App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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Where did Block Fortress come from? I’m serious, it just sort of popped up on the App Store the other day with no pretext. I didn’t even realize Foursaken Media was working on a new game after Heroes and Castles. However, working on a new game they were, and as far as I’m concerned it’s their best release yet.
Block Fortress is an amalgamation of two genres I’m not massively crazy about (tower defense and first-person shooter), and one that I totally am (Minecraft-likes, if that’s a real thing). It’s a bizarre combination, but one that works surprisingly well. Players assume the role of a lone soldier and attempt to fight off waves of nasty little goblins while constructing, improving, and repairing their base. Each of the three available modes revolves around this idea, however they also present their own unique pace. Survival allows players to tend to their base between each wave with resources earned during the fight. Quickstart gives players a large starting pool of resources and gives them one chance to build up a fortified defense before unleashing an endless wave upon them. Lastly, Sandbox allows them mess around with unlimited resources and attacks they can launch at will.
All the bonus modes in the world wouldn’t matter if the core gameplay weren’t any fun. Fortunately that’s not the case with Block Fortress. Terrain can make a big difference in fortifications since those pesky goblins can burrow through soft substances like dirt, and there are a number of mineral points that can be mined for special materials, so where the base is constructed can be just as important as how. Building in between rounds is also a snap thanks to the edit mode that lets players view the area from any angle and place whatever they need without time constraints. And time is important as well since nightfall makes it more difficult for the turrets to spot their targets. Of course lights and spotlights can help with that. With the terrain lit up the environments actually look quite nice at night.
Much of the progress is also continuous. The player’s level goes up as they blast more goblins, and more levels unlock more ordinances. Similarly the special materials mined in a level can be used to construct permanent and interchangeable upgrades for just about every block and weapon. The look sensitivity might need to be dialed in a little to suit each players’ preference, but other than that it’s a fantastic experience overall and one that just keeps giving.
Hybrid games can be tough to pull off, but Foursaken Media makes it look easy. Not only is Block Fortress great, but it does a wonderful job of catering to all three of its core game types. Fans of just about anything should definitely think about taking the $1.99 plunge.