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Block Fortress Review

By Dave Flodine, on March 24, 2013


Block Fortress
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • For a creative mind, there seems to be limitless potential to enjoy the world on offer.

CONS

  • Very high learning curve.

VERDICT

It's Minecraft meets Tower Defense on the iOS. You're either gonna love it or loathe it.


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info
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[Editor's Note: I've been playing the game quite seriously since recording the footage and I must say my personal experience mirrors much of what has been said below; the game has a wealth of depth, but scratching more than the surface can be very, very difficult. If the game looks appealing (as it did to me), search out some guides and you'll be lost for hours!]

Games like Block Fortress can be quite a challenge to review. Not only does the game have a imposing learning curve to understand how it all works, but you could spend hours just crafting a beautiful looking base, only to have it overwhelmed and destroyed by the enemy because it's going to take hours more to work out the best way to survive the onslaught of their forces. We may be getting ahead of ourselves here. Block Fortress is essentially Minecraft mixed with a tower defense game... and yes, that is exactly why the learning curve can be imposing (those who have played Minecraft will understand).

There are three game modes, and they work like a slider system of difficulty. Sandbox mode will give you unlimited resources and allow you to dictate when the enemies attack, survival mode has a cycle of waves, starting you out with limited resources, and quickstart is kind of in the middle. When the game begins, you are in build mode and need to place your barracks on whichever map you choose (either by selection or random). You move by placing your thumb in the bottom left corner, and look around by using another finger anywhere else on the screen. You have a quick selection bar down the bottom, and these items can be swapped out or added to by accessing the build menu in the top right corner. Once a block is selected you can place a section on the map to place it, and blocks can be stacked as high as you like. Attacks come from all directions so you need to make sure your base is secure on all four sides.

The quick selection bar contains a base of stone to build walls (which is a weaker material that enemies can destroy very easily), a machine gun turret, and a power block, which will power a small section of your base and defenses. If you're not playing on sandbox mode, you will need to place mine shafts to acquire resources to bolster your defenses (as well as upgrade all your turrets and buildings), and farms will help keep your health up, as you as the player are in the fray as well. Once the attack begins, you can access a firearm, move around the map, and climb up any surface. The killing of enemies grants experience which will result in better weapons for the player, and this cycle of building, bolstering, and killing repeats itself until you are overrun.

Even the visual style is quite similar to Minecraft making it harder not to keep making comparisons. It just seems to be more focused on survival gameplay than crafting. This review sadly has only scratched the surface of what is possible. Those with a desire for creativity and experimentation in their gameplay will be able to spend countless hours in Block Fortress, creating the perfect defenses through constant experimentation. Others will be put off by a large initial learning curve (with inadequate tutorial). This seems to truly be a 'love it or leave it' title, and hopefully this review has given you a good impression of which camp you fall into.

Screenshots

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