Forget about Creepers fought with swords, now you get to fight mob goblins using handguns and turrets.
A lot of us have a lot to be thankful of Notch and Mojang: the creators of Minecraft. Without Minecraft Matt would probably have had to propose at a Star Trek convention wearing his favourite Spock outfit. We wouldn’t have had a natural progression for kids, and adults moving from Legos in their creative lives. And a lot of developers wouldn’t have had the opportunity to create games that borrow heavily from the creative aspects, and presentation style. In the future it wouldn’t surprise me if most services, and meetings takes place in Socialcraft or whatnot Minecraft version 20 will be named.
When a game drops down in my inbox with a description stating it is a combination of Minecraft, FPS and tower defence it gets my attention. Even more so when it comes from the people at Foursaken: creators of N.Y. Zombies and Heroes and Castles.
Starting up Block Fortress you are greeted with an interface not far from that found in Minecraft. You can set up the game as you see fit with different terrain, and either sandbox or a progressive campaign. There is also some crafting elements to give you better weapons, defences and building materials. As soon as you start whatever kind of setup you have selected you start floating above the world, as an ethereal being. You select where to place your fortress, and then you get to build your defences.
Placing blocks around the fortress, placing power sources and guns lets you find ways to maximize your defence. The first time I did this I had no clue what to expect, and I focused on building a bunker with just a few machine guns. Once the game starts you fall to the ground, and instead of the building material you just held there is a gun. Enemies start to flood your fortress, and you can hear the distant gunfire on the other side of the fortress. Seconds later a blocky green goblin reaches me, and starts slashing at me. Backing, and firing I manage to shoot like a fleeing bad guy in a Charles Bronson movie, not hitting anything. Reloading, and walking forward towards my assailant I manage to plug his brain with lead. Hooray, but the celebration is short as I am now surrounded by goblins and my screen is turning red from pain. Retreating to the top of my fortress I sacrifice some blocks to their swords until my two machine guns have mowed them down.
Twenty goblins or so later the wave is over, and I can rebuild my defences using money earned and collected from fallen foes. Ready for another wave I touch the top left button to bring them on. This time some of them have machine guns, like some kind of Mafioso goblins. This time my fortress, and myself get overrun and I have to yield. This is survival mode, and I failed. A minute later I have set up a new world, and am already planning a better bunker. Bring it on you scum, I am Chuck Norris and Charles Bronson in one. A couple of waves later it is over again, and I go at it again. Finding the optimal layout, and getting better guns for my character become addictive.
The presentation is great if you are a fan of blocky Minecraft graphics, and I love it. The sound effects are also great at helping me pinpoint where the enemy is making their assault.
The FPS controls are not the best, and I have trouble lining up good shots. A bit too twitchy in my opinion, but perhaps that is for the best as you can’t win if your fortress is poorly planned.
Block Fortress takes the Minecraft idea into a warzone with turrets, goblins and guns. It is a fresh idea executed really well. The lack of story, and the usual kind of progression I am used to in FPS and tower defence game don’t bother me. On the contrary it makes the game more addictive.