Games for the Weekend is a weekly feature aimed at helping you avoid doing something constructive with your downtime. Each Friday we’ll be recommending a game for Mac, iPhone or iPad that we think is awesome enough to keep you busy until Monday, at least.
Unstoppable Gorg ($4.99 iPad, $9.99 Mac) is a tower defense game with futuristic gameplay and old-fashioned movie appeal. With a sci-fi theme based on the Age of Sputnik, Buck Rogers and a Martian race in need of women, Unstoppable Gorg is a well-polished and detailed game that has a enough going on to set it apart from other tower defense games.
There are three ways you can play: Story, Challenges and Arcade. In Story mode, your mission is to protect some base, mine or human dwelling that is under attack. The setup is always the same: position your satellites in orbit around the object you are assigned to defend. There are 21 missions to complete, and complete them you must. By completing missions in the Story mode of the game, you unlock more and more features, like different types of satellites and even new Challenges.
In the Challenges mode you are limited in some way and must fulfill a specific mission beyond simply defending your base. Sometimes it takes just one hit to destroy your base; at other times, one of your orbits automatically rotates, or perhaps you can only have two different satellites. You really have to have a good strategy when taking on each new challenge. Then there is the unstoppable Arcade mode. The Arcade mode forces you to complete the Story, as you’ll want every feature unlocked and at your disposal. In Arcade, there are no breaks, there is no end, they just keep coming for as long as you can hold them off. The Gorg will prove to be truly unstoppable.
Gameplay is a cross between traditional tower defense, and games like Harbor Master and Flight Control. While your satellites must be placed in a limited number of predetermined spots in fixed orbit around your space station, you can at least rotate each orbit around your space station in an effort to re-position your satellites to ward off attacks.
Unlike many other tower defense games, the path that your attackers take will keep changing within each level. In fact, multiple alternate attack paths through your orbiting satellites could be undertaken all at once. Where the game catches you off guard is when other space elements like asteroids may come flying in from any direction, destroying anything in their way. This makes you start repositioning your satellites in orbit to avoid being destroyed. Repositioning may then affect your original strategy to defeat the Gorg, and this is where this game excels at keeping you on your toes. You cannot rest once you amass your fortune and build up your defense. You are constantly moving things around.
Part of the entertainment value is also derived from the rich story line and various cut scenes throughout the game. There is a mix of authentic footage from old sci-fi movies mixed in with homemade model scenes that match the design of the characters and space ships that appear in the game. But it goes well beyond a clever opening sequence that merely introduces the game — as you play the game, you unlock 52 different encyclopedia articles that explain the story even more. It is this attention to detail that makes Unstoppable Gorg a real pleasure to play.