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2017-02-07

Orc Castle Review

Title: Fuu'un! Orc Castle ~Chijoku no Hatsujou Ikusaotometachi
Original title: 風雲!オークキャッスル ~恥辱の発情戦乙女達
Release date: 2014-12-26
English release date: 2016-09-02
Developer: a Matures
English publisher: MangaGamer

"Orc Castle" is an eroge of an unusual genre - a tower defence. It is a pretty short and simple title, which is not exactly a surprise, considering it was originally released by 'a Matures' - a company specializing in short and cheap titles.

Without much further ado let's conclude that "Orc Castle" doesn't have much of a plot. Basically, the orc kingdom is at war with Asgard, the human domain, and the Orc King sends his lazy and useless son to the Orc Castle, the main point of defense against the humans. If he manages to stem the human invasion, then he will finally prove himself as a capable warrior, if he dies, as his advisor Misty surmises, no great loss.
You are also expendable.
There are only four stages, each one dedicated to a specific female enemy, who tries to invade the castle and assassinate the Orc Prince (I have a feeling that everything in this game is named by appending 'Orc' before the name). These enemies are Thudr the Warrior, Raskris (or Radgrid, the game cannot make up the mind) the Assassin, Rune the Magician and Hilda the Princess. Each enemy increases in difficulty, but once you get the basics down, it's a breeze to finish the game. There is only one ending and I personally beaten the game in about 4 hours. That times also included about 40 minutes of me helplessly flailing around, while trying to learn the gameplay mechanics and being humiliatingly defeated. Admittedly, I needed another 2 hours to collect all 8 optional sex scenes, thus, depending on how good you are at the gameplay portion of "Orc Castle", you might need to invest between 4 and 6 hours to finish it with 100% completion.
You learn new words every day.
Wait, did I mention optional sex scenes? Yes, I did. There are four mandatory H-scenes, which you will always experience upon defeating the battle maiden, plus the endgame orgy, but there are also eight optional scenes that act as self imposed challenges, as some of them can be a bit tricky to acquire. To explain better I have to discuss the gameplay. The castle dungeon is filled with enemies under your command, and treasure chests. The heroine starts moving in a certain pattern through a few dungeon floors (the number of floors depends on the heroine) and once she reaches the last floor, and kill all the enemies there, you lose. Note, that the maiden doesn't have to kill all or any of the enemies in other floors for you to lose - only the last one counts.

Now, notice that the enemies are stationary and do not attack the heroine, unless she herself runs into them. You can also lay the traps on the dungeon floor and hope the heroine runs into them. The thing that greatly confused me in the beginning is that the damage from enemy encounters is minuscule and the traps do not impart any damage at all (they only serve as the damage multiplier). The trick is to lay the traps in such a pattern that they fling the maiden into the enemy, thus creating a combo chain. Once I comprehended the gameplay, I managed to lay such a trap chain for our first heroine, that I fell her in one blow - that really validated the time I spent learning how to do that. :-)
Sandworm is about to have a meal.
Most of the enemies on all the dungeon floors are the same drab greyish orcs and if the heroine is defeated by flinging her into one of them, you get one of the mandatory scenes with the Orc Prince. However, every maiden has two unique monsters in their dungeons and you get an additional scene with that monster before the mandatory one, if you finish the girl using that monster. The unique monsters are as follows:
Thudr: Tentacle Monster and Ogre
Raskris: Mimic and Slime
Rune: Catoblepas and Sandworm
Hilda: Misty and Orc Prince.

Some of those optional encounters are more tricky than the others. For example, in order to get the Misty scene I had to run Hilda in circles while laying a long and complicated trap layout for her to stumble into. The reward was well worth it, as it was one of the hottest scenes in the game. :-) Other encounters can be a bit tricky to find, as the later dungeons are non-linear and using different exits brings you to different floors. This means that you might not actually encounter the optional enemies during your first traipse through a specific dungeon.
Woman on woman is always hot.
Moreover, there is another thing useful to have in mind. The heroine moves by herself in real time and the only way to influence her movements are the traps, but entering the trap screen actually stops the time. It is useful to enter the trap screen at the beginning of each dungeon floor, take in the layout and strategise about the possible trap configurations. It is always smart to think, before starting to lay the traps, as there are also environmental hazards you can take the advantage of.

But let's leave the gameplay alone. Let's examine the most important feature of the game - the sex scenes. I mean, they are a reward for beating the dungeons, and like any reward they should make you happy. I'm pleased to say that the sex CGs are pretty hot. They all involve the heroines bumping the uglies with some sort of a beast-man, so if an all-human interaction is what you are after, this game is not for. Fortunately, it was exactly the game for me. The creatures are pretty varied and there are different sex acts and positions displayed, though despite the non-con subject the scenes are moderately vanilla. Now that I think about it, I don't remember there even being any anal scenes, which is unfortunate. The promotional material for the game contained the picture of all the four girls heavily pregnant and I was originally interested in the game only because pregnancy is one of my main fetishes. And while unfortunately that comes to head only at the very end, that last orgy sex scene did somewhat rise my enjoyment of the whole game. Not to mention that there is a nice egg-laying optional H-scene.
A mage trap.
If I have to point the drawback, it is the low amount of CG variation within each H-scene. Every sex scene only has one CG representing it with some variations. I would have liked if 'a Matures' went an extra mile and prepared some different positions for the H-scenes, but that, of course, would have required a higher budget.

The translation is passable with the exception of Raskris/Radgrid mix-up and some typos. All the females are voiced and they also do a passable job that doesn't really impress, while BGM is the most cliché repeating tune you can hear in a low budget gonzo porn movie. In short, "Orc Castle" does quite well what it set out to do. It's a completely inoffensive to my tastes nice short tower defence game with a focus on sex, which manages to entertain if you give the gameplay a go, even though there is not much replay value once you've seen all the scenes, and which doesn't bring anything new to the table story-wise.
Mimic worships Cthulhu.
P.S. There is just one annoying thing that might be a bug - the game always starts in a windowed mode. The fullscreen setting doesn't save beyond the current session.

Links of Interest

Official Japanese site
Official English site

Final Verdict: 60 %

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