EA Games Orcs & Elves
- Turn-based action RPG is a revelation, lots of clever surprises
- The graphics aren't great
Orcs & Elves is engaging from the get-go. Lots of humour with plenty of gameplay twists which should keep you busy for a couple of hours.
Price$ 59.95 (AUD)
Call us geeks, but any game that allows you to get your hands on a Vorpal Sword is alright with us.
This and numerous other old-school Dungeons and Dragons-style references await gamers in this surprisingly fun Nintendo DS release from -- wait for it -- id Software.
Orcs and Elves is a classic dungeon romp with straightforward gameplay: armed with a weapon and talking magic wand, you move through an underground environment fighting all kinds of monsters, solving puzzles and grabbing all kinds of loot. However, the magic of Orcs & Elves goes much deeper. This is one of those weird "one more minute" gaming experiences where, once you get started, it becomes extremely difficult to stop.
One of the most interesting aspects of the game design is that while Orcs and Elves feels like an action game, it is actually turn-based. You'd be hard-pressed to notice this however, unless you play close attention, as it works in a similar manner to a first-person shooter: you walk, encounter, and attack. The difference is that each move and each individual attack is a very short turn.
The overall impact of this turn-based play mechanic is profound, and can probably serve as an interesting lesson for designers of portable games. The format slows the game down just enough so that anyone can play, and secondly, it creates some interesting tactical moments during combat. Deciding between trying to end a battle by landing one more attack on an enemy or drinking a potion to save your life is just as fun as it is in Diablo.
One of the biggest surprises in Orcs and Elves is the clever game design, which keeps the game engaging and fresh. Your sidekick, a smart-aleck talking wand, throws out some fairly funny one-liners as you play. Some of the encounters with non-player characters are similarly engaging. For example, in order to convince one of the Dwarven ghosts in the game to give you a password, you have to use a series of smashing walls to create some ale. You then have to drink the ale in order to get the pass code you need while the screen simulates a drunken state by increasing the on-screen lag as you move around.
These kinds of gameplay twists abound, and it's a testament to Fountainhead, the game's designers, that they've managed to craft a DS experience that is this engaging.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 2 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 3 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 4 Ring Video Doorbell review
- 5 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Overwatch World Cup to return in 2019
- IEM Sydney adds Overwatch Contenders 2019 finals
- Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory is set to arrive later this year
- Blizzard tag in Good Old Games to re-release original Warcraft
- Weaker-than-expected sales have thrown Phantom Doctrine dev CreativeForge into disarray
PCW Evaluation Team
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
- Huawei P30 Pro: Australian review
- Samsung Galaxy S10 review: Messy decisions mar smart evolutions
- Panasonic Lumix S1 review: Hands-On Australian review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies