Orcs & Elves First Look on the DS

Fountainhead and id Software's hit mobile role-playing game is on its way to the DS with a surprising number of improvements.


Game-programming legend John Carmack helped to validate mobile phones as a gaming platform when he created an engine for cell phones, one which Fountainhead Entertainment subsequently used to craft the popular Doom RPG and its follow-up, Orcs & Elves. Now Fountainhead is working on a Nintendo DS version of the latter game, which is actually running on a brand-new DS engine coded by Carmack, rather than a simple port of the mobile engine. It also seems to have quite a bit of control refinement and additional content thrown into the mix.

Just like in the mobile game, you'll play as a half-elf adventurer who possesses a sentient wand that confers special magical powers, provides guidance, and occasionally ribs you if you play poorly. You'll be fighting against an orc menace after a surprise orcish attack on a dwarven fortress. The basic content--graphics, storyline, and gameplay--are preserved from the original cell-phone game. So you'll be moving through each level one square at a time, and when you enter into combat with a monster, it will proceed in a turn-based fashion. Anyone who played the game on a phone (or played Doom RPG, for that matter) should be well acquainted with the mechanics here.

However, the designers have done quite a bit to enhance the DS version of Orcs & Elves. The game will include three previously unseen levels that will be populated by four new monsters, which Fountainhead says it was unable to fit into the original release. There will be a few new potions and other peripheral items on offer as well. You'll move and handle combat with the D pad and buttons, but there will also be quite a bit of touch control. The touch screen will show graphical representations of your inventory that you can access directly with the stylus, and you can also switch this screen over to display the map while you're adventuring. Finally, when you cast one of the game's four magic spells, you'll see a wisp of light moving among the four spell icons on the touch screen, and you'll have to quickly trace the path of this light to successfully pull off the spell.

Orcs & Elves isn't reinventing the wheel in its transition to the DS, but it does have a significant amount of new content, and this looks like a good way to check out the game for those who have never played it. When asked about plans to bring other games, such as Doom RPG, to the DS, Fountainhead stated that the team is more interested in doing an original game in the same vein that can take full advantage of the DS's relatively beefier hardware.

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Avatar image for e-racer22

I only played the cell phone demo on my PC as it wasn't available for my phone. For the short time I played it, it was a lot of fun. It is very old school, but, I like this type of presentation so I'm anxiously awaiting its relese.

Avatar image for DSExpert

Humph. I hope the game manages to hold up to all the hype that it's getting. But seriously, this looks like a very interesting game. It would be ashame if the developers don't put enough work into it where at least the game play will be decent. If this game manages to get at least a 6 then I might consider playing it. But hey, that's my opinion anyway. Game on fellow gamers. Game on till the day.... well, let's just say the Earth won't last forever (at least until we run out of natural resources that is, which hopefully won't happen for at least another 300 years).

Avatar image for flickds

I'm glad they're updating the engine. Those were good for cellphone games, but the powers at be would be remiss to port those versions to the far superior DS hardware. Hopefully it will be a not-faux 3d engine this time around.

Avatar image for Platyphyllum

Well, after Deep Labyrinth, I do have my doubts about mobile ports but...the mobile version was supposedly really good so hopefully its alright!

Avatar image for Wolverine77

cant wait to get my towerblox wii edition on. seriously, a mobile port???

Avatar image for AlbertoML

Yesssss, please please please bring Doom RPG to the DS!!! Or ANY Doom game to the DS :-D

Avatar image for acamike

Porting cellphone games to DS now? Not a good sign.

Avatar image for Jupzish

this sounds alright what do you guys think?

Avatar image for white143papi

I wonder, how is it going to turn out?

Avatar image for Tungsten88

I really hope they changed this up.

Avatar image for telvisnostic

Orcs and Elves in a game where it's not on a PC or LOTResque? I'm so there.

Avatar image for Leakybubbles

cooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooool i guess...