Forts is super hectic and kinda stressful. It’s what your imagination was supposed to do when you and your childhood friend made forts out of legos and tried to battle them with each other, except this actually has guns and a clear end-point, so you don’t end up just throwing huge bricks of legos at each other and somebody has to go to the hospital. It’s a great game, so, if this article is too long for your lazy ass to read, go ahead and watch the trailer and then figure out if you’re gonna buy it.
The whole premise is to protect your fort’s core, while destroying the core of your opponent. You’re given a choice of 6 weapons, 8 devices, and a slew of materials. You can slap armour onto your wooden structures, preventing fire and bullets from damaging it. You can add armoured doors for your soldiers to hide behind. Trying to figure out how the physics work is just a piece of the challenge. Preventing your destruction at the hands of your opponent is rough. Even the AI is in the same position you are, which, is important in a competitive game such as this.
The graphics are nice. It’s very similar to worms, which is nice. You can’t damage the ground like you can in worms, but it has that same feeling with your fort potentially having a background or not. Everything feels good, from the firing of the cannons to the construction. As far as the audio, it’s passable, nothing annoying, though, this, and every game on the freakin’ planet – way too loud when you turn it on. I don’t know why games all start at 100/100 for audio, but, they are ALL too loud. That rant doesn’t necessarily belong here, but, this game does have that issue. Overall, this game sold me 100% just looking at the graphics in the trailer. It just looks fun, and, it is.
The campaign is interesting, because it’s got that simple progression that leads you from learning how to shoot with the machine gun, to learning to snipe enemy snipers while upgrading them to armor piercing to shoot at the core of your opponent’s base that’s hidden behind sheets of metal. The difficulty ramps up rather quickly, and, even if you understand the concepts in the game and try to beat them, you’re gonna have a hard time. It feels like a campaign from a browser tower defence game, but, that’s not a bad thing, they’ve been pretty much set up the way they need to be since the dawn of Bloons. Heck, even Fluffy Horde uses the same kind of campaign system, and I did an entire interview with those guys. (I’m going to review their game here once it’s released, too.) The whole point of the campaign is to get as much oil as you can, and the allied general makes TONS of Trumpisms. It’s funny, but it’s not going to cause you to have meme war flashbacks, should you have been a veteran in such an incident.
The sandbox mode is exactly what it sounds like it would be. It just lets you figure out how you want to build your tower with no high-pressure enemy shooting the crap out of your building as you’re working on it. The real meat of the game is multiplayer, and, although the netcode needs to have some improvements done to it, overall, I think it’s fully playable and definitely worth your time. This is where the real meat of the game is, and it is exciting and fun. You can have teams building a single fort each, or individual forts. Either way is fun, and the different level designs are all fairly interesting. While fooling around with cruuump, he said it’s a mix between RTS, Basebuilding, Worms, and a little bit of Shellshock Live thrown in for good measure, and I tend to agree with him. We both determined that it’s a super unique game, as we haven’t seen many games that throw all of these fun mechanics together. It’s not going to end up being the new CS:GO or anything, but, competitive play is fun. On top of just building your tower, you have the option of picking commanders. These commanders all have unique abilities that passively apply to your fort, as well as an active ability you can use to pull yourself out of a bad situation. It’s interesting, but, I haven’t really noticed anything gamebreaking. Perhaps that’s because I get murdered as soon as someone saves up enough energy to get lasers, but, hey. It’s pretty neat that you can choose a commander anyway, even if it doesn’t really make a significant difference in the overall game.
The only real concern I have about this game is that there’s one solid upgrade path, and that’s “Get to cannons and lasers as fast as humanly possible.” I say this, because although swarm missiles are a viable option that do a lot of damage to a structure, the laser or cannon weapons do significantly more, plus do not take up important space where you can be placing your mines. Things like mining space are incredibly important, and, while swarm missiles will definitely keep your opponent’s machine gunners busy trying to defend their tower, they just don’t do enough damage to offset the cost of losing that mining site. The only clear benefit they have over something like a cannon or laser is that they are much more difficult to destroy, usually being buried under your fort and under a whole mountain of steel and wood. Once you master your speed and strategy, the only thing that really determines any change in your routine is if your enemy uses mortars or not, which means you’ll need to actually use machine gunners. I personally don’t see the point in using them for anything else but mortar defence, or perhaps taking out wind towers your opponent foolishly places on top of his fort in the open air, but hey, it’s there. Your mileage may vary. I’m pretty terrible at this game.
This game is definitely worth 15 bucks. The humor is good, the gameplay is fun, and the game even has a gif editor (like Domina!) so you can show off what kind of damage your fort does. It’s just well thought out. You’re not going to be playing it for days on end and making it your primary game for months or anything, but, it’s a solid, unique, quirky title with a lot going for it. I see it being a good game to just always have installed to go fool around in once in awhile when you need a breather from a long wordy RPG playthrough. Check it out, you won’t be disappointed.
Disclosure: We received this game for free.
Check out the Developers: Earthwork Games