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Mixed or average reviews- based on 202 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 47 out of 202

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  1. May 5, 2011
    Critic reviews are pretty unfair to this game. Granted, Sanctum isn't one of those 100-level tower defense games where you lay things down and wait through wave after wave without any control. I personally detest tower defense games, but I love Sanctum. It's not the first game to allow player control in waves, from what I hear, but it does it with great finesse. The game can vary from easy and relaxing to intense and challenging, depending on the difficulties. Co-op is more challenging, but single player is a good way to learn the basics and refine your layouts.
    A large part of the fun comes from learning the game. Everyone builds differently, and there are enough options to suit players whether they want to build towers and watch them work, or be the main tool of destruction themselves. The game is challenging enough to require both improvements to really do well.

    Granted, the game is not perfect. Co-op joining can give troubles, and has only worked on a local connection for me thus far. But the developers are devoted to supporting the game, already planning to implement 4-player co-op and new maps. So what the critics say about not having enough content is not necessarily true. Co-op features more weapons and monsters, and there is more to come. It's very good for a beginning developer, and they need support and fan interest if they are to continue development. Critics may only see what came out at first, and not the full potential of the developers.
  2. Apr 22, 2011
    Excellent game. I played the beta for 15 hours, and that wasn't even feature complete. I'm starting in on the full game now, and the other maps seem more complicated and interesting. The mix of first-person shooter and tower defense works well, and navigating to set up your defenses is thankfully a breeze. The defenses are crucial, but you always feel like your own fighting matters. It's one of the best looking indie games out there, and takes full advantage of the Unreal 3 engine. Overall, this would be a great game for $40... for $15 it's a steal, and fans of tower defense strategy games, or FPS fans looking for something new, will find a lot to like here. It's also worth noting that it has a 2-player online co-op mode (4-player soon), and that the developers are active on the Steam forums and working on tweaks and new content. My only complaint would be the save system (one save at a time, and save points aren't for every wave), but it's a minor complaint and likely to be fixed based on community feedback. Expand
  3. Sep 27, 2011
    Lack of content
    if you want to gain full experience of this game...
    prepare to spending more money on up coming DLCs... (lots coming)

    *I am not purchasing their DLCs.
    I don't support the practice of selling DLCs when the game itself is lacking content.
    *You do not get the complete game when you purchase, that said you have to even pay to unlock towers.
  4. May 11, 2012
    Sanctum combines the classic tower defense game with FPS co-op. The players will build a maze on a map and construct guns of various types with various abilities. When the players are ready the spawns start - waves of different monsters will be incoming and the players will have to rely on their weapons and the deployed turrets to kill them and stop them from getting through the maze. When monsters die the players make money, which can be used to upgrade guns or existing turrets or build new ones.

    The game is quite well executed (very few bugs) and the design is thought through and relies heavily on the normal tower defense games. The weapons are neat-looking, works as you expect them to work - you have three of them, a sniper, an assault rifle with grenades and a freezing gun that'll slow monsters. There is a certain variation of maps, but I never felt much of a change when switching between them - as you build the maze yourself, the maps will mostly just provide obstacles for the maze you would like to build. The game, however, got somewhat dull for me rather quickly. The incoming monsters don't offer much variation - the spawn order is random, so sometimes the only thing that can really threaten you is a spawn composed of 3 groups of the same type: as you have been dealing with varied threats you have made maze for varied incoming, so when a full spawn of flyers (that can only be shot by certain types of turrets) for instance show up, your turrets for shooting at the ground will be useless. Therefore the best investment is a high level gun, which turns the game more into a shooter than a builder. Also - maybe it's just my personal shortcomings, but I have a hard time getting beyond a fair percentage of the monsters looking like genitals.

    In Sanctum I never get the "tower defense" experience of leaning back and watching your awesome killing zone at work as I constantly had to rush around killing the monsters that slipped through your maze. Turrets can NOT handle stuff on their own and will gladly fire away at the front of a monster that can only be wounded from behind or pumping hundreds of rounds of lead into the belly of someone who only takes damage from head shots. It's up to you to stop the enemies that will need accurate shots, and after a number of games I was sorely tired of trying to get "head" shots on the wobbly beings with balls on top of their necks. Did I mention that most of the monsters look like genitals?

    Anyhow, Sanctum is a very well executed game that will be immensely funny at first but get rather boring in the long run. If you have some friends who're keen on co-op playing it will be a good purchase though.
  5. Jan 16, 2013
    Wasn't for me. I love tower games but this was too much of a first person action for me. I also love FPS games like Mass Effect, but here you have to constantly turn, look up and down... if you get motion sickness, you'll probably play it as long as I did after I purchased it. One run, about 5 minutes, and then deleted it.
  6. Oct 12, 2011
    Ok. This game was a massive joke on those of us who bought it at launch. Sooo small and short it was literally like someone robbing you at a cashpoint without having the chance to beat them to death and still feel good about it. BUT, with more reasonably priced maps and DLC which doesnt break the bank, overall it can be saved. Personally I enjoyed the game itself. Not sure what the hell is going on with the crap FOV issue that makes me feel like I am playing on an xbox, or locked outside looking at the game through a letterbox but the game itself really is great fun. Personally i like it alot. Expand
  7. Dec 30, 2011
    A great concept that is totally ruined by horrible game design, terrible presentation, and infuriatingly ambiguous tower/enemy stats. This game is the worst sort of indie trash. It's clear it was made by some newbie developers who don't understand UI design or production values. The big boys like Defense Grid and Orcs Must Die! crush this pathetic attempt at a game. Sorry, this is a bad Unreal mod, not a game. Complete FAIL. Expand
  8. May 29, 2011
    An amazingly fun first person shooter tower defense game that will take hours of your time away, especially when playing with friends. A one of a kind game! :)
  9. May 13, 2011
    I would not have found this game if it were not for the Yogcast, and what a horrible thing that would've been.

    The gameplay is a unique and a refreshing experience from other games. The music is very well done and the world is BEAUTIFUL!!! Well done on that. Not to mention the easter eggs! They're very fun to find and I think you did a brilliant job on it.

    What's more is that there
    is a bunch of free DLC coming. That I likes indeed :).

    Great game, get it.
  10. Apr 22, 2011
    Very promising game from a similarly promising Indie developer. I have sunk at 28.3 hours in a week as of this review; going so far as to put Portal 2 down to play a map. Outside of some balancing (multiplayer is unforgiving to newcomers, even on "casual") issues, I feel that the foundation of the game's design is solid. Additional balancing as well as the promise of additional game modes and more content (only three guns, three maps, and six towers so far), this could potentially be the most successful attempt to create a Tower Defense hybrid to date. The FPS shooter elements are solid. Further weapon diversity- weapon modifications would be nice, though not entirely necessary-, character differentiation- it's going to be silly seeing four Skye's running around in 4-player co-op-, and more maps would flesh game out in all of the right ways. Expand
  11. Dec 28, 2011
    Nice graphics but poor implementation of difficulity - for example how do i kill those blue fat things? I wasn't told how until I had to hit the forums and introduced all too many at once. Better off playing Defense Grid, a REAL tower defense game. Yes that's right. The towers in this game do swat. only works in few waves then they are useless.
  12. Jul 8, 2011
    Sanctum is like a game engineered for me to like it. Ive always liked tower defense and fps so a marriage of the two would likely win a ticket straight to my heart. Sadly despite the original premise and interesting visual style the game quickly becomes boring with little deviation in terms of strategy with the common phrase being: "build what you need". This can easily be fun with a couple friends but if you don't know anybody who plays the game then your decision is going to be based entirely on your liking for the premise. Collapse
  13. May 4, 2011
    It combines the best of Tower Defense (planning and building) with the best of First person shooters (fast action). When they add in the 4 player Co-op this game will be the most bang for the buck I've played in years.
  14. May 14, 2011
    Good mix of strategy and action. Graphics and theme are reminiscent of an old game Incubation. It looks great and learning curve is not steep. Important part of strategy is to carefully balance investments in base towers and your personal weaponry.
  15. May 19, 2011
    This game gets better and better. There are now 4 maps in the game and by the looks of official statements from Coffee Stain more free content is in the making. No ETA on 4player mode yet but in the devs list of " what we are working on it right now". Also MP casual mode is much easier than before so anyone should be able to enjoy the later stages in co-op gameplay now. (A review written May 17 that claims the game only has 3 maps looks weird as the fourth map was released in a free patch May 12 and was automatically added through Steam to all (legal) game copies. Please check your facts before publishing reviews.) Expand
  16. Dec 28, 2011
    They removed the scoring system and leaderboards for levels in the same patch which makes the game have no replay value. There's much better tower defense games to get.
  17. May 4, 2011
    Awesome game that truly sticks to the traditional tower defense concept. The FPS brings you right down into the action but it also adds more depth to the tactical complexity of the TD genre. With the easier game settings it is quite forgiving - you get away with just having a decent long maze path and upgrading whatever towers or you want and point and shoot. However to get anywhere far in the higher difficulties and later stages in co-op you need to carefully plan your maze and tower placement as well as choose crowd control strategy and selection of guns. Should I use the freeze gun to spread out the enemies or clump them together? Should I focus on single target sniping, or grenade bomb them with the assault? Which enemies must be taken out first? Which enemies can I safely leave to my towers and which needs to be gunned down? The different enemy types requires you to master different tactics often within the same wave. It is as much a brain-game as it is intense action and the more you play it the more you discover opportunities of improvements of your defenses. Ive ditched 40+ hours in Sanctum and I still feel I have lot of things to learn. On the downside, if you never played tower defense games before or you simply don't find TD gameplay amusing this might not be for you as Sanctum is very true to the traditional TD concept. It might not be a game for everyone but then again - how many games are?

    For a TD fan this is a no-brainer for a measly 15$ or even 12.50$ if you share the 2-pack. If you are on the fence, more content is being created by the developers including new maps, towers and guns. I would like to underline that the devs have been very responsive to users requests and questions about the game and they have delivered patches as promised. Also 4-p co-op is an upcoming feature that should bump Sanctum from being a great game to a superb game.
  18. May 10, 2011
    Tower Defense meets First person shooter. What sounds maybe a bit weird works perfectly fine together. Tower Defense games usually let you build your towers and then you either watch or use few spells while mostly... watching. In Sanctum you build your defenses and then.... here it goes, actively defend yourself as well. With options to upgrade your own weaponry or the turrets or any sort of mix in between it offers wide variations of game play. So far there are only 3 maps and only a few modes, what is the only downside of this else really good buy for the price. Once Coffee Stain Studios come up with more content this game easily can climb up into the 8-9 ratings. Talking about the developers, they interact with the community on the steam forums and give insight in their work and feedback on feedback what makes me believe that the game eventually will absolutely reach a state where it arguably deserves at least 8 points from any player who likes tower defense games and gives the game some time. Until then 7/10 points is a fair rating. Expand
  19. May 15, 2011
    It's awful on your own, but a complete blast with friends. There is no co-op like it. Get it. Fantastic game
    Stop reading this review, go out and buy it.
    Go on.
  20. May 16, 2011
    Great game! It shows how it is possible to remake a old idea with originality. Simple, fun and addictive.
    It would be even better with a wider possible choice of turrets and weapons.
  21. May 16, 2011
    A challenging and rewarding game, with a lot of variety in working strategies...You can upgrade your weapons, your towers, or a little of both. Sniping is *crazy* fun in the game. The developers are very active within the community and have responded quickly to community requests. The game has a lot of replayability and is priced just right, so you'll be sure to get great value for your money.
  22. Jun 1, 2011
    They have captured the potential this game had with the recent patches and they just keep adding stuff! I have gotten more than 40 hours out of this game that is actually very deep regardless of what the "professional" review sites say.
  23. Jul 17, 2011
    An absolutely delightful indie game in a time when major developers are failing to deliver. In short: simple, challenging, frantic co-op fun. Sanctum is a tower defense game played in first person with 1-4 players. Sure it's a simple recipe, but it works. The graphics and audio are pleasing, controls are solid, the interface is... slightly confusing at first but honestly works. As an added bonus, text to speech provides hours of hilarity. I bought Sanctum as part of a four pack hoping for a bit of fun with friends but not expecting too much for the price - and have not been disappointed in any way. I personally don't feel there is much that could be improved on,. Additional turrets might overcomplicated things, but perhaps a few additional maps and perhaps even a 4th weapon class (to match the recent patch allowing 4 player coop) would be nice, but like I said, it's a simple recipe and it works. I do definitely suggest that you play Sanctum with friends to get the most enjoyment out of it, but for those who enjoy tower defense type games alone, you won't be disappointed. Expand
  24. Nov 6, 2011
    If you want a game where you get 4 maps, 3 guns, and 6 towers than this is the game for you. If you want anything else get ready to pay anywhere between 1 and 5 dollars per DLC to get A gun or a tower or a map. I personally will not buy this game because I will not support the nickle and dime of the DLC. There are better Tower defense games out there that have free DLC and constant events and are focused for online play... like Dungeon Defenders Expand
  25. Oct 22, 2012
    Game is bearable, unless you are hunting for abundant secret spots / easter eggs, where broken jump mechanics completely ruin the experience. Not to mention walking through textures
  26. Jan 3, 2013
    First person Tower Defense with a focus on co-op. Without a friend to play this with it gets very repetitive and slow. The devs have added a lot of post-launch content in the form of new weapons and maps (both paid and free) and regular updates for bug fixes and seasonal events. Worth picking up with a friend but solo it won't last you very long unless you're a die-hard Tower Defense fan.
  27. Jul 9, 2011
    I don't know why someone didn't think of this concept sooner. I also don't know what the critics have against it, but this is probably the best Tower Defense game out there and well worth the price. Only thing I'd really like to see is more maps.
  28. Dec 6, 2011
    This game has a ton of updates and new free stuff added every couple months. It also has AAA graphics and co-op or single-user game play for the price of an indie puzzle game -- on sale. Lots of replayability on the few maps it comes with, and (though somewhat controversial) the new maps and weapons released as DLC are a lot of fresh fun that I feel are worth the cost. The DLC weapons can be used by you in games that your friends may not have them, which helps keep your load outs unique to eachother, and they're cheap if you ever want to add on. Those complaining of this model are forgetting how much replayable game you are already getting for the base price of 9.99. The extra stuff is just sprinkles and doughnuts. Play it with your friends or alone, it's a great mesh of tower defense and varied, upgradable gunplay. Simply stunning game. Expand
  29. Jul 19, 2011
    A pretty decent job at merging FPS with tower defense. The monsters remind me of the psychotic LSD trip from Zeno Clash. Definitely a blast when you are playing with friends who know what the hell they are doing. In all honesty, games like Monday Night Combat and Iron Grip do a better job at this genre, but there's definitely fun to be had here. In-game text-to-speech features some entertaining conversation pieces! Expand
  30. Jun 8, 2011
    AWESOME mix of FPS and Tower defense, the best part is on steam they can totally keep patching it with levels and other stuff. There is more to the levels than just defense and shooting, hidden treasure!!!!
  31. Jul 8, 2011
    Sanctum is like a game engineered for me to like it. Ive always liked tower defense and fps so a marriage of the two would likely win a ticket straight to my heart. Sadly despite the original premise and interesting visual style the game quickly becomes boring with little deviation in terms of strategy with the common phrase being: "build what you need". This can easily be fun with a couple friends but if you don't know anybody who plays the game then your decision is going to be based entirely on your liking for the premise. Collapse

Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. Apr 21, 2012
    Sanctum is one of the most innovative tower defense games to date. The player discovers new play styles time and time again through a varied mix of first person shooting and placing towers. The cooperative mode makes the multiplayer last for a long time to boot.
  2. Oct 17, 2011
    I hope that future patches and expansions will fix the game, since right now Sanctum brings only headaches instead of joy.
  3. Sep 9, 2011
    Really just a quick game for LAN parties as there's no long-term motivation. But wait and see what the future holds: Coffee Saint Studios has announced there'll be numerous improvements to esure the game won't win the title of most beautiful indie game on the market not just for the graphics.