The Horde

a game by Toys for Bob Inc. , and Toys for Bob Inc.
Genre: Action
Platforms: PC, 3DO
Editor Rating: 7.3/10, based on 4 reviews, 5 reviews are shown
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 1 vote
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Sir Chauncey The Brave is not a knight who acquired his title through the usual channels. He did not inherit his peerage from a long line of blue-blooded toffs, nor did he rescue some poor damsel from a dragon or manage to destroy the whole fabric of the British economy. In fact, Chauncey himself is really a sort of Baldrick made good. One day, there he was, general dogsbody and turnip connoisseur; the next, he'd joined the ranks of the landed gentry merely because he'd prevented the King from choking on a turkey bone. For this supreme act of bravery, Chauncey received a knighthood and vast tracts of land. You'd think that life would now be a bed of roses for the old devil, given his new ability to plant row upon row of strangely shaped vegetables in his own fields. But then, of course, we wouldn't have a game.

Cue the entrance of Kronos Maelor, the Evil High Chancellor... heh heh heh heeeeeh (that's how he laughs), whose heart is set on ruling the country. Mr Maelor will stop at nothing to kill off King Winthrop and since you, as Chauncey, are the King's new favourite, your days, quite frankly, are numbered. The down side of turning from a kitchen boy into a sword-toting Lancelot look-alike is that you have to take on a wealth of new responsibilities. You have been nominated Guardian of the Peace and it's your duty to keep a watchful eye over the yokels in your new village. Just when you thought that you'd be out every night supping ale with the rest of the "Sirs", you discover that you've been ordered to sort out several weighty matters including taxes, protection of the yokels and general improvement of the village. You begin dilligently implementing your tasks, putting your vegetable empire on the back burner - but it seems that every time you get some money in the coffers, either the goddamm Chancellor takes it or, more often than not, you have to spend it on defences and improvements to keep the horde out. Your enemy comprises mobs of starving monsters whose only desire in life is to eat and. byjiggery, eat they do. Trees, walls houses, cows, MacDonalds - they're not fussy - and, of course, they have a special place in their hearts for serving boys made good. Physically they're all very red and very, very tomatoid, especially when dead.

The game itself is a fusion of video and arcade adventure which, if you haven't been down the 7th Guest route before, means that as you play the arcade game, the computer rewards you with video clips. Fortunately, the sense of fun and humour comes through in both the acting and the gameplay, with all sorts of witty interludes being thrown in to create atmosphere. The story is told using video footage of all the main characters including yourself, with real actors playing the roles including Kirk "Growing Pains" Cameron and Michael "Total Recall/Robocop" Gregory. The quality of the acting is surprisingly good (as is the sound) which has the effect of drawing you into the game and making you forget that you're playing an arcade adventure.

To get ahead, get a herd

Once you start playing the game for real you reach the main screen - a 3D view of your village, which you can scroll around using the keyboard or mouse. From here you do a number of things: plan and construct defences against the horde, build spiked pits and walls, reclaim land for additional citizens to build upon, irrigate land, plant trees (for the environmentally friendly amongst you) and buy cows. The cows are really special, not that I'm into bovine pursuits or anything but, boy, those cows are real.

Scattered around the village are a number of shacks in which your trusting serfs live their wretched lives, eager to work their fingers to the bone just to give you enough money to pay the tax man (it's tough being poor). Outside each shacks is a patch of garden where (hoorah!) fruit and veg start to grow. These gardens (along with the cows) are how you generate funds. As you start doing things to your village (or cows if you prefer), two things are happening. Firstly, each fence you build, or spike pit you dig, or cow you buy is a financial drain on your coffers. The second is that in a small hourglass at the bottom of the screen, time is quickly running out. At that frightening moment when the sands hits the bottom, you hear the baying of hounds and rush to find your trusty sword "Grimthwacker". The hordes are coming and this is where the fun really starts, as you spend a few frenzied minutes charging madly around attempting to slice, dice and eviscerate the red demons, before they trash you and your village.

It's now you begin to appreciate just how well your character has been animated. Chauncey lopes clumsily around with sword in hand and, when you finally move in for the kill, he spins himself around manically, sword outstretched. However, beware - if you overdo the spinning, you'll end up in a dizzy heap which, graphically, is quite amusing but, admittedly, doesn't do much for your score.

The hordlings, as they're affectionately known, move relentlessly towards your village where they begin their orgy of death and destruction, rather like Man United supporters on a bad day. Here again, the animation and definition is superb, especially the cow gobbling sequence. I laughed till I cried when this tiny red gremiln rushed up to Daisy (she was my favourite), opened its mouth, swallowed her whole and then rubbed its distended belly, contentedly. Suddenly realising where my duty lay, I rushed up, sword spinning and - thwack! - the hordling was no more. What happened next was more than a little surreal. Daisy the cow appeared whole, if slightly wobbly, having ejected herself from the dead creature's gut. Hurrah for my team.

It's also worth mentioning the sound effects at this point because they really are atmospheric. The splats, squelches and cries for help all add tremendously to the fun. As for the continually playing soundtrack, well that's pretty funky, too.

Hoarding like hell

If you manage to save up enough money through, say, crop sales and survive the end of year tax bill, you can buy a selection of useful "goodies" to help you beat the horde. The Hordling Bait, for example, is really brilliant. It's a piece of specially scented (rancid) meat which you place in a strategic location (the other side of some spike pits) and serves to lure the hordlings to their doom. If you feel that there is just not enough of you to go around in the heat of battle, you can also buy archers and clubmen to help defend your estate. The only problem I had was amassing enough dosh to buy them.

Assuming you survive the onslaught, the end of the financial quarter is reached and a summary displays your financial gains and losses. This is based around gardens in production, cows, trees and villagers (alive). As you will quickly notice, the creatures of the horde delight in munching their way through everything in sight: all the damage they have inflicted is shown in red on the summary. Also on the summary, is a reminder of the amount of money that you have to pay to Mr Clarke, oops sorry, the Evil High Chancellor. Failure to do so means: go directly to jail and do not pass "Go". The game is ultimately about growth because, as we all know, through financial growth comes economic recovery and, if your village grows and prospers, the King smiles, gives you a medal and moves you onto pastures greener. So you get to start again with a clean slate and, hopefully, a slightly larger pot of money.

Installation from cd-rom is incredibly easy as no complicated selections of hardware are needed. However, be warned: the game requires a large amount of memory so it may take you some time to get it going. Initially, being a bit of an old traditionalist, I didn't think I would warm to the blend of arcade action and video footage. But I have to admit that I was wrong -the combination works very well.

In a nutshell. The Horde is a top game boasting great graphics and gameplay, and a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek humour. The hack and slay element is important but, if you don't attend to your finances, it will all end in tears. Believe me, I know.

The Enemy Exposed

There are a number of different types of Hordlings in the game, all capable of swallowing cows with a single bite and devouring you with a couple. The following are the most common you'll come across:

Adolescent Hordlings

They appear in great numbers, often plunging down hillsides (unfortunately not to their death). They are, however, very stupid but in the Hordling scheme of things this makes them of average intelligence.

Piranha Hordlings

These are the mutts of the Hordling race due to their sniffer dog tendancies. Wildly energetic and enthusisastic, they lock their pitbull-esque jaws around anything and everything they see.

Shaman Hordlings

The Shaman are a major nuisance because they have weird, magical powers. Not only can they teleport and hurl fireballs, but they can also reconstitute mushed hordlings into whole ones, which is a major bummer.

Juggernaut Hordlings

Juggernauts are lumbering brutes - the intellectual pygmies of the Hordling race. They move through everything you put in their way and take about eight blows to kill. The good news is they're incredibly slow.

Download The Horde

PC

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

3DO

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

The Horde is set in a humorous medieval fantasy world. Chauncey, the hero of this game, must defend his village against the mighty Horde. The mission of the Horde is very simple: devour everything in sight, including cows, houses, fences--they're not very picky. Chauncey, who has had the good fortune to come upon the great honor of protecting the village in the name of the King, finds out that it's harder than it looks! And so will you! The full-motion videos and the awesome storyline make this game totally fun. The Horde is also very comical in the way it moves.

THE GOOD

This is the fastest paced RPG I have ever played! The full-motion cinemas are also very cool.

THE BAD

When you first start fighting the Horde they seem unstoppable.

THE UGLY

The way the Horde will casually slurp down one of your very expensive cows, then burp!

A host of Hollywood hot shots is heading to 3DO. The Horde, a fast-paced action/strategy game, boasts Kirk Cameron (of TV's Growing Pains) as the star of its many full-motion video sequences, which are being produced by Emmy-winner MacKenzie Waggaman. The Horde is set in a medieval fantasy world where Chauncey (Cameron) must protect his village from an army of razor-fanged attackers. The nine species of voracious hordlings will eat anything, including villagers, cows, and houses! Plenty of polygon graphics, 3D texture mapping, lifelike animation, and digitized character voices will enhance the magic and the humor of the story.

Crystal Dynamics began its relatively recent life in Palo Alto, California, and has focused on creating games for 3DO and the 32-bit platforms. Burn and Total Eclipse (the current 3DO library) will soon be joined by The Horde. Crystal Dynamics' latest production melds Hollywood-style production work with state-of-the-art computer graphics and a wacky sense of humor.

Growing Pains

The Horde will be a sometimes goofy hack-n-slash game set in a funny feudal fantasy setting.

The disc features live-action, full-motion sequences interspersed between game play scenes. The star of the video show is the popular Crowing Pains television actor, Kirk Cameron. Kirk plays Chauncey, a skinny serving boy turned hero.

Using the Heimlich maneuver, Chauncey saves the king of Franzpowacki from choking on a piece of meat (part of an evil scheme by the villainous High Chancellor). Now Sir Chauncey has the dubious task of protecting the kingdom from an onslaught of weird, voracious, cunning creatures called Hordlings.

Eating on We Run

The Horde will be a part-action, part-strategy game. The Hordlings eat anything, everything, and everyone in their path. Their favorite foods are cows and people.

As Chauncey, you will basically advance through the disc by protecting various Franz-powacki villages. You'll be able to hack and slash 'em with your legendary sword, Grimthwacker. However, you'll also be able to set traps and position mercenaries, such as bowmen, at key locations around a village.

Then, when you issue a call, the Hordlings come rumbling and stumbling into the village. There's no telling where they'll begin their feasting. Hopefully, you've set up the proper defense against them!

Ugly Is Beautiful!

There will be nine types of Hordlings, each with a particular skill and an unusual comic appearance. For example, the Desert Hordlings burrow into the sand with a spiral horn set in the middle of their foreheads. Piranha Hordlings look like heads with feet, but have outrageous fangs.

And Now a Word from the Hordlings

The Horde world, though feudalist, will have some modern aspects. The people of Franzpowacki, for example, have crystal ball TV sets, and the Hordlings stage hilarious propaganda shows. One Hord ling commercial promotes an adopt-a-Hordling program by acting out a typical human family dinner scene...with mannequins, of course, since real humans would immediately become the meal's main course.

The Horde-you might just die laughing.

When you've been raised by cows, you've got something to prove. In The Horde, you play Young Chauncey as he rises above his bovine birthright by cutting down the horrible Hord-lings in this top-flight strate-gy/action game. Maybe 3DO games have something to prove, too.

In a Murderous Mooood

The fanciful quasi-medieval kingdom of Franzpowanki is overrun with voracious red creatures called Hordlings. As Chauncey the serving boy, you used the Heimlich Maneuver to save the king from choking. Now as Sir Chauncey, boy Knight, don't choke against the Horde.

The Horde combines tactical planning, resource management, and thumb-numbing hack-n-slashing. You receive a parcel of land which you must develop over several seasons by attracting villagers, nurturing crops, and raising cows. These resources produce cash, which you use to improve the village. The game covers five villages and a whopping 100 stages!

Standing in your way to fortune and glory is the Horde. Hordlings have insatiable appetites, and they eat almost anything in sight - crops, cows, houses, and especially people. There are eight types of Hordlings, including toothy Piranha Hordlings and huge Juggernaut Hordlings.

Your primary weapon is your mighty sword, Grim-thwacker. Since you're just a little guy, you swing Grim-thwacker in a full circle with both hands. If you make three swings too quickly, you become dizzy...and vulnerable.

As you build up cash flow, you can buy additional Hord-ling-destroying goods. Le Bomb and the Flamethrower are effective weapons, but the most important and most expensive resources are Mercenary contracts. With these you can buy CPU-controlled Knights and Archers, and position them throughout the village to automatically hammer Hordlings.

Chauncey Controls

The game's excellent controls put you in complete command. You can make Chauncey cover territory in any direction through terrain that spreads across several screens. The easy-to-read Hordling radar is a key tactical tool, indicating where Hordlings are attacking. A cool, easy-to-access, overhead satellite view enables you to quickly plan your defenses.

Monster Sights and Sounds

You can really sink your teeth into The Horde's 3DO graphics and sounds. The story line sequences are nicely done full-motion video clips starring real actors in full feudal regalia. Kirk Cameron, formerly "Mike Seaver" of TV's Crowing Pains, stars as Chauncey, but Kirk's not the game's only TV connection. Periodically, the Hord-ings break into the on-screen action with their own pirate propaganda TV. These outrageous "infomercials" use excellently animated computer graphics to tout such potentially lethal but funny fare as the Adopt-a-Hordling Program (for unwary humans only).

During the fighting/village-building sequences, the game switches to cool sprite animation. The Hordlings move with exquisite action, bouncing, trotting, and lumbering fluidly. Look closely for screwball details like the dizzy cows.

Tune in to the game sounds, because the excellent effects are the stars of the audio show. Archers and Knights voice reassuring encouragement (in terrible but hilarious French accents). Listen to Hordlings munching and cows mooing for help, and soon you'll know exactly what's going on even if you can't see it happening.

To Horde or Not To Horde

This imaginative game tries to do something different, and it works. The brain-to-thumb action will keep your head in the game. The Horde deserves a top spot in the 3DO herd. Remember, you Horde it here first.

ProTips:

  • Spend your money wisely. You must always have enough to pay taxes and to pay for mercenaries and special Items.
  • Hordllngs like to attack by crossing water.
  • Archers are the best mercenaries because they automatically launch arrows In a 360-degree radius.
  • Watch for Desert Hord-lings, who unexpectedly pop their heads out of the ground before an attack.
  • The Juggernaut Honh lings require eight Grlmthwack-er whacks.
  • Listen! Gurgling sounds means Hordllngs are attacking by water. Low roars mean the Juggernaut Hordllngs are about
  • Stay alert - some Hord-llngs draw you array from their comrades.
  • Hard lings tend to make thetr attacks from one direction. However, they change directions It they find your defenses are too tough.
  • You can save villagers who have been eaten If you can whack the Hordllng before It burps.
  • Chauncey runs slowly across certain terrain, such as rocks, but he books down the stone paths.
  • Cows really bring In the moola, If you can protect them.
  • Since few Hordllngs attack when you first arrive at a territory or just after you pay your taxes, you can usually get away with not spending any cash to beef up your defense.
  • Since Forest Honlllngs can become temporarily Invisible, use the Horde radar to find them, or swing Grlmthwacker at their last visible location.

Snapshots and Media

3DO Screenshots

PC Screenshots

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