8-Bit Hordes Review – Christoper Orcen fights treants with Googly Eyes

8-Bit Hordes is a fantasy-themed RTS from Petroglyph games. The Lightbringers, Harbingers of Salvation are locked in a bloody crusade with The Deathsworn, Armies of Darkness.

You must take the reins of the orcish hordes or don the mantle of commander for the legions of honourable knights in this classic battle between good and evil.

There are some strong Warcraft 3 vibes when it comes to the composition of the two factions. The baddies are an amalgamation of the undead and orcish units. Skeleton archers, orc footmen and zeppelins that bomb infantry from on high work together to slay the good men and women of The Lightbringers.

On the other side of the fence, elvish and human units summon their strongest arcanists, paladins and treants to resist, surge and purify the corruption set on their lands by the foul forces of the nasty Deathsworn.

8-Bit Hordes Review

That guy on the right looks nothing like a certain paladin who would train the future King of the Scourge on Azeroth.

I’m big into fantasy vibes and 8-bit graphics so I was eager to jump on this game when the big boss at PowerUp! dropped this tasty morsel into the writers feeding pit. I’m not sure how long this message will survive before the head editor finds it but please send help. We live in a cage and have subsisted of nothing but content and tech drops for weeks!

The visuals were more than enough bait for me but the soundtrack is the real hook. The title screen greets the player with chip tunes riffs and high-def drums and strings. It perfectly encapsulates the 3D 8-Bit art style of 8-Bit Hordes and gets me fucken pumped.


I saw this screen all too many times.

It’s all composed by Frank Klepacki from the Command and Conquer series and makes a strong case for the star of the show.

I’d recommend jumping into the tutorial before starting the main campaign or taking the fight to the competitive stage. Running an RTS with a PS4 controller can be a strange feeling and is honestly a little fidgety.

It’s important to learn the hotkeys to maximise your APM and conquer your foes and the fastest way to figure it all out is to have the game hold your hand through a very basic into to console RTS.


A clickwheel gives you quick and easy access to units and infrastructure.

Armies are built and assigned to three groups which are selected using the triangle, circle and square buttons. You can also individually select units for more dextrous control of tour army but it can be difficult to quickly locate the cursor onto small units in the heat of battle.

Its certainly accessible and manoeuvring your frontline warriors and backline archers is much easier than I expected. However, trying to run more than three groups of units was outside my reach with the controller but more experience players may be able to surmount this challenge.

Full disclosure, I am TERRIBLE at RTS and have spent countless hours getting pumped in StarCraft by friends. I’m bad a resource management, less than stellar on micro and my skittish brain finds great difficulty in meeting time constraints for a solid macro strategy.

The simplicity of 8-Bit Hordes means I could slide through the beginner difficulty with infantry rushes but I would struggle to see a win when matched with another human opponent. It also helps that the little noob mode gives you access to higher value units from the get-go.

It’s solid fun running up on low level base with a cyclops 30 seconds into a match.

All Your Base

Just like my Dad never used to say

Overall 8-Bit Hordes has made a solid attempt at bringing a genre defined by high-speed, high-accuracy control to the console market.

Its certainly worth a romp and on sale would be a safe purchase for any fantasy fanatics with a penchant for strategic combat. You’ll find frustration targeting single units but the large scale fights can be very satisfying when the huge soundtrack comes in pumpin’. 

8-Bit Hordes was reviewed on PS4 using a digital code provided by the publisher.

PowerUp! Reviews

Game Title: 8-Bit Hordes

  • 8.2/10
    Soundtrack. I save them 10s for Koji Kondo, Nobuo Uematsu and John Williams - 8.2/10
  • 7.4/10
    Visuals. 8-Bit meets the 3rd dimension, it’s a yes from me. - 7.4/10
  • 5/10
    Fine motor skills. RTS is better with a keyboard and mouse don’t @ me - 5/10
  • 8.3/10
    Key mapping. For a controller they have put in some effort and it should be commended. - 8.3/10
User Review
0 (0 votes)

Related articles

Jackson Wall
My name is Jacko. I'm real into Overwatch at the moment and I've always loved Nintendo. I'm currently studying engineering and hope one day to have lots of money. In the mean time I have to write reviews so i can afford to play video games. These are my reviews, and this, is my story.

Share article