Foursaken Media's recently released Block Fortress [$0.99] has proven once again that the development studio comprised of four brothers are masterful at blending different genre elements into one cohesive package. Their previous releases like Bug Heroes [Free] and Heroes and Castles [$1.99] made a similar point, but Block Fortress takes it to another level.
It's a base defense style game, but built inside a Minecraft-like world of blocks. This actually lets you construct your own fortress around your base and outfit it with various weapons and defenses. Oh, and did I mention that once the waves of enemies start coming after your base, you're dropped into the map in first-person mode to help blast away at the baddies yourself? Because there's that too.
The mashup of genres in Block Fortress seems to be a winning formula so far, as it's currently ripping up the top of the charts and is one of the hottest games in our forums. It also means that it's a complex game, and when you're first starting out learning the ropes can be a daunting task.
With that in mind, we reached out to Foursaken to get some tips and suggestions straight from the people who made the game and understand it inside and out.
Location is everything.
Choosing the right location to initially place your Barracks, the core of your fortress, is imperative. Make sure you fly around and explore the entire map to find the most suitable spot for the Barracks. Minerals are key to being able to build up your defenses, so aim for a spot with at least 2 or 3 mineral deposits nearby.
Know your surroundings.
Another thing to consider when choosing where to set up shop is the terrain itself. Use the natural elements of the environment around you to your advantage, and be aware of any possible disadvantages. For instance, a base on a mountaintop will give you a more open and longer range of fire, but the vertical terrain surrounding it can be more difficult to defend.
One word: Mining.
Mined resources are crucial to building your base and scaling it effectively against the increasingly difficult waves of enemies. Start off with one mine, but try to build another every round for the first 3-4 rounds to ensure you'll have enough resources to build the fortress you envision without compromise.
By the time your character gets to level 17 or so, you'll unlock Mining Drills. These earn minerals much faster, which can really change the flow and style of the game. One important key to remember about Mining Drills is that they can be stacked and used to essentially "strip mine" mineral resources.
Focus your defenses early on.
The beginning waves of enemies only attack from one direction. The indicator in the upper left of the screen shows you what direction the next wave will be attacking from, so be sure to build up your defenses geared towards that direction. As you progress and more difficult waves begin to approach, your base should be well fortified on every side.
Build walls liberally.
Enemies will focus on your important blocks first, such as turrets, generators or mineral mines. Make sure there are no openings in the walls surrounding your Barracks or other important blocks, as enemies will seek out these openings and go straight for the critical stuff.
Fortify those walls.
In addition to not having gaps in your walls, you'll want to make sure they're strong enough too. The "Reinforced Wall Armor" can be used to make the outside of your wall blocks tougher to penetrate. Also keep in mind that all blocks are automatically repaired after each round, so just focus on being strong enough to get past the very next wave when building and using resources.
During an attack, enemies can and will bust through your defenses. It's not a bad idea to equip a building block in one of your quick item slots at the bottom of the screen so you're prepared to make quick repairs and fill in any holes in your defense as the enemies chip away at them.
Turrets can be placed on any side of a block, with varying benefits. A turret on top of a block gives you great range and line of sight, but it's limited in how far down it's able to fire. Enemies that get right up next to a top-placed turret will be outside of its firing range. Use turrets on the sides of blocks to make sure you have your downward angles sufficiently covered.
Use the available data.
The best way to make sure you do have sufficient gunfire coverage is to choose the finger icon at the bottom of the screen and tap on a particular turret to see its firing range. This will give you an idea of any bare spots of coverage or any necessary angles that you might not have thought of.
Farm for your health.
Inevitably you're going to take damage while your out and about fighting off waves. Be sure to plant some farms somewhere safe in the early goings, since they take at least a round to grow and they are the only thing that can heal your character. You don't want to be caught with low health, now way to heal up, and a more difficult wave on its way.
Crafting and modding your equipment.
The Crafting mode in the main menu is where you can really get lost in the depth of Block Fortress. Almost all equipment and turrets have modifications you can make to them, with a wide variety of options to tailor everything to suit your own personal needs or certain areas that you're struggling with. It's probably best to get comfortable with the stock equipment during the beginnings of the game, but once you dive into the Crafting it opens up nearly limitless possibilities for customizing your strategies.
Because Block Fortress is so open-ended and customizable, don't just stick with the basic or obvious choices. Simple block bases are great and can be very effective, but when the sky is the limit in terms of creative license it can behoove you to think outside the box with strategies.
Block Fortress is one of those games that's such an open experience it's really up to you to decide what to get out of it. Stick with the default experience and get a challenging defense game that isn't as passive as some others, and throws your right into the action yourself. If you want to, though, you can really dig into Block Fortress's many layers of crafting and customization. It's as complex as you want it to be, and hopefully these tips from Foursaken Media will get you off on the right foot.