By: Chris Lee
Strategy and puzzle titles
are always a staple of handheld systems and the GBA will be no exception.
Fortress is one of the first anticipated puzzle/strategy games to hit the
system and I must say, it's looking sweet. All you have to do to imagine the
game is think Worms, Rampart, Tetris, and any other side scrolling strategy
combat game you can think of. Mix it all together and you've got yourself a
little game called Fortress.
The gameplay sounds pretty basic at first but with most of these new wave strategy titles, it goes much
deeper than it sounds. Essentially, you have to build a fortress to defend
against an oncoming enemy attack. Sounds simple enough but that's where things
start to get very interesting. There are two phases of gameplay, the first
being the building sequence. Building is done while time stands still but you
have a time limit depending on level and difficulty in which to set up your
fortifications. The pieces that you use to build are dropped from the sky ala
Tetris and you must quickly decide how and where to place them for the best
possible defense and offense. You see during all this time your opponent is
also building a fortress that you'll have to attack and destroy to gain
victory. You'll have to set up things like walls, cannons, towers, and other
instruments of destruction and defense. Once you're finished or your time is
up you start the real time battle sequence.
Once the battle begins the
enemy, called twerps will start attacking you. As they bombard your fortress,
additional blocks will fall from the sky allowing you to refortify
and re-arm. Depending on the structures you create during the building phase
and during the battle phase, you'll be given certain bonuses, blocks and,
units with which to attack the enemy. The objective isn't just to throw
up a front gate and some cannons and start shooting. You'll need to create a
well structured castle for the perfect balance of defense and offence
while trying to get building bonuses for combos. There are foot soldiers,
wizards, archers, medics and more all waiting to head into battle. But you'll
have to use them wisely as manpower isn't unlimited. You'll have to decide how
to use them best, will it be offence or defense?
Well while you're trying to
decide that you'll have to protect the entrance to your fortress, build additional
armaments and rooms, deploy your forces for attack, rebuild destroyed
sections, send in reinforcements for those downed twerps and somehow stay
sane. Another feature of the game is where the units and weapons you use will
change depending on the time period you choose. You'll start off in
the Stone Ages (caveman days), head on through to the Dark ages, the age of
piracy, the World War II era, and then head off into the Space Age. The
basic gameplay doesn't change much but you'll have to use different strategies
to win as well as maintain a larger and more complex fortress.
And what strategy/puzzle game
on GBA would be complete without a multiplayer feature? Fortress is a game
that practically screams LINK ME! And Majesco has promised a rich
multiplayer experience for this title and I'm sure they'll deliver. I'm a big
fan of strategy titles and Fortress looks to be a unique one at that. The GBA
just keeps on rollin' with quality titles and this one will be no exception.