Can you survive An Unholy Return: The 31 Games of Halloween?
The Horde Reviewed by Brian Wortz on . Rating: 57%
The Horde
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  • Review Score:

  • C+
So I was playing a little Animal Crossing the other day, minding my own business, you know, planting trees, collecting fruit, designing sexually explicit sportswear for my neighbors ... the usual. Oddly, I hear in the distance a howl that sounds strangely like a drunken cow that just turned around to realize that Murcielago just had his way with her. Out of nowhere, an army of hybrid Noid/Killer Tomatoes starts tearing through the town! I ran straight away into the museum and locked myself in until the town was again silent. As I approached my village, everything lay in total devastation. The trees were gone, the houses rubble, nothing was left. What the hell has happened here? I looked around town for any signs of life, but all I discovered was the remains of Tom Nook strung about (poor bastard). Poncho had managed to escape but had shat all over his new carpet before going into shock. Where my house once stood, only a lone mailbox remained. Inside a found a package. I hesitantly opened it only to discover the most disturbing thing of all: the head of K.K. Slider. This Horde went too far! There is only one man who may be able to avenge our little town. I'll have to call in the big guns. Wielding the powers of both Alan Thicke and Jesus, this calls for Kirk Cameron!

Thus is the scenario for "The Horde" (well, OK, not exactly) for our beloved 3DO. While there are unfortunately no beheaded furry animals in "The Horde" there is Kirk Cameron in tights, with a sword, defending a farmland full of faceless, nameless townsfolk. Apparently, because his acting in the gloriously blocky FMV opening sequence is so bad (or maybe some other reason), he gets sent out to defend the cows and the townsfolk from the Horde. This is accomplished through the use of clever traps such as spiked pits and strategically placed walls and fences around the town because, you see, The Horde isn't so bright. They will run headstrong into your pits of death and will have to actually go around or through the walls and fences. Then you, as Kirk, can gleefully squish the creatures with your vertically challenged swordsmanship. So again, you play God, and get to spend all your money planting trees, buying cows, and planning your next diabolical fence layout. Once you've planted and plotted, you send in the Horde and go a-huntin' Kirk style, hopefully keeping your town intact. Rinse, spit, and repeat.

The game-play is a mixture of a bad farming game and a bad isometric dungeon crawler, minus the dungeon and with little to no crawling. The town is aligned on a grid and you choose, based on how much moolah you want to spend, how you want to lay out your traps, where to plant trees, when to buy cows, etc. As you progress, you are given the opportunity build stronger walls and even hire more competent and less girly knights to give you a hand at Horde chopping. Once the traps are set, dear Kirk appears and you take control of his actions. He can do two things run and slice and doesn't have the dexterity to do both at once very well. Depending on how quickly you can eliminate the Horde, and how many crops, etc are destroyed, you are awarded gold to continue the vicious cycle. The presentation is enhanced with the previously mentioned bad acting, bad FMV, and craptastic strategery.

After preparing my carefully laid plans to protect my pumpkins, I prepare for the onslaught post-cow yelp, by shouting, "It's Seaver time!" while charging into battle. There is a radar on-screen to give you indication of where the Horde is located, but you do not know from which direction they will emerge. This often puts a kink into your strategy, but I guess Kirk isn't fully omnipotent ... yet. No matter how hard you try, Kirk is invincible and even if you want to, you can't kill him. He's just that powerful. In fact, one swipe of his sword and Horde gremlins go bust. Well, really probably more like a couple of swipes 'cause Kirk's got no aim but it's forgivable.

The graphics are pretty good, though simple and the Horde animations aren't half bad. Even the FMV sequences could have been much worse (if you don't believe me, you haven't played enough 3DO) and can be humorous. Even Kirk seems like he was in on the joke, so it's all good. On top of all of this, the music is actually excellent (no kidding), and the game is somehow fun and a bit addictive.

If you love/loathe Trip Hawkins' wet dream machine as much as I do, you really should pick up "The Horde". Yeah, it's lightweight and repetitive, but you'll likely find some enjoyment in it, and the Kirk factor gives it that extra cult status we love. So go squish some Horde, I have to go clean up after Poncho.
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