Warcraft: Orcs & Humans is a real-time strategy game (RTS), developed by Blizzard Entertainment and published by Blizzard and Interplay Productions. The MS-DOS version was released on 23 November 1994 and the Macintosh version in early 1996.
Although Warcraft: Orcs & Humans was not the first RTS title to offer multiplayer games, Blizzard’s game persuaded a wider audience that multiplayer facilities were essential for future RTS titles. The game introduced innovations in mission design and gameplay elements, which were adopted by other RTS developers.
Blizzard’s main emphases in these games were on skillful management of relatively small forces and on development of characterization and storyline within and between games played in the same universe. Sales were fairly high, reviewers were mostly impressed, and the game won three awards and was a finalist for three others. The sequel, Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, became the main rival to Westwood Studios’ Command & Conquer series, and this competition fostered an RTS boom in the mid to late 1990s.
The player takes the role of either the Human inhabitants of Azeroth, or the invading Orcs. In the single player campaign mode the player works through a series of missions, the objective of which varies, but usually involves building a small town, harvesting resources, building an army and then leading it to victory. In multiplayer games, the objective is always to destroy the enemy players’ forces. Some scenarios are complicated by the presence of wild monsters, but sometimes these monsters can be used as troops. The game plays in a medieval setting with fantasy elements. Both sides have melee units and ranged units, and also spellcasters.