum die Faszination wiederzuerwecken, die trotz der mageren Grafik am Anfang aufkeimt. Wirklich schade, aus Hinterland hätte viel mehr werden können...
GameStar (Germany) (Oct, 2008)
Dummerweise merkt man Hinterland an, dass es für die Jungs von Tilted Mill nur ein kleines Nebenprojekt ist. Schade! Denn die Grundidee ist fantastisch, und die Verknüpfung von Rollenspiel und Aufbaustrategie funktioniert. Mit einer hübscheren Grafik, einer besser durchdachten Steuerung und vor allem einer Kampagne hätte Hinterland das Zeug zum Überraschungshit gehabt. So reicht es nur zu einem Geheimtipp für experimentierfreudige Strategen.
GamersGlobal (Apr 21, 2010)
Neuartiger Genre-Mix, der unter seiner technischen Umsetzung, einigen Design-Schnitzern und mangelnder Abwechslung spürbar leidet. Hier wurde viel Potenzial verschenkt! Unerschütterliche Spielefans mit Hang zur Nostalgie sollten eine Probe-Partie wagen, alle anderen kramen besser die namhaften Strategie- und Action-RPG-Klassiker aus dem Schrank.
Cyber Stratege (Nov 03, 2008)
Un petit titre sans prétention donc -c’est heureux- non dénué de bonnes idées mais desservit par une réalisation minimaliste, ainsi qu’une plateforme de distribution (STEAM) exécrable. Dommage!
45 (Oct 20, 2008)
Si le mélange gestion/hack'n slash paraissait séduisant sur le papier, le résultat est bien décevant dans les faits. Hinterland ne fait que survoler, parfois maladroitement qui plus est, les deux genres qu'il ambitionnait de réunir. Au lieu de satisfaire les deux communautés, le nouveau titre de Tilted Mill risque donc de se mettre à dos les fans des deux catégories.
PC Games (Germany) (Nov 26, 2008)
Hinterland scheitert an dem Versuch, die vielen Möglichkeiten in eine komfortable Bedienung zu verpacken. Besonders das Verwalten des Inventars ist hakelig. Die Welt sieht mit den ewig gleichen, hässlichen Bodentexturen trist aus, die Schwierigkeit schwankt je nach gewählter Klasse stark.