The Eye-ful Tower Defence: Sanctum

You stay away from my tower, you basts.

There’s increasing amounts of interesting UDK stuff trickling out. I haven’t had a shot at this, but it’s conceptually pure enough to appeal. Sanctum is another mod-turned-stand-alone, and it’s basically a tower-defence game in first person. This immediately makes me think of the late 90s wave of action/strategy games, which of course makes me somewhat fuzzy and nostalgic, before that warm feeling gets crushed with a crushing sense of age, obsolescence and ever-encroaching death. You can download it from here, follow its development here and watch its trailer below…


  1. DrugCrazed says:

    That actually looks like fun. *rushes to download*

  2. Adrian says:

    Played this a while ago i think when it was still in developement. It was quite fun and it featured some neat ideas. The one thing that bothered me was that it’s a pretty hard game but not as a tower defense game but as a shooter. I never managed to get to high waves because the turrets couldnt do the job alone. You had to fight the enemies with your gun to survive but it felt to me that the guns didn’t deal enough damage so it became a real struggle to take enemies down once they got close to your base.
    Again i think this was still in developement when i played it so ill give it a shot and see if it has improved.

  3. N says:

    Iron Grip Warlord anyone? eh? eh? The visuals are awesome in Sanctum though, wish IG would be powered by the same engine, instead of quake3.

  4. Drexer says:

    You know, it took me quite some time until the title pun made itself clear in my mind. And then my brain hurt.

    Seems interesting, and I’m definitely trying it out. I do feel a bit apprehensive however as the overhead view always seems so integral to tower defense.

  5. Mike says:

    Wait, I dont have to ‘pay’ for this?


  6. Rob says:

    Reminds me (slightly) of a HL1 mod I can’t remember the name of that was like a co-op first person tower defence game. Quite fun as I remember…

  7. Mike says:

    Goddam it…i always lose when i get rushed by those little buggers after the immunes you have to headshot =/

    Cool demo though…might be a purchase.

  8. Gap Gen says:

    Yeah, what did happen to action strategy? Playing Scourge of War: Gettysbury reminded me of how awesome commanding forces in (near) first person is. It’s a shame that the camera in that game is a bit sketchy when you lock it to your commander. The time when I played with someone over Teamspeak and they said “take a ride with me” and showed me the lie of the land and where I should position my forces in person was great.

  9. Brulleks says:

    The second Eiffel Tower pun I’ve had to suffer in two days – yesterday I got the ‘I Fell Towers’ perk in The Saboteur.

    This look like it could be fun. Remind of something else where your first-person shooterisms were there to supplement something another genre – ah, could it be Rise and Fall: Civilisations? I think it could.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Brulleks: Machines, an RTS with FPS control override that is so obscure that Mobygames doesn’t even have screenshots. I dug up a boxed copy in a bargin bin some years back; think I ended up being pleasantly surprised by tech support coughing up an XP compatability patch or something. Not too bad a game until a mission where the AI starts streaming long-range kill-everything-gun units at you, and you get into classic ’90s RTS hate as your units sit around staring at their toes and dying. Since being able to control Humvees first-person was something I wanted since playing the first C&C, I might have been mildly biased.

      Surprised Dungeon Keeper [2] hasn’t been mentioned yet, especially with the Chinese MMORPG post recently reminding everyone of its existence.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Ah, they do at least have back cover art, which shows screenshots. Basically, C&C: Renegade should have been this, and this should have had some AI improvements to avoid the need for micro, which is an absolute killer when the commander might be off driving a unit round the back of the enemy base.

      Savage comes to mind as a multiplayer version of an FPS/RTS with its commander role, much moreso than when Battlefield 2 or Natural Selection did it. Unfortunately they went all the way to there being an advantage to player-controlled resource collectors, reaching into MMORPG tedium territory.

  10. Janxer says:

    Downloaded the demo. It’s pretty fun, but you could really use some more tower variety; would splash and sniper towers be too much to ask? Maybe a tower with armor-penetrating damage that is better against big guys but worse against the small buggers?

  11. N says:

    I want a new Battlezone :/

    • Rugged Malone says:

      I was going to mention BattleZone too. :)

    • Warduke says:


    • Flat Eric says:

      Battlezone was very good. I used to play against a friend who was rubbish at base-building (could never really be bothered to learn), but unlike me did not completely suck at shooting.

      Our battles always ended up with him on foot, sniping me out of my vast armada of tanks…

      …except for one glorious game: DAYWRECKER!

    • Pew says:

      Don’t forget the Uprising games! <3

    • Lachlan says:

      I’ll add my name to this chorus. The Battlezone games were a little clunky and lacking in polish (especially 2), but tremendously fun. The faux-conspiracy setting was delightful.

  12. Tei says:

    Humm… more delicious torret defense games, yumm.

  13. Jayt says:

    This is free?! DOWNLOADDDDDDD

  14. Jayt says:

    On another note, how good would this be coop!

  15. Dominic White says:

    It looks beautiful, admittedly, but I found Toy Soldiers on the 360 to be a far better mix of tower defense and shooter. It keeps it to a floating camera perspective for easy building and analysis of what’s going on across the battlefield, but lets you directly drop into control of any of your guns, or even planes/bombers/tanks depending on the map. There’s less wild running around and awkward construction.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I found it to be too easy and a bit dull due to the fact that placing towers is so limited. There are very little places to put your towers and victory seems more inevitable than hard earned.

      Still it was an original Tower Defence, and I enjoyed the multiplayer vs.

  16. Jayt says:

    If this was coop, have a command chair that players can jump in and out of which all construction is done from a top down perspective, and everyone else is running around being all shooty

  17. choconutjoe says:

    Battlezone ftw!

  18. wviperw says:

    This is probably a long shot, but if anybody can solve it, you guys can–way back in the late 90’s (as the post mentions) there was a demo of a game in this vein that was included on a PCG demo CD. It pitted one player against the other where each player could purchase defense turrets and/or send out attack drones to the other player. The setting was a clean high-tech arena of sorts. It was red versus blue. Any ideas?

  19. Adam says:

    Looks interesting, but I couldn’t find anywhere to invert the mouse!! Maybe I’m blind…?

    I always play FPS with the mouse inverted, seems like it’s usually a pretty standard control setting.

  20. Adola says:

    Pretty cool, definitely want to see more of it.

    Be warned though, it’s really, really hard.

  21. Tommo says:

    This is the 2nd UDK game now where the screen keeps spinning and i cannot play for that reason, my eyes are still hurting from all the spinning.
    Razer diamond back mouse. Only problem with 2 games.
    Any ideas?

  22. UncleSmoothie says:

    Downloaded it and gave it a go but good lord, it is hard. I must have given it 7 or 8 tries but I can’t get past wave 8ish.

    Wonderful concept, hope the full game isn’t as impenetrable.

  23. michaelfeb16 says:

    This is a long shot…but LAPD Future Cop?

    The game was vaguely like that in multiplayer mode. There were turrent and bases you could claim as well as drones you could send out to attack.

  24. MaxNormal says:

    Pretty pretty pretty please can I have invert mouse ????
    I own / have played over 50 shooters and this is the first one I have ever encountered that has no invert mouse option. I don’t seem to be able to rewire my brain after all this time.

  25. Doofus says:

    Holy cow… you got past lvl 4? What am I (and a ton of other people) doing wrong?

    • Birkesz says:

      In the beginning, I do not build maze, just covering the path in the middle (marked yellow) with gatlings. This allows me to buy lvl 3 assault riffle early in the game to have the grenade launcher.
      However, this strategy does not seem to help after lvl 7, I always get pwnd there :)

    • Birkesz says:

      Not level 7, but level 10.