The game is described as an adventure-RPG, in which the protagonist, a young Elf must retake a dwarven city from the evil army of Orcs occupying it. A sequel, titled Orcs & Elves II, was released on mobile phones in 2008 as well.
Players take control of the protagonist Elli, an Elf warrior and son of the famous Elf adventurer Eöl. Despite his heroic position, Elli is never seen outside of the players first person perspective (except in concept art found online or unlockable in the DS version) and never directly speaks to other characters. However, Elli wields a wand known as Ellon, that not only can speak but exchanges dialogue with others throughout the story, making Ellon Ellis form of interaction. Despite being only a wand however, Ellon embodies an almost human personality, in many instances often exchanging jokes or arguments with friend and foe alike.
Another prominent character is King Brahm, king of the Dwarf mountain city of Zharrakarag and friend of Ellis father, Eöl. While not initially seen at the beginning of the story, Elli must locate him in order to learn more and eventually track down the perpetrators of the Orc invasion. Other friendly characters encountered throughout the game are the ghosts of the fallen dwarf inhabitants, who despite their demise aid the player through guiding them and unlocking impassable doors. Some of the dwarf ghosts are encountered multiple times, such as Sarbok, a dwarf ale brewer who will invite Elli to drink with him before continuing with the quest on several occasions and Nestri, the first dwarf encountered, proving to be a key ally throughout.
Another recurring character is the dragon Gaya, who sits in a lair near the top of the mountain guarding a vast treasure who uses it to trade with adventurers and the dwarves, where King Brahm made a deal with the dragon as a supplier. Elli can teleport to in between levels via portals and can even trade rare artifacts for better, more expensive equipment.
This game contains examples of:
- Chest Monster: Mimics are creatures that disguise themselves as treasure chests.
- Die, Chair, Die!: The game features rubble, as well as various types of furniture, that can be easily destroyed with a swing of your sword.
- Dungeon Shop: The Dragon's Lair, where the dragoness Gaya is willing to barter items.
- Heroic Mime: Elli doesn't talk much. To make up for it, he has his wand Ellon to converse with the other characters.
- Hub Level: Dragon's Lair, where you go between levels via Fire Portals. It is here that you can access all areas that you have unlocked. You are also able to heal yourself and barter items with Gaya.
- Our Orcs Are Different: The Orcs in this game are big and brutish.
- Palette Swap: Several enemy types recycle the same sprite, albeit colored differently.
- Relationship Values: Gaya the dragon has a Mood meter, which determines how much she likes or dislikes you. The higher her Mood, the easier it will be to barter items with her at reasonable prices.
- Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Don't even think about shooting Gaya with a crossbow, unless you want to get burnt to a crisp on the spot.
- You Dirty Rat!: The first enemy you fight against is a Ratling, which looks like a rat and monkey hybrid.