Forts is a charming little game by Earthwork Games which combines elements of Angry Birds, Worms and Besiege all in one tidy package. The idea is quite simple: build your fort, place guns on it and blow the everlasting snot out of the opponent’s fort.
The story is quite simple but is carried nicely by some very modern dialogue and humour. The world has reached an energy crisis and the oil has all dried up. Rather than reaching for alternative sources, a massive glut of oil has appeared one last time and your nation, the Eagle Empire (cough U.S.A) wants it so they can do things like race monster cars and fly cool jet fighters that look rad and kick ass for ten more years. Hot on the tail though is the Iron Bear Alliance and the Dragon Army who all want a cut of that black gold. And they ain’t sharin’.
You then go around the world blowing up their forts. Each level’s ultimate objective is to destroy the reactor, guaranteeing victory. However there are other objectives that you need to complete to push on in the game. The difficulty does escalate quite quickly and you soon realise it is a game of resource management, continuous observation and timing. Snap decisions will result in your fort burning down or you blowing the heads off snipers and machine gunners, and destroying reactors to get the Eagle Empire over the line.
About the forts – you spend resources to build them as you see fit through a simple click and drag mechanic. Like Besiege, you are bound by the laws of physics, if you push the limits of design bits will snap off and you will lose whole parts of your lovely fort. Careful planning of reinforced structures, wires and struts will ensure the construction of masterpieces. Poor planning will result in the Iron Bears and Dragons laughing at how much of a basic bitch you are.
There are also multiplayer functions and online capability so you can get your friends on board and settle your passive-aggressive hostilities that way. There is also a sandbox and map editor too so you can spend time building your dream murder box at your own pace.
Overall, RTS is not a genre I gravitate too but for what it’s worth, I think Forts has a bit for everyone. It’s smooth, colourful, quick and snappy with controls and with overall pacing. I did find that the game gets a bit overwhelming and you feel like you need either a deft hand or loads of practice to really nail some of the levels but that’s me working on a time constraint. It is a game which rewards clever thinking. The fort design can get a bit messy too with the battle raging around and sometimes you feel like you’re slapping bits of fort together to quickly jerry-rig a defence but again, that’s all part of the fun. Forts is designed to be a frantic, fun game and it excels at that.
For the Empire!
For more information or to buy Forts, head to the Steam page, where you can get it for $14.99 USD.