Forts at PAX West 2016

During PAX West 2016, I managed to get my hands on a game called Forts. While the name may be fairly simple, the game itself forces you to put your physics and tactical knowledge to the test in an RTS-action-physics mashup of fun and chaos. Nick, the artist for Earthwork Games (They worked on Hand Of Fate, Total War, and Alien: Isolation!), was kind enough to walk me through the process of playing the game. It was crazy fun, to say the least!

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The main objective of Forts is to build a formidable tower to withstand attacks and simultaneously reduce the enemy’s tower to a pile of nothing. With an array of tools to strengthen your fort, build offensive weapons, defensive upgrades, and a tech tree to help you along, you’ll be frantically clicking all over the screen (as I did) to keep everything wonderfully micromanaged. Just don’t let your fort fall over because physics is heartless and unforgiving. Keep it sturdy or you risk losing!

The campaign is about an oil feud between the United States, China, and Russia. As you progress through the levels, you’ll gain medals for your efforts, completing bonus objectives if you want to maximise your medal count. To progress to the next level, you’ll need to gain a certain amount of medals through completing said levels and bonus objectives. A nice little tidbit  to keep in mind, you can skip annoying levels by doing better on earlier ones!

Where Forts really shines, and I look forward to this the most, is multiplayer. Up to eight simultaneous players, split into two teams. With the beauty of creativity, you could build a weak fort with a ton of firepower, protected by your teammate’s wall of impenetrable sandbags (This probably wouldn’t work very well). It’ll be a blast to burn through your friends’ hard work and laugh at the expense of their happiness and dedication. It just got really dark in here. Did I mention lasers? Those are in there too.

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Along with the aforementioned lasers, players have access to ten destructive weapons. Missiles, machine guns, snipers, mortars, and cannons can be used to cripple enemy bases, as well as shoot down hostile missiles as an added benefit. Of course, your arsenal will also include defensive items to keep those powerhouses safe, like blast doors for your gunners, shields from incoming lasers, and an airtight lid for your coffee, because let’s face it, you might spill your drink in the ensuing mayhem.

Forts is completely open to the modding community as well, featuring native mod support, map editor, and sandbox mode to test those wacky ideas you’ll probably come up with. If you find something interesting whilst duking it out, or leave your computer to use the restroom and come back to a game over screen, a built-in replay system is in place so you can watch your base explode over and over!

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All in all, I had a lot of fun playing Forts and hope everybody else can do the same. It’s got a unique combo of RTS, action, and physics games that I could see bringing it pretty far.

What do you think of Forts? What kind of fort would you want to build?

Let us know in the comments below or on our subreddit!