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 (1,862 reviews)
Release Date: Apr 15, 2011

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Buy Sanctum: Collection

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

 

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
115 of 117 people (98%) found this review helpful
78.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 29, 2014
Personal rating: 8/10
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
Balancing 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 on shorter Campaign maps (with 20 or less waves), 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 greatest challenge at the start is to understand how to balance your resources between weapons and towers, and until you find your own balance point, you'll be hitting that "Load Checkpoint" button quite often.

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. In one wave you may face a single, but extremely resistant, enemy and at the other wave the same type of enemy in larger numbers, however with much 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".

The multiplayer option ramps this up by letting you set the game to 30 waves on any map, which easily means games going past 1 hour.

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, or an endless Survival mode, 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 Sanctum multiplayer 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.

Unfortunately Sanctum is often underrated and overlooked by people, sometimes because of its graphics and sometimes because it is a game that takes time to learn and it won't be afraid to slap you in the face quite often while you learn it.

Sanctum 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 Funny
15 of 17 people (88%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
26.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2014
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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11 of 12 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
11.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
A very inovative TD-FPS combination. Between the waves you can build / upgrade your towers, and during the waves, you actively defend your base in the FPS mode, so its like a shooter.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
37.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
It was the first time I played a "Hybrid" FPS/TD game and I have to say that I loved it.

+ Very decent graphics.
+ Every Turret and Weapon has upgrades.
+ You can build mazes to make the enemy take longer routes.
+ Full of "SECRETS" to discover (sometimes more than one per map).
+ All enemy have a "weakspot" ( this makes some turrets stronger for each kind of monster, also makes you aim at specific parts of the monsters).
+ Very challenging. Try the insane dificulty :O

- Sometimes it gets boring when maps take +45minutes to beat all waves or you have a nice Turret and maze combination built to do most of your work.
- Multiplayer has almost no players. (Never seen more than 7 players online).
- There is a buggy achievement. (Takes forever to get it, even though it's one of the easiest)
- You will probably need some guides to find all the secrets because they are extremely hard to find on your own. ( I used guides for most of them :$).

It gave me some good hours of fun and I can't wait to start playing Sanctum 2.

Remember this is just my opinion, some of my (+) can be a (-) to you and viceversa. It depends from player to player.
Also I'm sorry for my English. (I'm Portuguese).
Hope my review was helpful to you! :D
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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
7.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 28
A very fun tower defense game to play with a few friends.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 24, 2014
Really great game but no servers....noone plays mp
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 10 people (80%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 11
I heard they were swedish.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
42.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 23, 2014
Way better than the sequel. Can be reasonably completed single player. Lots of interesting weapons, maps, and enemies.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
45.6 hrs on record
Posted: January 1
An alarmingly good and varied game that really does excel in the way the game marries the genre of FPS and tower defense.

If you like those two genres, this is an essential buy.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
128.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2014
This is probably my all-time favorite game! Tower defense/RTS are my favorite genre, and the strategy of tower defense isn't lost at all in the hubub. Better yet, the FPS mechanics make this game a lot more emersive and active than any other tower defense game I've played. I think everyone who likes Tower Defense, RTS, or FPS games should buy this game!
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
12.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 17, 2014
A great TD game - better than Sanctum 2.
It's cheap, runs well, looks pretty. FPS play works very well in the game to keep the action going.
It's also very cool to play with other people, I've gone hours on survival mode with my friends.

The game has a lot of content going for it already, but then there's also the free DLCs and the really cheap ones (they go down to $0.99 on sale).

I find the game is better than Sanctum 2 - the game just feels better. It really has polish, and I felt Sanctum 2 kind of lacked that; as a result, it's a funner game. You don't have to level up for perks, (the grind is removed entirely) and there isn't pressure to be constantly firing at all times.

I also see much better FPS in this game than in Sanctum 2, even when I turn down the graphics to low. The game ends up looking worse than Sanctum 1 but still doesn't run as well.

There are a lot of really cool towers in this game too, and the lack of a wall limit (which was an odd decision for Sanctum 2 that further distanced it from a TD game) lets you be much more inventive with the game.

Past that, Sanctum is really a good game. For fans of TD, FPS, and messing around with their friends, Sanctum is a game for you.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
43.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
This is an interesting game from a certain point of view. I enjoyed playing it, does have a special graphic and game mechanics, the overall sound is okay. Keeps you entertained and wishing for more.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
18.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 31, 2014
Ill make this short, Its a great...no FANTASTIC game if you enjoy strategy/tower defence games. Sanctum's controles and mechanics are easy to pick up. The enemys in Sanctum quickly get difficult but this poses a challenge that fun to work agenst with freinds. I would not perchase this game if you intend to play it alone, It is very dificult to play alone and gets old quite fast...BUT playing it with freinds is increadibly fun. Keep in mind that the more people you play with the harder the waves of enemies get sooner on in the game. I find playing with two people is the best because you can work together easier and the enemy do not get too dificult too soon. This is a easy 12/10.

If you are chosing between Sanctum 1 or Sanctum 2, I would chose the first. I find Sanctum 2's gameplay not as enjoyble and does not flow the same way the first one does.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
42.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
That game can make the time you spend playing it fun and quite addictive. That was a unique experience playing that game. I liked it, the game has a fine graphic and good gameplay, the soundtrack is cool
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
92.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
Fun game for multiplayer co-op, tower defense, smash bad guy style fun. Spent many many hours in this game and will likely spend even more.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
18.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 2
Simple tower defense/FPS game where you can destroy anything. You have limited choice in weapons and only one character, but that's the beauty, it's simple.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
11.6 hrs on record
Posted: March 11
Fun game with friends. I enjoy the level progressions online with players that can choose their builds, so lots of room for experimenting. Constructing a path through labryinth so that no creep will see teh light at teh end is pretty much your jerb.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Posted: February 17
I am actually really enjoying the game. Gotta use good strategy if you want to win. My friend and I have been doing pretty darn good the last couple of nights and 1 little alien got through and I was pissed lol but we still won, I just would have liked to received 100% :) Next time for sure.

Get the game and play with some friends.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 14
One of the good co-op and solo experiences ever.
With some humor.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
18.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2014
Great fun for the analyst at heart. Satisying. Complete. It has the added plus of being a time dialation machine. I feel like I've played for at least 50 hours, but Steam is quite certain I've played for only 8 hours. You'll have to expirience it to believe it.
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