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Gamereplays.org Reviews: Forts (PC)

By DJ_Chill - 5th May 2017 - 20:14 PM

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The first game from any new indie studio can go one of two ways, and luckily EarthWork Games seems to have got the balance right in producing Forts, a 2D physics-based RTS all about building and arming your own fort and blowing your opponents to bits.


The light hearted pre-mission cut scenes really fit the game well and this style is continued throughout with commanders often making jokes about and taunting each other! Although it can be a bit over the top and difficult to follow at points, they are short and skippable altogether if they’re just not your thing. All you need to know is that there’s a bad guy and you should blow him up before he does so to you!

The combat is really fun and an enjoyable experience. Players build their bases from scratch and by building various different weapons, the player can choose whether to mortar, cannon, laser or shoot rockets at the opponents base to destroy their reactor. Machine guns can be built to defend from mortar and rocket fire and there’s even snipers to take out your opponents machine gun emplacements too. The physics just improve the combat experience meaning a wobbly tower can totally collapse from a single well placed shot or just fall down on its own if it’s not well supported! Although machine guns will auto target and shoot at incoming projectiles, the player can manually aim and shoot at your enemy too. All other weapons are aimed and shot by the player.


All in all, each of the 9 different weapons has a defined purpose and work together well. Most weapons can be upgraded during the match to allow your sniper to pierce armour, upgrade your defensive machine gun to a minigun at the expense of it’s defensiveness, or upgrade your swarm missiles to a single ICBM, much more damaging but easier to shoot down. The only downside is that most games feel like a rush to build either a cannon or laser, the games two highest tech weapons. These can be almost game winning to whoever gets a shot off first, which can lead to some repetitive games as the earlier weapons struggle to do much damage.

There’s also multiplayer, which is another major draw to Forts. Up to 8 player 4v4 matches see cannon fire coming from everywhere and lead to some exciting and interesting matchups. There’s a central discord server making for easy opponent finding which is needed as unfortunately connection errors appear to occur more often than not. Replays are also supported allowing hilarious or great games to be saved and rewatched; there’s also full modding support with steam workshop integration coming in a future update.


Players can also pick from 9 commanders each with unique passive and active abilities ranging from increased build speed to laser sights for your snipers. This adds a bit more variety and interest to the skirmish and multiplayer modes and adds to the replayability factor of the game. There’s also a sandbox to practice your builds and hone your skills for multiplayer.

The major challenge to this game seems to be resource management, players mine ore and use wind turbines to harvest energy, both of which are needed to build anything in the game or fire weapons. Players can either build low efficiency wind turbines lower down in their base, which are defended, or leave them on the top of their fort to generate maximum energy, but where they can be easily destroyed by your opponent. Small decisions like this end up having quite an impact on the game itself and can end up being the difference between who shoots their laser first.


Skirmish gameplay

Tim Auld, founder of EarthWork Games commented to the GameReplays team “This is our love letter to the games we grew up playing, combining all of their different elements to deliver a truly one-of- a-kind experience.” It truly shows. All in all Forts is a fun experience which is easy to pick up and get into that we’d recommend to anyone looking for some fun.

Graphics 4/5 – The 2D style and explosions look great and fit the game well.
Audio 3/5 – Basic effects and soundtracks, nothing out of the ordinary, no either bad or good mentions to make. The voice acting could use some work and feels out of place.
Cinematics 4/5 – The style works for this type of game and the fake news reporting adds something fun.
Story 2/5 – What really lets this game down, comes down to “just destroy his base”.
Controls 5/5 – Simple whilst giving you enough control over everything.
Gameplay 4/5 – Fast paced and fun, whilst being a little repetitive.
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Overall 3.5/5 – Forts is a fun game which is well developed overall. It has just enough content to be exciting and not so much that it's overwhelming. Although sadly let down by it's story, it won't disappoint the RTS enthusiasts who want to try something different.


Forts is out now for $14.99 USD / £10.99 GBP, and available for PC via Steam or the Humble Store.

About the developer

EarthWork Games is a three-person team in Brisbane, Queensland that united to bring Forts to the world. Drawing experience from working on previous games like Alien Isolation, Hand of Fate, Total War and Assault Android Cactus, EarthWork Games strives to create fun, high-spirited experiences that bring players together.

Note: EarthWork Games provided GameReplays.org with a free review copy of Forts, but this review is in no way sponsored by them.




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