Robot Entertainment's two Orcs Must Die! games are exercises in pure fun, blending frantic arcade action with light strategy in the form of the ability to set traps for the incoming hordes to mutilate themselves on as you run around.
Now there's a third game in the series (known as Orcs Must Die! Unchained) on the way, but it's making a few changes from the established formula set by the first two titles. For starters, it's going to be a free-to-play game, and it's no longer an "us vs. them" player vs. environment affair; it's a competitive multiplayer title in which two teams face off against one another. And, in an apparent attempt to tick all the boxes on the "What's Hot in 2014" checklist, it blends elements of MOBAs (a la DotA and League of Legends) and collectible card games (a la Hearthstone and SolForge) into the mix.
The result is described by the team at Robot Entertainment as a "fortress siege" game in which two teams of five players square off across a lane-based map in an attempt to, presumably, destroy the other team's fortress. Much like typical MOBAs, the live human players will be supported by minions that charge off down the various lanes, and here's where the resemblance to the previous game comes in -- you'll be able to set traps, cast spells and use other abilities to deal with your opponents' incoming hordes. Exactly what you'll have available to you in a match will be determined by the cards you've collected and chosen to use in battle, hence the collectible card game comparisons.
The game is yet to launch, but you can sign up for the beta on the official site -- or, if you want to net yourself early access to the alpha and beta versions, you can cough up some cash now and be provided with both early access and a number of in-game benefits depending on how much you pay up-front.