You think Tower Defense games are all about building? You thought wrong. Sanctum is not your average Tower Defense title. When the havoc starts, you get to join the fray! As one of the world’s first First Person Shooter - Tower Defense games, Sanctum has taken the best of both worlds to deliver an epic, one-of-a-kind experience.
User reviews: Very Positive (1,595 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 15, 2011

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Includes 4 items: Sanctum, Sanctum: Map Pack 1, Sanctum: Map Pack 2, Sanctum: Official Soundtrack

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About This Game

You think Tower Defense games are all about building? You thought wrong. Sanctum is not your average Tower Defense title. When the havoc starts, you get to join the fray! As one of the world’s first First Person Shooter - Tower Defense games, Sanctum has taken the best of both worlds to deliver an epic, one-of-a-kind experience.

Key Features:

  • Don’t just build towers. Build mazes!
  • Your way or the highway? The Customization System lets you have it all!
  • 4-player co-op support; why double the trouble when you can quadruple it?
  • 87 Achievements
  • Hidden Secrets & Easter Eggs. Have meta with your metal!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP (SP3)
    • Processor: 1.6 GHz Dual Core Processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 2 GB Free Space
    • Video Card: Shader Model 3, 256 MB VRAM
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    • Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible, 16-bit
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows Vista, 7 or 8
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz Quad Core Processor
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 2 GB Free Space
    • Video Card: Shader Model 3, 512 MB VRAM
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    • Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible, 16-bit
    • OS: OS X 10.6.3
    • Processor: 1.6 GHz Dual Core Processor
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Hard Disk Space: 2 GB Free Space
    • Video Card: Open GL 3.3, Shader Model 3, 256 MB VRAM
Helpful customer reviews
31 of 31 people (100%) found this review helpful
46.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
Personal rating: 8/10
Bought on: Discount (80%)
DLC: Worth it. New, more challenging maps. A nice addition to a short core game.

What is Sanctum?
Sanctum is a completely different take on the "Tower Defense" genre, it mixes up First Person Shooter elements in it and it does it well.

About the gameplay:
Here's the catch: If you have your mind set on "I'll only upgrade Towers!" or "I'll just shoot everything!", you're in for an embarrassing defeat. You cannot take everything head on here, you need to balance resources to deal with everything coming towards you: enemies that comes in large quantities, tough ones and tricky ones.

Do you want to do the heavy lifting and shoot most of what's coming or use your towers while you kill whatever is left by the end? Or maybe you want to do both of these things? No problem, all three options are possible in this game.

One of Sanctum's most known aspects is the maze building, you've got room and resources to create your personal enemy slaughtering course, it's far from putting one block here and another over there. If you want to survive the toughest levels of Sanctum you'll need to smart up and create mazes that will force enemies to walk as much as they can.

Something that should be noted:
Unlike Sanctum 2, there is absolutely no grinding in Sanctum 1. You start with everything the game gives you and after a short, optional, Tutorial you're free to do whatever you feel like in the first map. Play and learn, no hand holding here aside from the absolutely necessary.

Tower Defense, because calling it "Resource Management" sounds like a boring discipline
Managing resources here can be tough, they are rather scarce early on and woe betide the unprepared. Do you upgrade your towers or your guns? A difficult choice that can be the difference between victory or defeat.

Towers and Weapons can be upgraded up to Level 6, and while they seem extremely cheap at first don't go thinking you can leave a bunch of Level 1 towers scattered and expect them to do heavy damage; enemies gets progressively stronger and soon you'll realize even your Level 3 towers are hardly doing any significant damage. And the same will apply to your guns if you ignore them.

Upgrades will considerably power up your towers and guns, however they'll also become incredibly expensive and, chances are, you won't be having lots of Level 6 towers even by the end of the map unless you focus more on them.

Sanctum: Not an easy game
If you are looking for a difficult game, Sanctum may be your cup of tea. The game is ruthless, but hardly unfair. It punishes poor planning and poor shooting accuracy and you'll probably be frustrated once you see that your carefully planned maze and towers did not work, but amazed when you beat that tough wave with your wits.

The game is merciless and will not shy away from dropping tough enemies, although not without warning: the game provides a list for a number of incoming waves and what will be there.

However Sanctum fail in one crucial point: there is no indication on how resilient the enemies will be, one wave you may face a single, but extremely resistant, enemy and the other the same type of enemy in larger numbers, however with less HP. This can and will catch you off guard and is one of the very few times the game will play "dirty".

For those wishing an even greater challenge there is the Insane difficulty with VERY resistant enemies and a core as fragile as cracked glass.

Sanctum, where the simplest level can take 1 hour to complete.
Every level can be VERY long. Even the first one can take anywhere between 30 minutes (if you are insanely fast) to 1 hours and a half and can last even longer. But don't worry: the Campaign has checkpoints between waves which you can also use to correct a mistake as long your have enough resources. It may sound cheap, but picking the "Load Checkpoint" will be something you'll do often here unless you feel there is no hope and click on the "Restart Level".

Multiplayer Mayhem (Single if you must)
The multiplayer in Sanctum is a bit different. Instead of a normal game with fixed waves every game on every map will have random enemies waves coming for you and your friends, that's right, no game will be quite the same and sometimes you'll be forced to change your tactics since the game can be downright mean sending airborne enemies and another wave of tricky enemies right away.

You can also change how long the game will last: from 10 to 20 or even 30 waves with increasingly stronger enemies, but with MUCH more resources than the normal, single player only, Campaign. This means more towers, faster weapon upgrades and more towers.

Don't have friends that play Sanctum? Friends can't play right now? No problem. You can Host a game like this and play by yourself if you wish to, or leave open to friends (or other people) so they can join during it.

You can also opt to play with people from the world but be warned: the game is fairly dead and even on weekends it may be hard to get a lasting game with someone.

Multiplayer has a few problems, though. Once you finish a map you are forced to create a new game and invite your friends again which doesn't sound bad, but gets annoying if you play with 2 or more people. It may be also a pet peeve mine, but you don't get levels achievements even if you do complete them with 30 waves setting, however you do keep progress from others like "Kill 4000 Runners"

Music for your ears
Sanctum also has an amazing soundtrack, much more relaxing and soothing than what you'd expect for a game about killing hordes of enemies while hearing the heroine laughing and screaming in glee.

For some the music will feel strangely out of place and annoying, for others it will be a contribution to immerse the player.

Final notes
The game came out in 2011, and even on 2014 it remains one of the most pleasant, satisfactory games to play.

It is a game created with care and you can notice it as you play. Coffee Stain Studios did a good job with this game and it is worth your money and time. Even if you are not a fan of Tower Defense or First Person Shooter genres, give Sanctum a try at least in the demo, you may be surprised.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
13.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 22
Very nice relaxation game for your free time! :)
Was this review helpful? Yes No
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
26.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
Story/Presentation: 8
Not much to say about this game's story, really. It's really just about a girl who defends a major core built from her allies from aliens invading. It's basic, but what I gotta give an above average score is it's presentation. First, the aliens. They look so cool! They're all very distinctive and unique in their own design and traits, and works perfectly with the game's tone. The soundtrack of the game's Really lovely and engaging as well. I loved and was happy buying it's soundtrack after trying out the game.

Gameplay: 10
This is the highlight of the game and what makes it SO good~! The game is one of the world's first First Person Shooter Tower of Defence. The design behind it and the strategy one has to make is perfect. The majority of the weapons are awesome, and it all plays good roles to strategize on how to defeat the aliens from reaching the core. Keep in mind that the game's Very hard, and takes a lot of practice to get it going, but still worth it. I feel like the combat was very balanced. With the constant reloads your own weapon has, it gives good opportunity for your towers to fight and cover for you.

Overall: 9
It's very obvious this game can't be for everyone, but it's still incredibly addicting. I am extremely happy I gave this game a try. It's super memorable, it's tons of fun, very challenging, and provides great replay value. It's a shame it's not that well played much since the release of it's sequel title, for I'd love to try out the Co-Op version of this at some point, but doesn't stop me from trying the game again in single player and play it more often. I would HIGHLY recommend this game for anybody.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 9
Was a great game on PC but the Mac version is beyond terrible.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
This game is three and a half years old, and they still haven't patched multiplayer to make it playable.
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
great game
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2 of 5 people (40%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
The FPS portion makes the tower defense tolerable, though I still don't much care for tower defense.
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 24
I tried it a while ago, it scared me off within the first 2 hours because of complexity and meaninglessness, but don't let that thrpw you off if you're interested
Was this review helpful? Yes No
1 of 10 people (10%) found this review helpful
1.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
merged FPS and RTS into a single game. the results are moderately pleasing. very few choices when it comes to weapons. You inevitably learn the game to actually get anything done as the guns don't do damage. Have your buildings shoot stuff, get bored, then uninstall.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
10.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
alot of strategy and being able to get in the maze and shoot stuff yourself is the best icing on a delicious cake
Was this review helpful? Yes No
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 1
Love this game so much :O
Was this review helpful? Yes No
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 31
Cool game.
I cant set AA, thats a shame.
Still cool.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
The best 3D tower defense game out there.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
Sanctum combines the generic first person shooter with tower defence and give a nice and welcomed twist to the gaming scene, it allows for you to go wild on upgrading your weapon to be the ultimate killing machine or go mad with power and build a endless row of towers to mince your foes to peices.

the game is good fun but is limited with levels and is best played with friends, while you can play solo it is far less fun and you dont stand a chance in the harder difficulties.

if you are into your first person shooters and wonder what it would be like to have a tower defence element thrown in, then id say go ahead and give this a shot, its some great fun but sadly lacks content making it a bit repetative at times. but its more than worth £10 or so.

id say just give it a shot
Was this review helpful? Yes No
13.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 5
Sanctum is a unique tower defense game with you being able to enter the maze and help defend your base while your towers also defend aswell. This game is unique in so many ways and I wish that I could play the sequel. The handful of maps this game contained were just grand. I loved playing this game and I recommend it to anybody who loves tower defense games. 9.42/10 Stars.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
6.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
Amazing to play on lan with your friends. It can get very intense when you are almost done with a level and the monsters have reached your orb thing and you are all fighting as hard as you can to stay alive.

Definitely more fun with friends that it is with random people or single player.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 7
The amount of map is a joke. There are 8 maps if the paid one doesn't count. A good tower defense game usually have a lot of maps to play on. But still, it's fun if you can get some friends to play with.
Was this review helpful? Yes No
41.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
Hard, fun, crazy, and awsome.Tower defece games are great First person shooters are great, altogether. It's the absloute greatest!
Was this review helpful? Yes No
18.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
Best in class tower defense game. Even more fun than Orcs Must Die!
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0.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 17
the game is great FPS and tower defend is great and haveing 3 more people can be more fun. the way the game was made i want more FPS like this
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