There's been a lot of talk lately about Block Fortress [$1.99] and for good reason. Rare have we ever witnessed a game that manages to combine tower-defense, first-person shooters and creative sandboxing genres all in one game. Foursaken Media's Block Fortress not only successfully accomplishes such a feat, but manages to do it in such a way that truly makes its sum greater than its (individual genre) parts. There's a lot of love about Block Fortress, making it a game that really needs to be checked out.
Simply put, Block Fortress is a game about survival and defense. Players place a barracks on one of several pre-set maps, and are charged with defending it from hordes of enemies. Generally, gameplay is divided into two phases. The build phase tasks you to fortify your barracks with walls, turrets, and a variety of other attachments. This is also the time to purchase and equip weapons and items for your character. This lends way to the attack phase, which starts the enemy waves and puts you into FPS mode, letting you get into the action and supplement the defense of your barracks.
Meanwhile, while Block Fortress features three game modes, I found the most appealing to be Survival, which starts you off with limited resources and challenges players to build up resources while defending against waves of enemies. The other two modes, Quickstart (which starts you off with a ton of resources to instantly build the fortress of your dreams) and Sandbox (which gives you total control of building and enemies) are also great additions and provide entertaining alternatives with emphasis on creativity.
We've seen tower defense games incorporating FPS elements, but nothing to the degree of Block Fortress. The first-person shooter element is fully featured, with a variety of weapons to purchase during the course of gameplay. Meanwhile, the building element is also full featured, with a wide dearth of customizability in both structural choices and defense options coupled with secondary essentials such as power blocks (necessary for anything requiring power), lights (essential at night) and farms (allow you to replenish health). Sure, the FPS controls still suffer from the perpetual issues that seem to occur on touchscreens and the construction menus can be a little obtuse, but the sheer amount of potential and the fact that the game as a whole actually works far outweighs these minor nuisances.
As if the near limitless possibilities for construction weren't enough, Block Fortress's long-term upgrade scheme showcases just how much depth the game can offer to dedicated players. Each weapon and turret (along with certain building blocks) has the potential to be infused with modifications, which can be built with rare minerals that are mined and gathered during normal gameplay. Modifications have the potential to dramatical change the way you play the game, and are an essential component to pay attention to for players looking to truly succeed. One complaint lies in the relatively slow rate of accumulation for rare minerals (particularly at the beginning of the game) but an IAP shop, coupled with the optional nature of mods makes it less of a showstopper.
I'm a huge fan of what Block Fortress has to offer, especially when it comes to the sheer amount of potential strategies that can be employed. While there's obviously some tactics that'll succeed better than others (and with that said, I highly suggest checking out our previous tips postings), a lot of the appeal lies in being able to try whatever you wish. In this regard, Block Fortress has everything needed to offer plenty of replayability. In fact, the only thing truly missing is some sort of co-op multiplayer mode, and it's something that I hope that can conceivably be added at some point in the future.
Of course, if the appeal of Minecraft-like construction (or the controls of iOS FPS titles) doesn't suit your fancy, it's hard to imagine that you'll particularly enjoy Block Fortress. However, for those that are intrigued, Foursaken's latest is a game that simply has to be experienced. With plenty of depth, replayability and a great melding of genres, there's plenty to check out and enjoy.
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