The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best" thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.
These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.
Without further ado…
Someday, Fortnite will be seen as a massive milestone in mobile gaming. The game itself is fun, and the tip of the spear in the battle royale genre right now, sure, but it’s what the game represents. It’s the game that smashes down a massive wall between the platforms. Here is the hottest game in the world right now, that has Twitch streamers joining up with athletes and rappers to play. That game, the exact same game, is on mobile right now. Sure, it had to be scaled down visually a bit, and the controls need some tweaking, but this is Fortnite. Just, in your pocket. How crazy is that? How incomprehensible was this before March?
It helps that the game itself is fun. The colorful look to the game makes Fortnite feel like more than just the drab, generic military shooter experience that PUBG provides in comparison. This is a beautiful game, full of color, and nice little visual surprises. It feels like a world, and there’s all sorts of environmental storytelling. Compare this to some of the other battle royale games, where they just feel like a desolate island, and there’s little special. So much of Fortnite stands out because the style is so distinctive. Even the beautiful sunsets add to the experience, that this game looks good as well as feels good. Also, the game isn’t afraid to be funny, with its goofy outfits and weapons. Other battle royale games are at best emergently funny, and at worst unintentionally through glitches and whatnot. Fortnite has a toilet factory and ridiculous dance emotes.
But Fortnite is a serious experience regardless of how whimsical it migth be. The panic that sets inwhen somebody is near, triggering that fight or flight response, is amazing. Tension is the domineering emotion of battle royale games, as you never know when your end will come, or when the next enemy might just be. And then, whe nyou get into those firefights, will you succeed? Or will you choke? Plus, there’s all the strategic play decisions: do you want to drop in with a bunch of people and play for chaos early? Or are you patient enough to drop away from everyone else, at the same time having more uncertainty about your situation? Can you take the risk of building the structures you need to build, though what if your opponents have a rocket launcher to take you down? Everything that’s strong about the battle royale genre, Fortnite has and iterates upon.
The building aspects need a bit of work on mobile as I don’t think you can build as fast as on console, and definitely not on PC. And a few things like item descriptions need to come to mobile as well. But, after playing a few rounds, I couldn’t believe it: this felt like Fortnite. It’s not a different game, it’s just using a different control scheme. It’s essentially the same as going from mouse and keyboard to controller. And I’m excited to see if some expert touchscreen players can hold their own against these other control methods. There might be some folks who can track heads really well, in a way that’s tough on a controller with an analog stick.
Fortnite is absolutely going to cause shockwaves. Other manufacturers might have to find ways to get thier titles on mobile. Why not? Especially when publishers are showing that they’re willing to jump in with their own takes on popular genres (see NetEase and its many battle royale games), why not just take the full-measure of releasing the same game on mobile? Make whatever adaptations are necessary, but just find a way to make it happen. I’m curious to see how ARK: Survival Evolved pulls off its mobile adaptation, for example.
Fortnite isn’t quite available to everyone yet, but this game just massively disrupted 2018. Especially if this does well – and I wouldn’t be surprised if this does incredibly well in China in particular – then it forces other developers to rethink what they’re doing with their games. Why design only for the latest and greatest hardware, when mobile represents such an opportunity to have the same game, just on a phone or tablet? That’s what Fortnite represents: a massive change, and the coming of the great gaming convergence. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go chill out on my couch and get some Victories Royale. Just kidding, I’m probably going to die getting sniped out of nowhere…again.