Thursday, March 01, 2012

Hidden Gems 2012: The Horde

Title: The Horde
Format: PC, 3DO, Sega Saturn
Genre: Action/Strategy
Expect to pay: £5 - £15

It has been quite some time since my last Hidden Gems entry, but I wanted to highlight this game in particular because I spent many enjoyable hours playing it over and over on my PC circa 1994 when the game was released.  The game, developed by Toys For Bob, who have most recently had great success with Skylanders, is a kind of fusion of the strategy and action genres.  Your character is tasked with protecting his farm from the titular Horde, and you do so by first setting down barricades and traps, as well as planting trees and crops and expanding your land.  You only have a fixed amount of time to prepare for the inevitable onslaught of ugly purple monsters, at which point you have to race around and killing them all.  Should all your livestock, buildings and crops be decimated, it's game over.  Then the whole process repeats again, only the Horde gets tougher, with more varied enemy types and in higher numbers.

The game had great graphics and sound for its day, and sure it is showing its age today but the gameplay still holds up.  In many ways this is the precursor to the Horde mode featured in Gears of War 2 and adopted by pretty much every shooter that has come out since.  Unfortunately getting the game to run on a PC may take a bit of effort at the moment as you have to use DOS Box - it hasn't been released on Good Old Games or Steam as of yet.  If you happen to have a 3DO or Sega Saturn you may want to consider picking up this title for one of those systems - a quick glance on eBay reveals that the game is not that hard to come by and shouldn't set you back more than £15 at the very most.  If you do get the chance to try The Horde, make sure you don't pass it up - and if this post has piqued your interest you can watch a brief clip of the game running below.  I hope to have more Hidden Gems for you in the not too distant future.

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