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Block Fortress for iOS review: The mix of game genres is good, but complex

Block Fortress mixes three different game genres resulting in some fun gameplay, but it might be a little too complicated for its own good.

Jason Parker Senior Editor / Reviews - Software
Jason Parker has been at CNET for nearly 15 years. He is the senior editor in charge of iOS software and has become an expert reviewer of the software that runs on each new Apple device. He now spends most of his time covering Apple iOS releases and third-party apps.
Jason Parker
3 min read

Block Fortress is a great mix of tower defense and first-person shooter that lets you build a home base with turrets and other defenses, then play in first person while you help defend your blocky base. It's an incredibly deep game, but the way the developers named the game types is a bit confusing on first play.


Block Fortress for iOS

The Good

<b>Block Fortress</b> is a one-of-a-kind mix of game genres with good-looking graphics and challenging gameplay.

The Bad

There are so many options and upgrades that the game can get overwhelming. Game types can be confusing.

The Bottom Line

If you like the idea of diving deep into a game that mixes three genres, and don't mind a learning curve to really get going, Block Fortress is a unique option.

The graphics in the game are almost exactly like those in the hit game Minecraft, with tons of different block types to unlock and use to defend your fortress. Fans of Minecraft will feel right at home during the building phase of the game, with fortress walls, turrets, and power sources, that are all placed block by block. There are 30 different wall types with weak concrete walls that only a few hits will destroy, up to Tech Metal walls that are much stronger (and more expensive). You also get 16 turret types to choose from as well as 11 guns you can unlock to equip your character before the big battle.

A Minecraft look, but an entirely different feel (pictures)

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You get three different game types in Block Fortress along with six different terrain types to choose from. Survival challenges you to start small, buying turrets and defensive blocks with limited funds, then start the first round defending your base against attackers. When you have killed a certain number of enemies (called Goblocks), the attack phase ends and you're able to use earned cash to rebuild and fortify your base. Survival continues on with rounds of this defend-and-build mechanic until you're finally overrun by the Goblock horde.

The second game type is Quickstart, where instead of going round by round, you receive a lot of money and materials up front, but you only get to build your fortress once. When you're done building your fortress, you start the game and try to last as long as possible against waves of powerful enemies. Quickstart is extremely difficult, making me wonder why Foursaken Media chose to name the game types the way it did. Usually the quick start options in games are designed to be a way to jump into a game and start playing for first-time players, but you're definitely going to want to level up in Survival and know your stuff before venturing into Quickstart.

The third game type is called Sandbox, which gives you infinite resources and lets you start and stop enemy attacks whenever you want. This game type is great once you learn the basics, letting you experiment with strategies you can use in the other two game types.

To add even more options, there's also a crafting section where you can modify and upgrade walls, turrets, and weapons using resources mined in the game.

Block Fortress, on its surface, seems to have it all. It has the look and block-building mechanics of Minecraft; open-field tower defense elements with upgradeable turrets; and lets you play it like a first-person shooter once the action begins. But even with all these positives, you have so many options and upgrades the game feels almost too complicated for its own good.

Still, Block Fortress will definitely appeal to people who don't mind getting down and dirty with the game's multitude of options and upgrades. If you like the idea of playing a game that mixes three game genres, and don't mind a learning curve to really get going, Block Fortress is a unique option.


Block Fortress for iOS

Score Breakdown

Setup 7Features 8Interface 7Performance 8