I’m a big fan of tower defense. Whether towers are upgradeable (Defense Grid: The Awakening), the player participates in the battles (Sanctum, Orcs Must Die), or the game can be played for 15 minutes on a break at work (too many to mention thanks to Internet game sites), I love the genre. Unstoppable Gorg is no exception. The presentation is good, the spin on the typical formula is fun and there’s no shortage of unit types to play with.
Most tower defense games are light on presentation, preferring instead to throw the player straight into the action. After all, at this point, we all know how the genre works and what we’re supposed to do. The basics are the same here. You play the role of the only commander capable of defending the Earth against the titular Gorg, and your only means of defeating them is placing satellites in predetermined orbits to destroy the Gorg ships as they fly in on a predetermined path. Wrap it all up in a 1950s sci-fi aesthetic complete with space ships on strings and aliens in suits with the zippers visible.
What Unstoppable Gorg does differently is that you have to participate in the battles. Other games have done this, and done it well. What those other games haven’t done is structure the player participation into rearranging towers, and it’s not just a gimmick here: you’ll be strapped enough for resources, and satellite positions are sparse enough, that moving satellites around is an absolute requirement to succeed.
Another difference from typical tower defense games is that money and new tower types are not automatically given to the player. If you want money, and you do because you typically only start with enough to build a money-generating satellite, you’ll need to build a money-maker. After that the Gorg fleet will start their invasion and you’ll need some defense. The waves won’t stop, and you’ll need to find the time to launch a research satellite as well. This isn’t necessary to winning the level, but without a full research meter you won’t unlock the next satellite type. Miss these upgrades enough times, and you’ll be poorly equipped or outright unable to defeat the next level. You can replay past levels to earn upgrades you missed, and you should. By the end you’ll want all of them.
The only place that Unstoppable Gorg comes up short is game length. Replay value makes up for it to me, but if you’re the type to play a game once and then leave it on the shelf you’ll be disappointed with Unstoppable Gorg. The rest of you, however, will find a fun TD game with a great aesthetic, and plenty of replay value thanks to four difficulty levels, upgradable satellites and units that you have to stay on top of and move if you want to win.
Pros: Great 50s sci-fi aesthetic, interesting twist on the typical TD formula
Cons: Fairly short campaign length