Developer: CookieByte Entertainment
Publisher: All in! Games
Genre: Strategy, Turn-Based Tactics, Tactical RPG
Age Rating: N/A
Release Date: 16.04.2020
A code was provided for review purposes.
Fort Triumph is a turn-based tactics game inspired by XCOM. With a unique mechanic that allows the environment to be used as a weapon, is CookieByte Entertainment’s game a triumph? Find out in this Rapid Review.
The world is your oyster
I enjoy playing turn-based tactic games but I must begin this review by saying I am not particularly skilled at this genre. Nevertheless, Fort Triumph looked intriguing with its fantasy landscape and the steam page sharing that “Every tree or boulder is a potential weapon in battle”. This description is true and offers a great mechanic in gameplay. In addition to the new game style, there is also the standard grid tactic gameplay: turn-based battles against the enemy team with each unit having unique abilities, different movement ranges, etc. The basics work well and the varying characters each feel unique with their range of abilities. But it is the environmental physics that I enjoyed the most. Team members are equipped with ‘punches’, grappling hooks, and other physics-based weapons.
There were moments when instead of killing the enemy by magic, their demise came in the form of a falling tree. Likewise, the enemy can also use rocks and trees as weapons. Unlike other tactics games, hiding next to a boulder may not offer much protection as that same boulder can be used to incite a chain of harmful knockbacks. I often experienced this type of physics damage. Graphically, the game does not delineate from a typical fantasy style. With its crystal spider-invested caves, statue-adorned palace halls, and enchanted forests; it is clear that the developers have decided to stick to a liked visual style rather than be too adventurous. With Fort Triumph’s stand-out physics gameplay, it did make me wish to see something a little more out of the ordinary.
The levels in Fort Triumph are randomly generated and scattered with fantasy enemies. An overworld, inspired by a game called HOMM of which I have not played, shows the side areas and main missions. By partaking in these levels, new materials are collected and these are spent on the home base where structures can be constructed and new units can be bought to help in battle. I mostly stuck to the story missions and found myself naturally collecting enough material to acquire new units. Fort Triumph features three acts where the overworld design changes to a new environment and the base is reset. A limited number of abilities are then taken into the next act.
I wish they explained the “base” feature more in the game as I had to reset my campaign. I ended up stuck in an impossible loop where my units were underpowered against the more powerful enemy as I had not known how to add new units to my team. This was also down to the procedurally generated nature of the overworld map as I could not move onto the next story mission as the high-difficulty enemy stood in my path. Nevertheless, I lowered the difficulty, reset the map, and went through my second run-through of the game with relative ease. Even on the easy difficulty, I still encountered a challenge so Fort Triumph will be fun for those experienced with games like XCOM. In fact, there is even a permadeath mode but I knew from the offset that this mode wouldn’t be for me.
Fort Triumph features a light-hearted narrative with plenty of fantasy tropes. There were several moments when I laughed including the many times where a written dialect is used in place of voice acting. Unfortunately, the writing here seems to be a strange case of “the parts are greater than the sum”. Each line is comedically written and the character interactions are good, but I ultimately lost interest in the overall narrative. It was a case of looking forward to the next combat encounter more than what would next unfold in the story.
The music features an orchestral score that sounds both magical and grand. Sadly, despite the great sound, I spent most of my time with the game muted. As soon as there is an enemy encounter, the singular battle track kicks in. The overwhelming majority of the game offers you this singular track looping over and over again. Ultimately, I decided to mute the game’s music whilst playing a playlist from a secondary source with the SFX still on.
A (fort) triumph?
The physics in Fort Triumph makes this game a real turn-based tactics standout. It took me around 9 hours for 1 and a ¼ playthroughs but with procedurally generated levels and a skirmish mode, look below the standard fantasy surface and you’ll discover an enjoyable game!
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Fort Triumph for £19.49 here
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.