Tower Defence games have so far passed me completely by. They just don't seem all that interesting, an exercise in game over.. again.. game over.. again.. etc.. but not in the fun "Super Hexagon" way. Setting all those towers, and then failing at the very end, when the very last minion makes it past your last carefully-laid planned route, and deals the death strike that spells a do-over.. Gah. The worst kind of time sink...
Unstoppable Gorg attempts to shake the tower-defence up a bit.. The levels are short, the number of towers small, and their placement is quite crucial. It also adds an interesting twist: You can spin the towers around to face enemies coming from a different way. Like Space Run, Unstoppable Gorg takes the Tower Defence idea and adds in a few little twists. There's just enough here to make it stand out a little from the crowd.
Ok, game mechanics to one side, the rest of the game is pretty good. It draws heavily from 1950's Sci-Fi imagery and schtick. It does a phenomenal job of it too. All the painstaking hours of cutting footage and re-creating that wobbly-saucer-on-a-string feeling really pays off. The storyline is as cringe-inducingly 50s as it can be. One thing which made me giggle was the brief appearance of a few 10-Base-T BNC terminators acting as the engine pods on a very dated-looking "War Rocket Ajax".. *cough*.. I mean "Invincible" :) .. about 40 years too early, :)
Unlike some games which seem to peter out in the FMV in later levels, and just give text or voice instructions (low budget maybe?) only to spring back to FMV for the final "death scene", each level begins and ends with a "Galaxy News" transmission. . Each one is lush, well filmed and voiced. Right up to the end, the game feels "fleshed out", there are no 'thin' parts, if you see what I mean.
The game plays very well at lower difficulties: the placement and timing of the 'towers', erm, I mean satellites, doesn't matter too much. You can get away with making mistakes. As you get to higher difficulties, however, the fun starts to turn to the usual Tower Defence Grind Syndrome: placement and timing are crucial. The "orbital slots" are very carefully placed by the level designers, and it requires the right satellite, with the right level of upgrade placed in the right order, and the slots have to be spun into the right position at the right time. Getting a level finished can require playing it repeatedly over and over and over until the placement and spinning becomes muscle-memory.
There are only 22 "single player" levels, so even grinding won't make the game stretch to the buttock-achingly 400+ hours you get out of Skyrim or something. The levels come with research and a selection of satellites that you can select a subset of. Most levels obviate the satellite choice, and some leave it a little open for you. I never found much use for the "sweeper" or the "webber", they just seemed to take up a slot and not do enough to justify it. Replacing them with a missile or ray gun would do far far better! I'd increase their range and effectiveness a tad.
One strategy which I totally missed through my first playthrough was selling satellites. Enemies come in waves, and I'd build my satellites to eventually counter all the waves. Once I realised that selling satelites and reconfiguring for a next (more powerful) wave was an option, a whole new avenue of play opened up. So, as you can see, there's quite a lot of replay value too. The game invites you to try to get better, and beat it on harder levels with better strategies. It's not punitive, and doesn't rub your face in defeat too much. I quite like it. It's a friendly-feeling game, which you can pick up, play, and put down.. or stare-at for hours-on-end (as I did).
Don't recommend it to anyone who doesn't like a bit of rinse-repeat gameplay that typifies these sorts of games. It's better than most, though. It can make you scream when, after a long battle, you see you lost two medals because you lost 1% of your ship's complement to a stray asteroid some time while distracted killing the mothership.
I do wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone who has a laptop and sometimes just has a spare few hours (on a train, in an airport, or lying in bed waiting for sleep to kick in), and wants to have a bit of retro-movie fun, and doesn't mind a bit of action/puzzle.