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.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • garret44

    I dunno if it's just me but I'm not really interested in any game relating to minecraft. I love heroes and castles and I haven't tried this game so I have no judgement. But interested to see what foursaken has next up their sleeves

    • mrTofu

      In general I'm not a big minecraft fan either, but the combination of defense and fps is what got me to play it.

    • MidianGTX

      You're entitled not to like Minecraft (though it makes more sense for people who have played it), but to dismiss anything that looks similar is just plain ridiculous. I've said it several times already, but this is nothing like Minecraft. Ignoring it for that reason makes no logical sense whatsoever.

      • garret44

        I just think foursaken has so much talent that they can make something very unique. I actually don't think minecraft is that bad and I'm not saying that this games horrible because, well I haven't played it.

        But I'm just more interested in what foursaken has in store in the future

    • jamarohn

      Comparing this game to minecraft is like comparing a frisbee with a satellite dish. They both may look similar and have similar shapes, but are on fact totally different in every other way. So it's like you're saying, "I don't want to try frisbee because I'm not interested in satellite dishes."

      I'd say if you're interested in tower defense like strategy games, imagine the ability to run around your defense in FPS during waves to augment your defense. You might want to give this game a chance.

      • garret44

        You could turn a satellite dish into a giant frisbee

  • McCREE

    Hats off to Foursaken; only they can trump themselves. Battle Fortress has an obscene amount of depth and is super fun to play. The developers are already talking about potential updates and there is a ton of room for this title to grow. Congrats, FM, on another outstanding effort. Thanks again.

    • McCREE

      Oops. *Block

  • GR3NADE

    I don't like minecraft at all and I bought this on release day only becouse it is developed by Foursaken and I love it :)

  • echo_pdx

    Great review. This game has floored me. I can't believe how much game you get for just a couple bucks. It's a bit intimidating to get into - especially if you aren't a Minecraft fan - but well worth the time investment. It's absurdly fun, more than it has any right to be to be honest, given the clunky controls and crazy menus.

  • jamarohn

    Spot on review! Love the game, but the rate you collect rare minerals which are needed for the upgrading does feel real slow. To the point where it starts to feel like a real grind. Of course you can bypass the grind with the IAP. And I found the grind to be a bit steep.

    • vicsark

      there are plenty of tips that can help ease the grind, check the forums, especially BH tips and hints ;)

  • accidentaldesign

    Seems like we're about to revisit all of the iOS hit genres of the past four years only with minecraft themes.

    • Zeldaniac

      Sounds fine to me.

  • MrSHakerEsq

    Don't get someone would drop so many dollars on a game laced with that cancer of gaming, IAP.

    • Zeldaniac

      Generally I'd agree, but this game's IAP is totally unobtrusive.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-D-Dunn/679068624 James D. Dunn

      The IAP is completely optional. There is no barrier to getting anything in the game. You can even choose the maps you want to play in order to stock up on a rare mineral you need. Don't be put off by the IAP, they did it right.

      • MrSHakerEsq

        When good people start mentioning grinding then I don't believe IAP is truly optional though.

      • Bischi777

        I do grind in this game but i always have fun doing it :-)

    • buzzbydj

      Wow, how can u consider $2 as so many "dollars". Seriously its like peanuts. Are u a tramp or something?

  • Boobi

    Block Fortress sounds well but its graphic style does not appeal to me. Wonder if there is an option to build fortress with no FPS aspect.

    • Zeldaniac

      That's coming in a future update according to the devs. I will greatly anticipate it, I don't really like the FOS mode much.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ted.rampersad.3 Ted Rampersad

    why you no give 5 stars????????

  • HatfulOfHollow

    It's worth noting that Foursaken are listening to players on the forums and asking what they'd like to see in future updates. FYI they will be implementing a pure TD mode as well as the option to upload and download other players fortress. You can't ask for much more from devs.
    For what it's worth I'm not a Minecraft fan, it bored me to tears. Block Fortress is a different beast altogether.

  • lr1919

    Great game, but the required grinding and farming is a bit tedious.

  • Pellicudar

    Noooo, after reading all these reviews, and watching the video with Eli, I HAVE to run down to Von's and buy an iTunes gift card... :D
    And as said in the above post, the only thing this game seems to be lacking in is multiplayer. That would be amazing, maybe some sort of co-op thing or a capture-the-flag thing, I'm looking forward to see what the future holds for this game.

  • http://twitter.com/RubiconDevelop Rubicon Development

    How did they get the word "Minecraft" onto that video. The good Mr Notch threatened to sue me because a user review mentioned minecraft so we were somehow abusing their trademarks. True story, *sigh*

  • Lostpop21

    The only thing id like to see is the implementation of a co-op mode. I have a hard enough time as it is, but i know a few people who love party games and would jump on board in a heart beat if the option was available.

  • buzzbydj

    Absolutely love this game, ive never spent so much time playing a game on my ipad i just crnt get enough of it. Im in the process of updating it to 1.0.1 now which apparently has plenty of fixes but tbh ive yet to come across a fault with this game and ive put in at least 10+ hrs into this beast. Hats off to Foursaken on this masterpiece of a game. :D

  • kenken11

    What is the laser following light from the picture? Which lvl to unlock?

    • Bischi777

      It's a "Laser"

    • http://www.facebook.com/nyyyyyc Nghĩa Minh

      the laser which you mentioned is "Laser" , you need to be at least level 12 to unlock it . By the way , all the game , i have unlocked all the defenses , also guns . "Laser" & "M.I.R.V" are my favorites , you should try them :) it's very good at long range !

  • http://twitter.com/disposable002 disposable002

    >dearth

    I don't think that this word means what you think it means.

  • rsob2005

    Please go learn what a genre is...

  • matus

    I love this game, but I think I'm the only person who does not like the fps element. I love building things, I loved Lego and creative games such as Stronghold that allow you to build elaborate defences. However just at the point I want to watch my lovingly designed creation in action I'm dumped down to a humans eye view where I can't see what's going on and I'm too busy fighting of goblocks to really watch it. An OPTION (not compulsion) to stay in birds eye view in survival (and not fall to a hoard of shadows) would be great.

  • tahzblade

    How do i get minerals in survival please some one help

    • http://www.facebook.com/nyyyyyc Nghĩa Minh

      dig deeper =)) !

  • FSE

    "Dearth"... I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Block Fortress Reviewed by Eric Ford on . Rating: 4.5