Unstoppable Gorg puts a new spin on the tower defense genre.
It’s a mishmash that brings old school black and white sci-fi serials like Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon to real time strategy.
You are the brave Captain Adam who is fending off aliens that look like runners up at some homemade costume junket and save his hot blonde girlfriend.
The game is an overhead tower defense game using satellites instead of towers.
Unstoppable Gorg doesn’t necessarily reinvent the wheel, in fact, it’s more of a cross between two different types of tower defense games. The kind which allows you to have unlimited control over where your towers are placed and the kind that limits placement by giving you prescribed spots to build towers in.
Gorg isn’t letting you make a maze out of your satellites, but it will let you shimmy in a few satellites where you need them most.
It does this by letting you place satellites in orbits around the defense point. You can spin the different orbits around to put satellites near the invasion routes.
This lets you have the best of both worlds, though the spots along the orbit are limited you’re allowed to spin the orbit however you like allowing you to make the most of the space and resources you have. You can even follow routes with towers for a few extra hits if it follows your orbit.
The orbit mechanic makes this tower defense game unique, the ability to switch tower positions on the fly without having to wholesale rid yourself of the tower and buy it back in another area.
This mechanic allows for a lot of flexibility, you can place fewer more powerful satellites and divide your attention more towards positioning them, or you can place more satellites which will drain your resources faster but won’t require as much ‘shimmy work’ from the player.
The decision is compounded by the fact that you’re given goals every round to acquire a certain amount of money or research. Reaching these goals allows the player to unlock newer satellites and grant them the ability to upgrade the older satellites by distributing research points before each round.
Research is a triple threat of bad game mojo. To acquire it you need to take up one of your available satellite slots at the beginning of the round with a research centre, then place that non-attacking satellite somewhere in one of your orbits essentially taking the spot of a more useful attacking unit and if you don’t bother with it, you lose that research point for future levels making it really hard for inexperienced players to move further into the game.
Three different alien races make you have to plan for different satellite strategies in order to capitalize on their separate weaknesses but the difference don’t go far enough to force the player to think differently about the satellites they’ll have to choose before a round starts. I found much success with the few towers I stuck to throughout the game, I didn’t really feel the need to switch up drastically at any point once I found that groove.
The space setting makes good use of archive footage and cg to create a story that reads and feels like old school sci-fi, it’ll make you feel the nostalgia whether you’re from that time or not.
The campy 50s serial sci-fi look really drove me through this game at top speeds. Actors in knick-knack costumes play up the cheesiness with cliché serial villains and a cliché serial plot.
This all works wonderfully with inserted archive footage and model work (spliced with some CG) to create this 50s aesthetic.
But watching all of these things on a screen inside a screen is a little bit meta, it makes me wonder if Xzibit lent a hand at working on this game. (I put a monitor in your monitor so you can watch while you watch) I’m not sure but this is probably a holdover from the mobile version but it feels distinctly out of place on the PC.
Music and sound effects are great. The cut scenes are announced by someone who sounds like the voice of out old news reels being played in the 40s.
The alien lords have voice work, though if they flubbed a few lines or sounded terrible it wouldn’t be noticeable with the chosen aesthetic of the game in mind. And they look great, one is a garbage can, the other looks like he was lifted from Mars Attacks! and the other is hot.
Unstoppable Gorg has a great in game soundtrack that’s very boombastic. It’s something you’d expect to hear out of a movie like “Mars Attacks!”
The sound effects from the weapons all have that 50s sci-fi feel.
It’s actually quite a feat to carry me into a story I care about in a tower defense game, which more often than not the ‘story’ tends to be an afterthought.
My biggest gripe about the game is reaching the top of the climb so fast. There are 21 levels in story mode and each one will take you maybe five to 10 minutes if you do it in one try.
You’ll be retrying a few levels countless times because the difficultly will spike unexpectedly. It felt less like I was making mistakes and more like the game didn’t want me to progress further a few times and often after making it through those few patches I would be back to cleaning up levels no problem again.
I reached the end in maybe four to five hours and all of those hours I really enjoyed outside of the spiking difficulty. A challenge mode and arcade mode allow you to keep playing through additional content but none of it is as strong and compelling as the main stuff, I gave both a whirl and found myself not really squeezing any more fun out of the game that way.
It’s a relatively short game but a really good tower defense experience. I hope some kind of follow up or additional content is made for this game because that core experience was a blast.
- Blends limited unit placement with unlimited field control
- Great 50s sci-fi vibe with loads of humour
- Easy to put down and pick-up again for people with limited playing time
- Difficulty spiking can leave players frustrated replaying the same levels again and again
- TV in TV view detract from the action in cut scenes
- Research satellites put undo burden newer/inexperienced players