Said monsters come in all shapes and sizes, each with its own set of special attacks and weaknesses. Run into a poison-spewing slug, for example, and you stand a chance of getting paralyzed. This means you'll have to stand there and watch the various spiders, rats and lava-men pound you to death. So, smart use of items is a must if you want to survive. In this case, using a preemptive Remedy potion protects you from the effects of poison for several moments.
Like any good dungeon crawler on the market, Orcs & Elves features a choking amount of inventory. Rings of strength, defense, regeneration and accuracy are all present, as are several different potions. We particularly liked the parasitic potion that leeched hit points from other monsters. Oh, and then there's your sentient, talking wand that constantly comments on everything. It's extremely powerful, but has to recharge after each use. Only break him out when you're facing an enemy that has to go down fast.
This isn't a game for everybody - that is, it's no typical DS title that anyone from Joe Blow to Mommy Dearest can play. But if you've spent time with Puzzle Quest and thought how cool it would be to actually fight all the monsters instead of tossing colored balls at them, this could be right up your alley. We've spent several hours already skulking through dungeons and liberating dwarven ghosts, and now, ironically, only have positive things to say.