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Fortix review


Courtesy of Nemesys

Fortix is a unique strategy arcade game where the goal is to help the lone Fortix warrior reclaim Fortiana from the evil invading forces. This task is not done with swords or magic or even fire power; it's done by slowly retaking the land, which the warrior performs by walking on it.

Okay, it's not that simple. As the warrior walks across the land, he draws a line, and to take back the land, he has to draw a completed and closed box (of any shape or size) by walking. So when he starts at the edge of a map, he must walk outwards, down or up, and then immediately back to the edge to draw a box and retake the land.

When the warrior is in his enclosed land, he cannot be harmed by enemy weapons or enemy creatures such as dragons. When he is outside his land, drawing, he is free game, as well as his lines. In other words, if a creature or enemy weapon breaches any unenclosed lines, the warrior will die just as if he was attacked himself. To defeat weapons, creatures, and enemy fortresses, he has to enclose them within his claimed land and within a rather short time limit.

At first, the game does not make much sense, because the instructions are less than forthcoming, but after a bit of trial and error, it becomes all too clear what the game entails. And then once you realize what that is, you also realize how boring the game is.

It has such an unusual concept that you'd think it would be fun, but doing nothing but planning where you will draw next is not fun. Not to mention, it's not that easy to control the warrior. If you are about to be shot and you want to quickly backtrack to enclose your perimeter, forget it. For some reason, the warrior (or the analog nub) does not react well to sharp reactions, so he will most likely make a movement you did not mean to make. The resulting line he drew is then so tiny that you cannot figure out which direction to send him so he can backtrack and get you out of it, so if you're lucky, you can recover and move in a different direction, but most likely by that point, the bullet or dragon has reached your line and killed you. That will happen to you once, forcing you to realize that the only safe strategy is to make lots of little boxes as fast as possible, effectively removing most strategy from the strategy game.

Fortix is unfortunately another PSP Mini to have intriguing gameplay and then fail in execution. The game is on the cheaper side of most PSP Minis ($4.99), so there is not that much risk in checking it out, but there are better PSP Minis out there that are actually fun to spend your hard earned five dollars on.