Fortified! is an interesting game. It’s certainly no Call Of Duty, and it makes no attempt to be anything more than what it is, and that’s fun. If you’ve got a few hours to waste, then Fortified! is one of the best games in a while to take out your brain and just shoot at stuff. There’s no need for much in the way of tactics, beyond the basics of placing a structure in a certain spot. The closest you’ll get to tactics is the ability to issue a couple of different orders to your soldiers, although it’s nothing more than “go there” or “come here”.
For an indie game, it looks quite clean. The developers, Clapfoot, did a really good job of putting the Unreal engine into play in a slightly different way than what you may otherwise expect. It’s almost cartoony, and can be quite charming at times.
Fortified! is, at heart, a tower defense game played in an over the shoulder, third person viewpoint. It works quite nicely, and does quite well at bringing you into the action. You get a choice of one of four different characters, each of which has a different special ability, which have been quite nicely balanced.
The idea is simple. You have to defend a rocket from waves of martian enemies, which come in a fairly wide variety of shapes and sizes. To do this, you can place down unlockable structures, ranging from explosive barrels to riflemen, tesla troopers and even anti air cannons, as well as several others. Each of these structures has a cost attached to it, and you earn the money to buy them by killing off the encroaching hordes, and by completing waves.
The enemies come in all kinds of different forms, some are big, some little, some walk and some fly. There’s nothing massively unique about them, but they have some interesting designs. None of the enemies are anything that you haven’t seen before, but the cartoony style of animation perfectly fits the game, and allows Clapfoot some real room to maneuver with regards to designs. Some of them were very basic and obvious, but a couple had some nice touches, such as staggering you if they bump into you, which makes sense as it’s a giant ball rolling towards the rocket.
This all works fine, but one slightly odd thing that I noticed is that not a single one of the guns, explosives or anything like that causes any vibration from the controller. While this is, admittedly, not exactly a big deal, it did feel a little bit strange, especially with something like a shotgun or grenade launcher.
Fortified! has the option to play solo, or to play a local or online co-op, all of which work exactly the same way. However, co-op is where this game really comes to life. While it will never go down as being one of modern gamings greatest, Fortified! is a solid enough effort, and co-op does a wonderful job of showing this. With a full team of 4 players, this game can be a great way to spend a couple of hours.
One final thing to note is the strange difficulty spikes between waves. While this keeps the game interesting, it can very quickly go from being a very, very simple game to being mind blowingly difficult, simply because a new lane opened up. The fact that there is also a unit limit means that you have to be very careful when dealing with more than a couple of lanes, otherwise, you can be very quickly overwhelmed on the harder maps.
Overall, Fortified! is a good game. The art style is great, and really well done. The enemies are pretty basic but fit the bill nicely, and if you can get together a group to play with, this game could easily be worth it’s budget price.
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