If Svengoolie was responsible for a tower defense game, Unstoppable Gorg would be that game. It’s a clash of man against extra-terrestrial, and the odds are stacked in their favor. Though the tactics in Unstoppable Gorg turn shallow, it does manage to add in a few unique twists to the genre to compliment its style.
The story begins with the discovery of Planet X, hidden beyond the planet Neptune. Humanity approaches with hopes of peace and is instead greeted by hundreds of model starships, hanging from pieces of string. King Gorg of the Gorg declares war on humanity, and it is up to Earth’s finest hero, Captain Adam, to stop him. The acting, live-action no less, is filled with cheesy lines and terrible acting, and it’s a better game for it. It’s a clever throwback to the days of Ed Wood, and works perfectly at setting the stage.
As Captain Adam, it’s up to you to stop the Gorg from destroying Earth, though you won’t always be defending Earth directly. Over the course of the campaign you’ll be fending off the alien attackers as they attempt to assault planets and moons, space stations and starships. How you do it is only affected by the enemies you’re fighting, no matter what type of central base you’re defending.
The “towers” you place within this game come in the form of satellites, placed in orbit around the central base. This is where the twist comes into play. In the majority of tower defense games towers are placed and there they stand. In Unstoppable Gorg the satellites can be placed and then their orbit can be shifted, allowing them to be moved around their base at will.
This alteration to the formula also changes how the enemies are deployed. It’s still a tower defense game, no matter what, so your opponents travel down a specific path from the mother ship to your home planet, but this time the path changes. Each wave that comes at you travels down a different path around and about to your base. The ability to move your satellites around your base becomes less of a gimmick and more of a necessity as new paths and sparse satellites begin to leave gaps in your defenses.
On top of this there are the three major enemy types and each have their own weaknesses. At first, fighting them separately, it’s a simple matter of placing the towers that they are weak to. Later on when two, or even all three of them, are attacking, it becomes a lot trickier. It’s up to you figure out which weapons work best, along with their placement.
The issue that this brings up, however, is that the tactics within the game never gets deeper than rock/paper/scissors. The machine gun beats the basic unit, but not the armored. The machine gun works excellently on the armored, but is slow to fire. The missile launcher takes down foes at a distance. Strategies are simple to create and simpler to deploy.
That major limiting factor is money: despite the fact that Captain Adam is the sole defender to Earth, he still needs to earn money to pay for his war effort. In typical tower defense games, you earn money by destroying your enemies. In Unstoppable Gorg you have to place satellites to gain a constant stream of revenue. Every match, therefore, must begin with the placement of satellites that grant a flow of income.
This limits both the amount of money you have to spend on your satellites, along with their upgrades, and brings about a repetitive nature to the whole experience. For all intents and purposes, every level is exactly the same. The only things that really change is the squiggly lined paths your enemies travel and the number of orbits around your base.
There are attempts to shake things up. Secondary satellites can boost other satellites performance, though the availability, and expectation, of actually using them is seldom. There’s a battle where satellites are constantly spinning, and then another where you can’t control them at all. It’s interesting when it happens, but then status quo is restored.
There’s plenty of style to go around, with an excellent foundation. Unstoppable Gorg provides a fresh new twist on the expected system; however, its limited selection of combat mechanics keeps it from truly taking off.
Seven out of ten