Fort Triumph Review: Chaotic Very Good
You can learn a lot about a game from its tutorial. A good tutorial doesn't just mean learning game mechanics, it's also about the less obvious things like the subtlety of design and the intelligence which it assumes of a player. In that way, Fort Triumph is very good, and you know that from the start.
Essentially a fantasy X-COM where paladins and mages stride into battle to unleash death and destruction via magical abilities and mighty kicks. Fort Triumph is truly one of the strangest mix-ups I've played. But it blends the two together perfectly, and just like pineapple on pizza, it simply works.
The main component of the game is combat. You take control of one of four different factions in either their individual campaigns or skirmishes and your aim is to conquer the map by taking out your enemies.
You've got all of your standard attacks, like the paladin's melee attack, the archer's arrows, and the mage's spells, but it all becomes far more interesting than that thanks to the incredible physics systems in place.
Fort Triumph Review: Chaotic Very Good
The primary pull of the fights is in utilizing the world against your foes. You've got standard genre abilities like overwatch to play with, but the best moments come from using the paladin to kick a spider into a rock, or using the mage to cast a tornado that knocks down a tree.
Each class has something to help them control not just the game's enemies, but also the battlefield, and it makes each fight so much better as a result.
You're never just firing off attacks without thinking; a little bit of forethought allows for amazing strings of attacks that wipe out entire armies.
The other side of Fort Triumph is in its management sections. In-between battles, you spend your time exploring an overworld and managing your eponymous fort. You have to collect currency in Beetcoins and magic from the overworld — or produce them in the fort itself — to be able to upgrade it.
Upgrades allow you to bring extra units into battle, produce more resources in general, or bestow passive buffs onto your characters in battle. It's an interesting addition to the more aggressive side of the game, and it helps to keep the gameplay feeling varied. It also gives a little more character to the factions through unique buildings.
Go on, go grow up
Individual people matter in this game, too. Permadeath is very much a thing, and sure, you can revive units at your fort, but it's costly, and it can often be the difference between becoming more powerful or skipping the upgrade you've been saving for.
They all level up too, so each unit can become more powerful thanks to the skills they gain as they go. Sometimes these are brand-new skills, sometimes they're more powerful versions of the ones you've come to love.
This all helps you grow attached to your little ragtag bunch of characters, even if they do lean a little too heavily on cliches when it comes to personality.
The wonderful cast of cliches you'll control in battle are oversold in a winningly absurd way. Each of the classes is true to the tropes you'd expect them to represent, but the writing is good enough that it manages to be knowingly charming instead of crass and grating.
There are also multiple factions to choose from, multiple campaigns to run through as a result, and even the option for skirmishes and local co-op. It's an excellent package for an excellent game.
Fort Triumph Review — The Bottom Line
- Entertaining physics
- Funny writing
- Great gameplay
- Great tutorial
- Occasional camera issues
If you're looking for a good strategy game, but one that does things just a little differently, then you'd be hard-pressed to do better than Fort Triumph. Aside from a couple of small camera issues during the combat, specifically critical hits, it rarely misses a beat in its strangely enticing interpretive dance.
Fort Triumph is just a lot of fun, and the charm oozes from every arrow wound, spell singe, and sword strike, making it a very easy recommendation indeed.
[Note: A copy of Fort Triumph was provided by All In Games for the purpose of this review.]