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 PC World newsletter!
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Acer Swift 7
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Google Daydream VR headset
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Lexar® Portable SSD
Huawei Mate 9
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Star Citizen dumps DirectX 12 plans to focus on Vulkan-powered graphics
- Dungeons and Dragons ditches pen and paper with D&D Beyond
- Exclusive no more: PlayStation 4 games are coming to the PC via PlayStation Now
- Adding video apps like Netflix to the Nintendo Switch is a waste of Nintendo's energy
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- LG 2017 OLED and Super LED UHD 4K TVs: Hands-on review
- Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTSenior Web DeveloperVIC
- FTDrupal Developer - Senior or Mid levelQLD
- FTHR Application Architect - WorkdayVIC
- FTSenior Java Developers (Several positions available)QLD
- TPDigital Platforms ManagerVIC
- CCCloud Infrastructure SpecialistNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTJunior Software Engineer - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)NSW
- FTSenior Oracle DeveloperVIC
- FTMultiple Infrastructure ArchitectsWA
- FTSenior C# Analyst Programmer, Product & MarketsNSW
- FTService Desk Analyst (Level 1 Support)NSW
- FTDevops / Technical Support AnalystVIC
- TPSalesforce Functional AnalystNSW
- FTAEM Architect - Blue Chip companyNSW
- CCService Desk AnalystNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst (BPMN or UML & Agile)QLD
- FTField Services EngineerWA
- TPJunior Business AnlystVIC
- FTSenior Technical Consultant - Microsoft / VMWareVIC
- FTDevops EngineerVIC
- FTICT Project ManagerNSW
- FTAgile TesterNSW
- FTProgram Manager-SAP Transition, SAP FICO ImplementationNSW