Sanctum Review
Sanctum Box Art
System: PC
Dev: Coffee Stain Studios
Pub: Coffee Stain Studios
Release: April 15, 2011
Players: 1-2
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p

Guns in Sanctum have infinite ammo, but each has a built-in cooldown of a sort. For example, the sniper rifle takes longer to reload, while the assault rifle can overheat if you use it too much. If a gun is cooling down, you can switch to another gun in the meantime. This gun-juggling process keeps you on your toes and forces you to combat enemies in different ways, building your maze of towers around your strategic preferences. You'll want some heavy-damage towers around the places you use your freeze gun the most. You'll also want to set up some quick damagers to pick off the stragglers you've hit with your sniper rifle.

Sanctum Screenshot

There are a few downsides to the gameplay formula in Sanctum. For one, there are only three levels. The first level is a basic open field where you can build your perfect maze, while subsequent fields are more oddly-shaped, with slopes and bridges scattered throughout that affect the routes of enemies. Even so, getting through the entire game will only take you about four hours—five or six if you are on the hardest difficulty. Sure, you can try to get the highest score on the leaderboards, but that only really appeals to score junkies.

Speaking of the hardest difficulty, Sanctum has a strange difficulty curve. Many waves will seem nearly impossible at first. But once you figure out your "best" maze and tower configuration, everything becomes easy sailing from there. The maps have little to no replay value, as a maze that kills all the enemies the first time will kill all the enemies the second time. You can try to tackle the game with a buddy in two player co-op, but working together to build a maze can be pretty frustrating if you don't share the same creative vision. All too often, your friends will waste resources or build towers in inconvenient spots, and you have to worry about upgrading two sets of guns instead of one. Eventually, you'll most likely just stick to playing single-player.

The game looks good with a cartoony, almost Borderlands look to it. It even sounds decent enough, though the sound effects and music are pretty generic. Overall, it's a solid game: a decent buy for fifteen bucks. It may be a bit too short to quite justify the expenditure, but it's a lot of fun through all of its unfortunately short length.

By Angelo M. D’Argenio
CCC Contributing Writer

Though the characters models are kind of generic, it's really fun to see Sanctum take advantage of all three dimensions in a tower defense game. Flying enemies that soar overhead are a treat to watch.
The first-person interface is simple enough, but I wish you could build in top-down mode.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music is decent enough, and it had that sci-fi vibe, but it's all pretty generic. It's nothing to write home about.
Play Value
Though very short, it will keep you well amused through the full game.
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Experience a brand new mix of genres.
  • Team up with a friend in co-op mode.
  • Develop your own strategy and build custom mazes.
  • Play through beautiful environments with unique strategic possibilities.
  • Powered by Unreal Technology, Sanctum is one of the world's best looking independent developed games.
  • Coming DLC and content updates.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Sanctum Screenshot - click to enlarge Sanctum Screenshot - click to enlarge Sanctum Screenshot - click to enlarge Sanctum Screenshot - click to enlarge Sanctum Screenshot - click to enlarge Sanctum Screenshot - click to enlarge Sanctum Screenshot - click to enlarge Sanctum Screenshot - click to enlarge Sanctum Screenshot - click to enlarge Sanctum Screenshot - click to enlarge

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