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In Orcs Must Die! the player takes control of a war mage who has to defend a number of fortresses from endless hordes of orcs and other vile creatures. The war mage is a young and inexperienced apprentice who stands as the last defender who can stop the orcs from reaching the gateways that separate his home world from the one of the beasts.

The gameplay is most similar to tower defense games although here the player mostly builds traps rather than towers. What's also unlike many tower defense games is that the player takes direct control of the protagonist from a third person perspective and can engage in the combat. Each level of the game represents a fortress that has one or several rifts that has to be defended from the hordes of monsters. The monsters come in waves and between waves the player gets time to build up his defenses. As the monsters are killed the player earns money which can be used on more traps. A level is failed when too many monsters reaches the rifts.

The monsters consist of course mostly of the titular orcs but there are also other kinds of creatures such as ogres, kobolds and gnolls. These have different characteristics. For example ogres can take more damage while kobolds are quicker and gnolls can jump over barricades and directly hunt down the player. There are numerous traps available to the player and these can be places on the floors, walls and roofs. Among the most common ones are spikes that stab at the monsters from the floor, arrows that are shot out from the walls and spring traps that send the monsters flying through the air. If the traps aren't enough the player can take part of the combat himself. At the start of the game he has a crossbow and a sword available but different kinds of magic (fire, ice, lighting and wind) also become available.


Orcs Must Die! Windows You shalt no pass!
Orcs Must Die! Windows Our hero
Orcs Must Die! Windows The push trap
Orcs Must Die! Windows An archer in action

Promo Images

Orcs Must Die! Screenshot
Orcs Must Die! Screenshot
Orcs Must Die! Screenshot
Orcs Must Die! Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "Orcs Must Die! Śmierć orkom" -- Polish title

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Critic Reviews

IGN Oct 05, 2011 9 out of 10 90
Gamer Limit Oct 24, 2011 9 out of 10 90 Dec 22, 2011 9 out of 10 90 Nov 21, 2011 85 out of 100 85
PC Games (Germany) Oct, 2011 84 out of 100 84
Mana Pool Dec 28, 2011 8.2 out of 10 82
GameStar (Germany) Oct 12, 2011 81 out of 100 81 Oct 11, 2011 80 out of 100 80
GameSpot Oct 13, 2011 7.5 out of 10 75 Oct 13, 2011 7 out of 10 70


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German version

In the German Xbox 360 version, all blood effects were removed. The Windows version is not affected.


  • PC Games (Germany)
    • Issue 01/2012 - #3 Best Indie Game in 2011 (Readers' Choice)

Kabushi (209502) added Orcs Must Die! (Windows) on Nov 23, 2011
Other platforms contributed by Kabushi (209502)