Sanctum is a first-person shooter tower defense video game, developed by independent developer Coffee Stain Studios. It has been available for pre-purchase via Steam for Microsoft Windows since March 24, 2011. The successor, Sanctum 2, was announced in 2012 and released in May 2013.
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The alien creatures called "Lumes" will stop at nothing when trying to overrun Elysion One. The Lumes come in varying shapes and sizes and some have additional abilities. Each of them has a bright orange Weak Spot.
Towers built by Skye are Elysion One's primary defense and greatest hope against the invading aliens.
Skye has quite an arsenal at her fingertips. These weapons enable Skye to fight off the aliens directly.
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This section discusses strategies for different mazes. If you play the game for the first time and don't want to spoil your experience of finding the right strategies yourself, skip this section!
In Sanctum, players take on the role of Skye, an elite soldier sent out to protect her hometown, Elysion One, from hordes of mysterious alien creatures, called the Lumes. To be successful in the task, the player will have to defend a "Core" on each level. To accomplish this, the player builds defensive structures, and assists their structures by fending off the enemies themselves.
The gameplay in Sanctum can be divided into the building phase and the extermination phase. In the building phase, the player builds structures on a pre-defined grid, using the eight towers chosen at the start of the level. These towers include stationary weapons, teleporters for the player's use, and pads that affect enemies moving over them. The player can also upgrade any of the three weapons equipped at the start. Building and upgrading both cost points, which are gained when enemies are killed.
In the extermination phase, a wave of one or more enemy types moves across the level towards the core. With each enemy that reaches the core, the condition of the core degrades from 100%; when the condition reaches 0%, the game ends. Unlike most tower defense games, the player is allowed to move about the level during this phase and attack enemies with different weapon types, much like in a typical first-person shooter. Touching enemies will result in the player being knocked back, but no damage is done.
There are 10 types of enemies in the game, three of which are airborne. Because certain towers are more effective against certain enemies, and only a select few towers affect flying enemies, the player must plan for all possibilities when building defenses. To aid the player in this, information about upcoming waves is shown in the pause menu, as well as descriptions of the various enemies, towers, and weapons.
The beta was made available to all people who pre-purchased the game on Steam. The beta only allowed for players to play one level, in single- or in multiplayer.
Sanctum received mostly positive reviews from critics. The review aggregation website Metacritic currently estimates a score of 70 out of 100, based on 21 reviews.