[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/250px-Orcs_Must_Die_cover_155.png]]

''Orcs Must Die!'' is a TowerDefense game, developed by Robot Entertainment and published by Microsoft Studios. It was released for XboxLiveArcade on October 5, 2011, and on {{Steam}} on October 12. The sequel was released on July 30th, 2012.

[[StandardFantasySetting In some standard fantasy world,]] an old [[MagicKnight warmage]] of TheOrder has [[SlipperySkid slipped on]] some kobold blood and [[PosthumousCharacter cracked his head open,]] and [[ItsUpToYou now it falls]] to his [[IdiotHero idiot]] [[TheApprentice apprentice]] to [[HoldTheLine defend a series of fortresses]] from [[TheUsualAdversaries hordes of orcs]] [[TheHorde and their allies.]] Within these forts are [[PortalDoor magic rifts]] that the orcs must not be allowed to reach.

The game differs greatly from other TowerDefense games given it's third-person perspective, action-oriented combat and alternative mechanics. You directly control the [[NoNameGiven Appre]][[TheApprentice ntice]]. You are given a assortment of traps, spells, NPC "guardians" and a few weapons to help you protect the rifts.

The plot is basically an ExcusePlot to gleefully massacre orcs to your heart's content. [[NoPlotNoProblem Not that there's anything wrong with that]].

A sequel was released on July 30th 2012, with basically more of everything, a second character choice ([[spoiler:[[HeelFaceTurn The Sorceress]]]]), and a co-operative mode.
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!!Tropes used in Orcs Must Die!:
* AcidPool: Scattered throughout the levels along with {{Lava Pit}}s.
* ActionBomb: Kobold Sappers. Unlike regular Kobolds, they go after guardians, you, and, worst of all, barricades.
* AirborneMook: Hellbats and their annoyingly hard to hit miniature versions. Protip: Ice magic [[OneHitKill kills 'em dead]].
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: The Orcs and their allies.
* AnnoyingArrows: Your arrows do not deal a lot of damage, unless you [[BoomHeadshot headshot]] the orcs that is.
* TheApprentice: The main character.
* ArrowsOnFire: The Guardian Archer's arrows can be upgraded with burning pitch. Your crossbow can also be upgraded thusly, visibly changing [[PowerGlows glow color]] [[LawOfChromaticSuperiority from blue to red.]]
* BladeOnAStick: The Bladestaff, the Apprentice's melee weapon. The upgraded version (which all players get to use) has two bladed ends, where the old warmage's had only one.
* BloodKnight: The Apprentice is having the time of his life slaughtering Orcs.
* BoisterousBruiser: The Apprentice, once again.
* BoringButPractical: The tar pit trap is one of the first trap types that the player unlocks. It does no damage, it cannot throw enemies, and its only role is to slow down invaders who walk across it. However, it doesn't have a recharge time, (ergo, its effect is persistent) and it causes hordes of foes who charge-in to bunch up when they reach it, so it serves as a force-multiplier for HerdHittingAttack spells and traps. As a result, it will be used in almost every level thereafter. It's also an excellent counter against those annoying premature-trap-triggering-Kobolds.
* BuffySpeak:
-->'''The Apprentice:''' "So, [[BigBad the sorceress]] [[{{Brainwashed}} has the orcs dancing to her...]] [[BuffySpeak thing that makes orcs dance.]] Well I can make orcs dance too. [[{{Dissimile}} And by dance, I mean die, when I poke them with my bladestaff."]]
* CastFromHitPoints: The DLC Vampiric Gauntlets' alternate fire converts hit points to mana.
* CaptainErsatz: The Apprentice heavily resembles [[Franchise/EvilDead Ash Williams]] in looks, attitude and style. Hell, the sequel even gives him a boomstick!
** NoCelebritiesWereHarmed: Also, his facial features bear a strong similitude to those of Creator/CharlieSheen... Which might as well explain why he uses the (in)famous "Winning!" catch-phrase for time to time!
* {{Combos}}: Kill combos are worth [[ScoringPoints extra points]] and certain [[CosmeticAward achievements.]]
* ConvectionSchmonvection: Lava pits are scattered throughout the levels.
* CoolSword: The Bladestaff.
* CuteKitten: The Apprentice seems to think so. He's nowhere near a KindheartedCatLover, though.
* CycleOfHurting: Ogres can stun-lock you unless you jump away.
** ''The player'' can do this to the enemies by means of physics manipulation, such as the wind belt, springboards, and push traps. The enemies make a costly charge through a DeathCourse, only to get knocked back to the start of it and be forced to run it again!
* CynicalMentor: The dead teacher will berate and belittle The Apprentice every chance he gets, despite The Apprentice being what can only be described as a [[OneManArmy walking Apocalypse]].
* DeathCourse: As a player, you'd better get good at making them or you won't survive long.
* DestructiveSaviour: The Apprentice saves the world by [[spoiler: destroying the rifts and [[TheMagicGoesAway ridding the world of magic.]] According to the Old Mage, the act DID save the world, but caused droughts which led to famine which led to misery as bad as the orcs inflicted.]]
* DifficultySpike: The game will stop taking prisoners once you get to the Overpass on Nightmare difficulty.
** Some might consider Nightmare by itself to be this, as you no longer get any set up time before or between waves of orcs.
* {{DLC}}: Two: "Artifacts of Power" adds a host of new weapons, traps and an alternate outfit for the Apprentice. "The Lost Adventures" adds a set of extra levels, one of which is an inverted version of "The Tower" from the main campaign.
* EasyModeMockery: If you play on Apprentice, you can only get a maximum of two skulls instead of the five-skull potential on harder difficulties.
* ElementalPowers
** AnIcePerson: Ice Amulet - Fires an icy SpreadShot or an AreaOfEffect freeze around the Apprentice.
** BlowYouAway: Wind Belt - Fires a gust of wind to knock back multiple enemies, or can be used to grab and hold a single foe. Useful for buying time or for blowing into stage hazards.
** KillItWithFire: Flame Bracers - Fires an AreaOfEffect FireBall or lays down a wall of flame.
** ShockAndAwe: Ring of Lightning - Fires ChainLightning or [[HerdHittingAttack summons a storm cloud that zaps enemies passing underneath it.]]
** There are also Frost Ogres and Flame Ogres who are enchanted with (read: [[NoSell immune]] to) their appropriate powers.
* EverythingsDeaderWithZombies: One of the last upgrades available from the Knowledge Weaver causes some orcs to rise up and fight for you when they die.
* ExplodingBarrels: The Bomb Barrels and [[WeNeedADistraction Decoy Traps.]]
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin
* FallenHero: The Sorceress was once a member of TheOrder.
* FearlessFool: The player character is described as being the worst kind of student - foolish. Throughout the levels, he constantly shows no fear and [[IShallTauntYou continues to taunt both the sorceress and her hordes]], despite the fact that the world appears doomed as there are not enough warmages left to stem the tide.
-->'''Old Warmage''': "Now she's bound the numberless horde to her will and returns to teach the Order harsh lessons in humility and subservience. But she's in for a surprise: I'm reasonably sure my apprentice is unteachable."
** In fact, whenever his character appears to be developing, it goes in the same direction on both accounts: his insight and budding wisdom both come with the admission that [[spoiler:he's basically just delaying the inevitable conquest of Earth.]]
** In the ending the Old Warmage muses on the Apprentice's decision [[spoiler:to seal the Rifts, thus sacrificing the benefits of magic to save Earth]], and reasons that the Apprentice was the only member of the Order willing to make that sacrifice ''because'' he was a Fearless Fool. He's uncertain whether the "Fearless" part or the "Fool" part was more important.
* FragileSpeedster: Kobolds. They have an annoying habit of outrunning your traps [[OneHitKill but go down from a single crossbow bolt.]] This can still be damned dangerous, because the traps they dodge take time to reset, letting slower enemies make it through unharmed...
* FriendlyFireproof: You won't trigger your own traps, and aren't affected if you're caught in the area of effect of one anyway. Even certain stage hazards (like the sequel's minecarts) will clip right through you with no effect.
* GenreBusting: As stated above, the game doesn't handle or play like a typical TowerDefense game, relying significantly more on you doing damage to the orcs than your traps. Relying on traps will quickly prove suboptimal. More often than not, traps are simply there to channel, delay, soften up, and thin out the horde for the player to dispatch more easily.
* GiantMook: The ogres.
* GlassCannon: The Apprentice himself is [[FragileSpeedster quite fast]] and able to dish out a lot of damage, but he can't really take it. That is, unless you get the "Adrenaline Rush" upgrade from the elemental weaver, [[LightningBruiser which doubles his health and gives him a speed boost from Bladestaff kills.]]
* GuideDangIt: Some of the levels have multiple doors, allowing foes the come from multiple directions at once. However, they tend to stagger their entrance, first breaking down one door, then another in a different round, then eventually coming through both at the same time. Rarely does one begin the level with the resources necessary to cover more than one approach, meaning that the player must know which doors disgorge TheHorde in what order. The player may have to resort to [[TrialAndErrorGameplay playing the first few rounds and then reverting]] just to figure what to cover when. [[TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon The final level]] really [[ThatOneLevel takes the cake]] for this, with its [[DifficultySpike four sets of paired doors]].
** Averted in the sequel, where the minimap indicates which door is about to be broken through.
* HappyDance: The better you do, the better dance you'll get!
* HealThyself: Enemies occasionally drop health potions.
* HeavilyArmoredMook: Armored ogres. They can take a fair bit of punishment, and will tick [[OhCrap a whopping ten rift points]], versus only five from regular ogres.
* HeroKiller: It must be in the Gnoll Hunters' curriculum. They don't care about raiding the rift, they just want to kill you and your guardians!
* TheHorde: The orcs and their allies.
* IdiosyncraticDifficultyLevels: Apprentice (Easy), War Mage (Normal), Nightmare (Hard, unlockable)
* IdiotHero: The Apprentice is dumb as a post, [[BoisterousBruiser relentlessly enthusiastic]], and [[BunnyEarsLawyer very, very good at his job]]. He'd be (more) insufferable if he didn't show the capacity to get worried every now and then. And, of course, it's heavily implied that his survival where seemingly all other War Mages have failed is because he ''is'' just so stupidly persistent in the face of all odds.
* ImpossiblyLowNeckline: The steel weaver.
* InsurmountableWaistHeightFence: You build them and can jump over them. The orcs have not mastered jumping.
** While orcs may not be able to surmount the barricades, they can smash them down relatively quickly. However, they only do this when they are unable to see a path around it to a target on the other side (like a rift, guardian, or TheApprentice.) This makes them primarily useful to [[ArtificialStupidity force orcs to walk into an area dense with lethal traps instead of just smashing a safer way around]].
** The game itself [[LampshadeHanging hangs a lampshade]] on this one.
--->'''The Apprentice''': "This flimsy waist-high wooden barricade'll stop 'em!"
* JackOfAllStats: The Knowledge Weaver essentially makes you this, offering general-use upgrades for you, guardians ''and'' traps, as opposed to the trap focus of the Steel Weaver and the weapon/spell focus of the Elemental Weaver.
* LastOfHisKind: As you progress through the campaign, the Apprentice starts to suspect that he may be the only warmage left. [[spoiler: The sorceress confirms this, in an attempt to demoralize him. It doesn't work.]]
* LastStand: The game encourages this by giving the Apprentice a sharp regeneration boost when he is near the Rift. You ''will'' live longer, but die fighting the horde there and it's all over.
* LaughablyEvil: The orcs, obviously. More than occasionally they come with comments that will draw a smile on the player's face. Sometimes they even scream out "[[EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas MOMMY!]]"
* LifeDrain: The DLC Vampiric Gauntlets have this as their primary attack.
* LightningBruiser: Gnoll Hunters, which specifically hunt ''[[OhCrap you]]'' instead of going for the rift.
* MagicKnight: The Apprentice and warmages in general.
* MagicMushroom: Traps consisting of these inflict a MushroomSamba on enemies, converting them to your side.
* ManaMeter: Used to fuel your spells and some weapon attacks. Recharges by itself slowly, but can be sped up by standing near the Rift or refilled instantly from a Mana Well. The last upgrade from the "elemental" weaver allows you to regain a portion of mana from crossbow and bladestaff attacks.
* MercyMode: Fail a normal (warmage) difficulty stage twice in a row and it will ask if you want to play it on easy (Apprentice) mode.
* MindControl: How the Sorceress is uniting and controlling the races of the orcs' world. The orcs have dialogue that indicates it, as well. [[spoiler: As you might imagine, this doesn't bode well for her when the Apprentice shuts down all magic by closing the Rifts.]]
* MightyGlacier: The armored ogres are fairly slow and take a ton a punishment.
* MinionWithAnFInEvil:
-->'''Orc''': "Can I be the good guy?"
* MoodWhiplash: Contrasting the cartoony graphical style and amusing one-liners is a rather grim plot where the heroic faction is slowly getting picked off and pushed back, and is on the brink of invasion by foes whose own world has gone to crap.
* {{Mooks}}: The titular orcs.
* [[spoiler: MortonsFork:]] [[spoiler: Instead of facing a [[BolivianArmyEnding Bolivian Army Ending]] the Apprentice decides to close the rift, foiling the sorceress's plan but also [[TheMagicGoesAway robbing his world of magic]].]]
* NoAnimalsWereHarmed: But about 9,365,148 orcs were. [[CreditsGag Er, better make that 9,367,216.]]
* NoArcInArchery: [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] for the Apprentice as his is [[AWizardDidIt a magic crossbow]]. Not so justified for the elves and crossbow orcs though.
* OurOrcsAreDifferent: They lean heavily into the "Tolkienian" style, being individually weaker than humanoids allied with the PlayerCharacter, come in massed hordes, possess little to no on-screen culture or particular intelligence, and directed primarily by the will of a powerful EvilOverlord.
* OurOgresAreHungrier
* OneLiner: The Apprentice is a fountain of 'em.
* TheOrder: The Apprentice, his master, the archers and [[{{Paladin}} paladins]] all belong to one.
* {{Paladin}}: The Apprentice can summon them as guardians.
* PoisonedWeapons: Gnoll Hunters have poisoned swords which slow their target when hit.
** The player can employ similar poison in their [[SpikesOfDoom spike traps]] by upgrading them, slowing down any unit hit by the spikes.
* PortalDoor: Used in a number of stages to aid your ability to travel through the level. Thankfully, only you can use them.
* PosthumousNarration: The "old man" narrates the cutscenes.
* PrettyInMink: The elemental weaver wears [[http://orcsmustdie.wikia.com/wiki/File:Weaver_Elemental.png a thick, brown fur collar]].
* PunctuatedForEmphasis:
-->'''The Apprentice''': "Best. Job. ''Ever!''"
* RainOfArrows: Arrow traps, or a sufficient number of elf guardians, can invoke this.
* ReassignmentBackfire: A longterm one in the case of the Master and his Apprentice. The Master notes that he himself is a terrible teacher, but the Apprentice was the worst type of student. All the other best and brightest Warmages and Apprentices were assigned to each other and then put on the frontlines against the Orcs. Yet when the Apprentice is the last one standing (and the last best hope of the world), the Master gets the last laugh on all his colleagues.
* ReinventingTheWheel: Weaver upgrades only last for the level in which they are purchased.
* {{Retirony}}: Apparently, Orcs retire. Well, were going to the day after they met the Apprentice.
* RewardFromNowhere: The exact purpose of the Coin Forge.
* ScarfOfAssKicking: The Apprentice wears one along his default outfit.
* ShieldBearingMook: Later levels give some of the basic orcs shields. They generally only take one hit to destroy, but prevent that first hit from being [[BoomHeadshot a headshot.]]
* ShootTheMedicFirst: Hobgoblin shamen are rare mobs who have the ability to raise other mobs from the dead. They become especially dangerous when they raise tough mobs that were hard to take down in the first place. Killing mobs in such a way that [[NoBodyLeftBehind No Body Is Left Behind]] prevents them from doing so.
* SmashingHallwayTrapsOfDoom: The Pounder trap as well as possibly the Pusher.
* SpikeBallsOfDoom: The player can use them in the swinging mace trap, where they are positioned as a weighted pendulum swinging from a ceiling mount. They are arguably one of the highest damage output traps that the player can place, but are only effective if enemies can be kept underneath their arc for long enough for it to swing by, and it can only be placed in very limited areas. It is also the most expensive single trap in the game.
** The sequel (see section below) adds a physics effect to the swinging mace trap. Any non-large creature not killed outright by the swinging mace will be sent flinging in the direction of the mace's swing. This can be both good (throwing enemies off cliffs or into other traps) and bad (throwing them outside of carefully prepared trap gauntlets) so they cannot be counted on as being quite as foolproof as in the first game.
* StandardStatusEffects: Enemies can be [[ManOnFire lit on fire]], [[VideogameCrueltyPotential frozen, stunned, poisoned, bled]], [[HumiliationConga charmed...]]
* StoneWall: The Paladins the player can summon. They do pretty modest damage, but they are very tough and attract any nearby enemies that attack players and guardians. They can be overwhelmed on the front line but serve admirably as a rear-guard in a tightly packed space. The Steel Weaver can upgrade them to regenerate health and stun enemies with their sword, turning them from rear-guards to frontline shock-troops.
* StuckItems: The crossbow is always in the first spell slot.
* SelfDestructiveCharge: The orcs are part of one long one.
* ShoutOut: As stated above, at the end of a wave, the Apprentice may invoke Charlie Sheen's "Winning!" line.
* SmashMook: The Ogres can take a lot of punishment, and also cause much more damage if they should reach your rift. They aren't affected by physics-based traps unless you upgrade them specifically to do so.
* SpikesOfDoom: One of your first traps.
* SpringsSpringsEverywhere: Spring Traps. Though, these affect the enemies rather then you and always launch them in a specific direction, which you set when first placing them.
* StrippedToTheBone: The [[HollywoodAcid acid bombs]] from the DLC Alchemist's Satchel inflict this on enemies, as do the automatically-refilling vats of acid in the Lost Adventures DLC.
* TechTree: The weavers act as version of this.
* ThisLoserIsYou: The game starts with The Apprentice's master dying by cracking his head open on a rift staircase. As he's dying, he reflects on his awesome Orc slaughtering accomplishments and goes on to say hope is lost now that it's up to The Apprentice, given his rather low opinion of him.
* TheUsualAdversaries
* ThreatBackfire: The Sorceress to the Apprentice. [[IdiotHero Often.]]
* TooDumbToFool: Other warmages might have fallen for the Sorceress's [[WeCanRuleTogether offers of power and companionship]]. Not the Apprentice.
* TooDumbToLive: The traps aren't exactly hidden or anything. The orcs will blindly run into them anyway. Good for you.
** Some of the comments the orcs make about the sorceress in their head suggests at least part of this is her forcing them onward.
** Hilariously, the orcs often remind each to watch out for traps, and then proceed walking onto said traps themselves, along with the ones who were warned.
* VentPhysics: Vent Traps launch enemies up in the air, opening them up to further attacks.
* TheUnFought: [[spoiler: You never actually fight the sorceress; it is heavily implied in the ending she dies at the hands of the orcs after losing her magical control over them. In the opening of the sequel, she runs through a reopened rift, right into the Apprentice, and teams up with him to fight the orcs.]]
* TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon: Through most of the campaign, the most enemy-access doors any fortress has is maybe three. The final fortress has ''[[UpToEleven eight.]]'' [[DeathCourse And a rolling log]] [[DoomyDoomsOfDoom of doom]] for ''every single one.''
* VideoGameCrueltyPotential: Hoooo boy...
* VillainousBreakdown: When the Sorceress realizes that the Apprentice [[spoiler: means to seal the rifts]], she starts to really lose it.
* WarHasNeverBeenSoMuchFun: The Apprentice has the time of his life fighting Orcs.
* WeNeedADistraction: Orcs will stop to attack bomb barrels, Decoy traps and guardians. Paladins are especially good at this, tanking groups of Orcs while you hit them with an AreaOfEffect attack. Kobolds will run right past them.
* YouShallNotPass: Pretty much the job of a warmage. TheApprentice enjoys it more than most.

!!Tropes exclusive to the sequel (Beware of {{Late Arrival Spoiler}}s)!:
* ActionBomb: In addition to the Kobold Sappers making a return from the first game, the Fire Elementals in the ''Fire and Water'' [[DownloadableContent Booster Pack]] [[AsteroidsMonster split into a bunch of little flamelings when killed]]. These flamelings will home in on the PlayerCharacter and pause to swell up and detonate a second later. They are slower and less damaging than the Sappers, but more likely to appear at unpredictable junctures.
** ''Goblin'' Sappers are a new enemy type who carry a BigBulkyBomb made of metal with various contraptions. This acts as a kind of {{EMP}} bomb, doing little direct damage, but temporarily disabling most kinds of traps in a radius around the Sapper when it detonates. While the Kobold Sapper makes breaches in barricades and guardians, the Goblin Sapper makes breaches in dense trap clusters.
* AndYourRewardIsClothes: Completing the game on various difficulty settings unlocks additional outfits for the {{Player Character}}s. There are also a couple of additional outfits which can be [[CosmeticAward bought with a huge amount of skulls]].
* AsteroidsMonster: The elementals split when they die. To get around this, try launching them off the map or polymorphing them first!
* BabiesEverAfter: The Apprentice wonders if that's what he and The Sorceress are destined for if they defeat the orcs. She is not amused.
* BagOfSpilling: The Apprentice will need to buy back his staff, crossbow, some of the traps, and all of his spells. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] as most of his equipment was magical and therefore useless in [[TheMagicGoesAway a post-magical world]].
* BalefulPolymorph: The Ring of Polymorph can turn any monster into any other, or even a chicken.
* BatmanGambit: [[spoiler: The Old Mage was NotQuiteDead yet, and with the magic almost gone, he used his power to bring The Sorceress and The Apprentice together knowing that it would led to them working together. The plan was that both [[AllYourPowersCombined would work better together than they would as individuals.]] At that point, they could stop the orcs and stop the famine that The Apprentice [[MortonsFork inadvertently caused by sealing the rifts to save the world.]]]]
* BoringButPractical: The Sorceress lacks the Apprentice's tar traps, but she has exclusive control over the Acid Sprayer trap. It is unlocked for her by default, costs little, and only does modest damage. However, it can be upgraded to slow down enemies, and the long area of effect in front of it both makes it excellent for [[HerdHittingAttack Hitting A Herd]] and its range and low cost allows it to supplement a wide variety of other trap designs.
** She also has access to Ice Vents which fire short bursts of cold that can freeze enemies solid for a few seconds. Like say...[[{{Combo}} right in front of an Acid Sprayer!]]
* [[BraidsOfAction Braid Of Action]]: The Sorceress sports one of these, revealed after [[GoodCostumeSwitch casting aside her crown from the first game]].
* BrawnHilda: The orcs apparently have BizarreSexualDimorphism if the female "Ball and Chain" added in the ''Family Ties'' [[DownloadableContent Booster Pack]] is anything to go by. She is several times the size of the more common male orcs, is as tough as an ogre, [[StatusBuff buffs other nearby orcs]], is [[NoSell immune]] to [[CharmPerson mental domination]], and wields an EpicFlail.
* ChargedAttack: The primary fire of the Sorceress's Scepter of Dominion can be charged up to release a single, stronger bolt, or even more so to release an [[HerdHittingAttack explosive]] one. One of the possible upgrades increases the affected area.
* CharmPerson: The secondary fire of the above does this, fitting with the Sorceress's abilities in the last game. It's a borderline GameBreaker, as it affects all enemy types, stopping the affected enemy in their tracks, making them attack their allies, making all their allies attack ''them'', and to add insult to injury, making the affected enemy explode on death, stunning all nearby enemies. And to go even ''further'', the stunned enemies are generally all grouped together which sets them up for ''another'' charge attack. ''And'' the other upgrade to the Scepter increases its damage versus charmed targets.
** There is one weakness to this: charmed enemies share your trap immunity, and a few of them (such as mountain trolls) are nearly unkillable by your Sceptre, upgraded or not. The real early-campaign value of this, combined with the Sceptre's perfect accuracy at range, is the ability to stop cold (while they're infighting) any small group of monsters you can see.
* CollapsingCeilingBoss: ''The players'' can become this with the Boulder Chute trap. A big net placed on the ceiling that drops a load of boulders on enemies below when the player shoots it. It has a long reset time, but is an effective HerdHittingAttack when timed well. Several are already placed in some levels during the first act (justified by taking place in a mine) and the player can eventually unlock them as a placeable trap.
* CombatSadomasochist: In addition to practicing OrgasmicCombat, the Sorceress seems like she enjoys the traps a little more than any sane person should...
-->'''Sorceress''': The sweet burn of acid, how I love it!\\
'''Sorceress''': This will be painful - I tried it on myself!
* CombatStilettos: The Sorceress sports a pair of these, as part of her [[ThighHighBoots thigh-high]] [[ImpossiblyCoolClothes heeled metal greaves]].
* DePower: When the rifts closed, The Sorceress, The Apprentice, and [[spoiler: The Old Mage]] were severely weakened.
* DifficultySpike: Many of the levels in ''Orcs Must Die! 2'' are balanced for co-op play. This means that the difficulty ramps up more quickly for single-player campaigns than it did in the original.
* DiscardAndDraw: TheOrder's Weavers are no longer operating, so the player cannot benefit from them. However, many of the benefits that they offered can still be accessed, either through equipping particular trinkets or choosing certain upgrades. Mechanically, this trades off spending in-level currency for spending extra skulls and filling active slots.
* DropTheHammer: The Apprentice can unlock a Dwarven Warhammer, with a SpinAttack.
* ElementalPowers: The elemental powers from the first game (see above) are back, with some additions:
** AnIcePerson: Ice Traps are in the domain of the Sorceress, occupying the same niche as the Tar Traps used by the Apprentice. They function by blowing frozen air across an enemy that walks across it, freezing them solid. Incidentally, if the ice trap is placed on a floor below a walkable metal grating, [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything anything triggering it will also freeze anything passing the same space on the metal grating above as the cold air rushes through the grate]].
** KillItWithFire: The Floor Scorcher trap flips up out of the floor and cooks anything hapless enough to be caught in an area in front of it.
** BadWithTheBone: The Bone Amulet, which can make a line of old orc bones [[BallisticBone explode from the ground and do damage]], and secondarily can summon a [[DemBones Bone Golem]].
** DishingOutDirt: The Stone Staff introduced with the ''Family Ties'' [[DownloadableContent Booster Pack]] launches rocks at the enemies which have a small AreaOfEffect. Its secondary attack turns all enemies in a short cone area in front of the player [[TakenForGranite into stone]] for [[HarmlessFreezing a short period]].
* EmergencyWeapon: Though the dwarves primarily attack by [[ThrowDownTheBomblet throwing grenades]] at medium range, they have [[DropTheHammer a hammer]] that they can use to defend themselves in melee combat. However, lacking the paladins' damage mitigation and the elves' long range means that they are particularly vulnerable to ranged threats, such as crossbow orcs.
* EndlessGame: Several story mode levels, once beaten, unlock themselves in endless mode, a game type where the hordes only continue to gather in strength and are never exhausted. The goal is to survive as many waves as possible. As LoadingScreen tips suggest, it is one of the most efficient ways of [[MoneyGrinding grinding out skulls]] for upgrades.
* FusionDance: The Water Elementals from the ''Fire and Water'' [[DownloadableContent Booster Pack]] invert the game's usual treatment of elementals as {{Asteroids Monster}}s by having them enter the level as small waterlings. However, a killed waterling will leave behind a puddle of bubbling magical water, which will be absorbed by other nearby water elementals. This in turn causes them to grow to a larger and more powerful form which is much harder to defeat (though the largest form drops coins when they die.)
* GrenadeSpam: The alternate fire for the Apprentice's new blunderbuss fires grenades, as fast as you click, as long as you have mana.
* HeroWithBadPublicity: Why the Apprentice is stuck working as a miner in the sequel. He doesn't have any in-demand job skills beyond "killing Orcs with magic" and people weren't exactly happy about his decision to shut off magic in the previous game.
** Emphasis on his lack of skill at anything-but-orc-killing. A LoadingScreen tip even says "TheApprentice was a lousy miner."
* HighHeelFaceTurn: The Sorceress isn't really left with much choice in the matter.
* MetalSlime: Mr. Moneybags is an armored ogre who appears in Endless mode. He doesn't attack or decrease your score if he escapes, but he drops cash with every hit.
* MoneyGrinding: You can get unlimited amounts of skulls from each level, but there are so many more upgrades to buy!
* MoneySink: As the number of skulls you can get is now unlimited, many items cost many more skulls to unlock and fully upgrade. Unlike the first game, these upgrades cover different areas and some can be bought multiple times, in comparison to the older system of a single fixed upgrade for each item. The [[CosmeticAward additional outfits]] are particularly big Skull Sinks.
* MoneySpider: The Coin Trinket gives every enemy a chance to drop a coin when they die, not just ogres, albeit smaller value coins than the one dropped by larger foes. Upgrading the trinket cause these to drop more often.
* MsFanservice: The Sorceress. Both in outfits and attitude. Not even the [[IdiotHero Warmage]] can remain oblivious.
* {{Nerf}}: The [[SpikeBallsOfDoom Swinging Mace]] trap from the first game has been revamped a bit. Its damage appears to be lessened slightly, and is now subject to physics, knocking the enemies it does not kill outright in the direction of its swing (and often outside its own area of effect.) Understandable, considering that how powerful it was in the first game meant that it could create a near foolproof choke point, especially when multiple ones were used together.
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: The Apprentice was forced to seal the rifts which reeked havoc on the environment. This game is all about him fixing the problem, again, [[IdiotHero in mostly ignorance.]]
* NotQuiteDead: [[spoiler: The old War Mage was just knocked out in the first game and not actually dead.]]
* NotSoDifferent: A lot of the two characters' lines are awfully similar.
-->"More orcs! Let's go!"\\
"You're ''enjoying'' this!"\\
"So're you."\\
"....yes. I am!"
* OldSaveBonus: On Steam, if you own the original ''Orcs Must Die!'', you gain access to ten levels from the original game.
* OnlySaneMan: The Sorceress considers herself this, but it's subverted due to the fact that she's more than a little nuts herself, what with her previous villainous attempts and her current BloodKnight demeanor.
** [[spoiler:The old Warmage is the sanest of the lot and even manages to set things right despite the...quirks of his ex-apprentices.]]
* OrderReborn: [[spoiler:The game concludes with the Sorceress and Apprentice working together to rebuild the Order. Ironic, since the Sorceress is the main reason the Order was reduced to one member in the first place. {{Justified}} as her goal was to end corruption and, [[DestructiveSaviour for all his faults]], The Apprentice is anything BUT corrupt.]]
* OrgasmicCombat: The Sorceress ''really'' seems to be enjoying herself:
-->'''Sorceress''': Yes, ''[[BigYes yes]]''! Give me more, more ''death''!
* OurDwarvesAreAllTheSame: Well, they're a bit red. Otherwise, they're perfectly generic.
* ReinventingTheWheel: [[AvertedTrope Averted]], as now all upgrades carry over between levels.
* RollercoasterMine: Not exactly MinecartMadness (which involves riding carts) but present as dynamic elements in many maps are minecarts which travel at constant speed across frictionless rails. Sometimes, they run across the floor and will bowl over orcs, and sometimes the player can hit switches to redirect them. Other times they run across suspended tracks with caustic cargo, which can be spilled onto orcs below. Notably, the tracks on the ground prevent floor traps from being placed over them, forcing players to mix up their strategy a bit to accommodate the new element.
* ShootTheMedicFirst: In addition to the first game's hobgoblin shamen, the ''Family Ties'' [[DownloadableContent Booster Pack]] introduces the hobgoblin healer, who [[CaptainObvious heals mobs while they are still alive]]. They are not a big issue with lesser enemies like orcs, who can generally be [[CriticalExistenceFailure damaged down to death]] faster than the hobgoblins can heal them, but are very dangerous when paired with stronger enemies like ogres, who's ability to take excessive punishment allows them to charge through a gauntlet of traps and come out the other side freshly healed.
* ShortRangeShotgun: The Apprentice's new blunderbuss.
* ShoutOut: Several:
** Occasionally when defeating orcs the Sorceress says, "[[Film/TheDarkKnight Why so serious?]]"
** Dwarf guardians will occasionally say, "'''[[{{VideoGame/Warcraft}} For the Horde]]'''! [[LampshadeHanging Oh wait, that's not right...]]"
** Dwarves will also occasionally [[http://www.hark.com/clips/lmtxvdhlyx-we-dwarves-are-natural-sprinters say]], "[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings We're very dangerous over short distances]]!"[[note]]Which is also true in this game.[[/note]]
** Several achievement names:
*** The achievement for collecting 30 in-level dropped skulls is "[[Franchise/{{Predator}} Predator]]".
*** The achievement for getting a 25 enemy kill-streak is "[[VideoGame/UnrealTournament MMMMONSTER KILL!]]"
*** Using the berserker trinket to reduce your own health below 15% earns the achievement "[[ConanTheBarbarian What is Best in Life?]]"
*** Completing a nightmare level using only weapons, trinkets, dwarves, archers and paladins nabs you the ''VideoGame/KingdomRush'' achievement.
* SingleUseShield: The Shield orcs have a shield which they drop after a single hit.
* SquishyWizard: The Sorceress has more mana than the Apprentice, but less health.
* SwirlyEnergyThingy: Void Walls are these contained in a magical portal. Anything knocked into one is [[OneHitKill instantly destroyed]] (though occasionally a useful item will be spit back out.)
* TheMagicComesBack: More rifts are opening up, allowing some magic to be used. However, Orcs can now get into the Apprentice's world unhindered.
* ThrowDownTheBomblet: Used by both allies and enemies:
** This is the function of dwarf guardians, who hurl [[CartoonBomb grenades]] at enemies. These grenades can do tremendous damage to tightly packed hordes, and are a LogicalWeakness of [[ElementalEmbodiment Earth Elementals]], but they detonate on a fuse, requiring the player to slow down enemies in the dwarves' range for maximum effectiveness.
** Gnoll grenadiers utilize similar grenades, but unlike the dwarves who remain stationary, these gnolls act like their [[LightningBruiser gnoll-hunter bretheren]] by [[DemonicSpiders moving swiftly, bypassing barricades, and targeting warmages and guardians]].
* TurnsRed: the Yetis from ''Are We There Yeti?!'' Booster Pack. Once you bring them down to half their HP, they go berserk and start acting like gnoll hunters: running faster, leaping over barricades and trying to wreck your shit.
* YouHaveToBurnTheWeb: One of the [[DownloadableContent Booster Packs]] adds the Web Sprayer trap, which sprays sticky webs over enemies, immobilizing them. Fire will remove the restraining webs, but the Web Sprayer can be upgraded to allow the burned webs to do extra damage when that happens, turning it into an effective combo maker.
* ZettaiRyouiki: The Sorceress shows this off in her default costume.