Version Reviewed: 1.0.8
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
I don’t know if you'd heard, but Clash of Clans makes a lot of money; like, Liam Neeson Super Bowl commercial amounts of money. So whether we like it or not, iOS developers are going to continue to chase it. But the best thing about Fort Raiders SMAAASH! - aside from its specific spelling - is that it at least takes the formula in a different direction: up.
Make no mistake, Fort Raiders is very much a Clash of Clans-style light strategy game. Players build a little base and gather a myriad of resources, freemium or otherwise, to make it as strong as possible. They build defenses like archery towers to fend off other players. They train armies and take down rival forts in a straightforward real-time strategy campaign. They summon various heroes to offer a limited offensive boost when needed. Again, probably nothing you haven’t seen before, but it doesn’t mess up the relatively complex formula, either.
Besides, by adhering so much to the Clash of Clans template throughout most of its gameplay, Fort Raiders makes its one standout twist even more prominent. While most games like this take place in a standard isometric view, Fort Raiders opts for a much flatter perspective. Instead of building a base across a field, players build a massive tower outwards and upwards.
So instead of just trying to surround your base with defenses, players protect themselves by turning the base itself into a winding deadly trap. Place bridges and stairways at the right location to lure invaders into kill boxes. Conversely, when doing some raiding of your own, send your units in from the right spots to smash the foundations and bring the enemy’s fort crumbling down. It doesn’t sound like a big gimmick but it really does change how you think about your strategies, which is something other Clash of Clans clones don’t even bother to do. Plus, it makes the smooth and cheery 2D fantasy artwork really pop.
Too often a popular game just inspires mindless cash-in imitations. But when we’re lucky we get games like Fort Raiders SMAAASH! that really try to do something new with their inspirations to justify their own existence.