Once again, Apple has rummaged through hundreds of apps that were released within the past week to find two that the “editors” (whomever they may be) consider to be the cream of the crop. The criteria for being considered for the honor is unknown, but what we do know is that these mysterious editors know a thing or two about great apps. Last week, Apple spotlighted the third in the Real Racing series, which may have upset the masses by being a freemium game, but you can’t deny that it looks fantastic and plays like a console game.
This week, Apple chose two games from two very different genres. Monster Meltdown is a very clever puzzle game where you play Yuri, the hapless janitor who is trying to recapture an escaped monster in a physics-based puzzle game that requires some fast reflexes. Block Fortress is a mix between tower defense and first person shooter with a healthy dose of Minecraft style tower building.
Block Fortress pays homage to Minecraft by looking almost exactly like the pixilated building game. Don’t be fooled. It may look like the popular game, but it doesn’t play like it. That is, you won’t be digging up rocks to build the ultimate castle while fending off aggressive sheep.
In this game, players have a limited supply of blocks that are used to build a fortress around the all-important barracks. Your goal is to protect your barracks from invaders at all cost. If you lose the barracks, you lose your game.
To protect your barracks, build sturdy walls around it and add turrets to help fend off invading enemies. Once you’ve reinforced your walls, prepare for the onslaught of enemies and hold the line as best you can. Not only will the turrets on your tower destroy the enemy, but you can also equip a pistol or other handheld weapon to fire against the invaders. If you kill all of the enemies before they destroy your base camp, you’ve won the round.
There are three different modes of gameplay. You can try your hand at Survival mode, which starts you out with a very limited supply of money and minerals for building your fortress. The first wave of enemies is fairly easy to beat, but by the time the second wave hits, you’ll be struggling to get through. Don’t forget to add turrets to your tower. They will be invaluable when 20 enemies are attacking you.
In Quickstart mode, players are given a massive amount of money and resources to build the perfect fortress. However, there is only one chance to build before the enemies attack in endless waves. The attacks are much worse than the first few rounds in survival mode because you’ve been given such a large sum of resources to build the best tower defense.
In Sandbox mode, players are able to build to their hearts content and fight against enemies in whichever level of difficulty they choose. It is basically a free build mode where players can learn the ropes. However you won’t earn any experience in Sandbox mode, so use it only for learning purposes.
The game also includes some fairly complex crafting features. Players can craft more complex modifications for blocks and weapons. In order to craft a modification, you must have a certain number of rare resources. You can either collect rare resources by playing on different maps, or you can buy them through in-app purchases.
You can play different maps by either choosing a new area in the menu before you start your game, or by playing random maps in Survival and Quickstart modes.
This is a complex and challenging game that fans of Minecraft will appreciate for its design and fans of tower defense games will enjoy for the action-packed gameplay. The collaboration of three different genres (first-person shooter, tower defense, and building simulation) make this a great pick for this week’s App Store Editor’s Choice.
Block Fortress is available now for $1.99 in the App Store.