Lately, I’ve been playing games on a one-off basis. I install a game and play through it within a couple of days at most, either because it’s short, or because I’ve given up on it. A journal entry would make very little sense in that case, so instead, there will be this one posting about the game in general and my playing through it specifically. I’ll start by saying that Fortix 2 falls in the first group – it’s short and I’ve played through it.
What is Fortix?
Fortix is a Qix clone, so the correct question should be “What is Qix?”.
Qix was a dexterity game about claiming territory, released by Taito, all the way back in 1981 as an arcade machine. The objective is to move your symbol across the game area, drawing lines and enclosing surfaces into your color, claiming more and more of the area. Meanwhile, enemies wander across the screen and can hit you either while you’re claiming more territory, or even if you’re just standing in place, so you always need to move and you need to do it carefully.
You can play Qix online if you’d like to, but lower your volume before starting it up. It can get loud and the sounds will probably get annoying quickly.
Qix has spawned remakes, re-releases, clones and ports across most platforms and throughout the years. It has also appeared as a mini-game in several other, more complex games.
Fortix and Fortix 2 are such clones.
What does Fortix 2 add to the equation?
For one, it’s much prettier.
The base mechanic is the same – you move your character across the screen, drawing lines and claiming territory.
This mechanic has been put into a fantasy setting and your goal is not to just claim a certain percentage of the game area. Instead, you have to focus on claiming specific areas, where enemy turrets and objective tokens (shield icons) are located. This destroys those turrets and shields and is required to win a level.
While you’re doing all of that, you also need to dodge enemies and any projectiles the enemy turrets are throwing at you.
Turrets will fire every time you’re out of the save zone for too long. Enemies will either wander aimlessly, home in or you, or fly over your own lines, keeping you on your toes even while in the save zone, and ballistae will just keep firing regardless of where you are.
You will also collect power-ups, score points and combos based on how well you’re doing, capture and activate catapults to destroy turrets more easily and generally attempt to do as well as you can depending on the level and the situation.
There’s strategy to it to. You have to decide where to start claiming and in which direction to go in order to make things easier later. You have to figure out the enemies’ patterns and see if you can somehow divide the enemy forces to make them more manageable.
The main Fortix 2 campaign consists of 30 levels and there’s an additional set of 15 classic levels, which come from the first game, I guess.
While the campaign can be completed relatively simply and quickly, the real challenge comes from perfecting a level – completing it without losing a life.
With the classical levels, there’s an extra challenge of collecting all the stars on the 15 extra levels. This is achieved in a similar fashion to some mobile games – by getting enough points on that level.
The reason I consider Fortix 2 pretty OK and trust me when I say, coming from me, for a game of this type, that’s high praise, is the same reason the original Qix was a relatively successful arcade game – the mechanic is fun to play with and master.
I’ve caught myself repeating levels and playing for hours without even realizing, just so I could perfect a level and master the game. It’s fun and engaging, though with me, it also means I’ll later feel like I’ve wasted my time on something. The challenge is real, but achievable and the mechanics a simple to learn, with enough room for mastery.
As I’m writing this, I tried to just quickly enter the game to take a few screenshots for the posting and then leave, but I find myself unable to do that.
Every time I enter the game, I end up spending some time playing through a level. Then I make a mistake and lose a life, so I immediately restart and try to do it better and more carefully. I just want to do better and be better at it. That’s a sign of an engaging game, regardless of how casual or simple the game might look at first.
I sort of hate it to, kind off
Because here I am, trying to make up a bullshit article, just so I’d have some way of mentioning I actually played this game. At the end of it all, Blogging Games is supposed to be my gaming journal, first and foremost.
It’s a love-hate relationship, I guess.
So here goes.
I’ve played Fortix 2. I’ve beaten Fortix 2, or at least, I’ve beaten the campaign. It took me about 4 hours. I installed the game in the evening and beaten it early afternoon of the next day. It also made me go to sleep late, so I ended up not getting enough sleep at all.
I’ve perfected the campaign, meaning I won every level without losing a life. Of course, I didn’t do it on first try.
I also got the special There’s a New Sheriff in Town achievement on the final level, where you have to capture the final boss and his two replicas at the same time. It was simple, really, and it was basically the default way to win the level with the strategy I was using. I captured a narrow passage from the bottom to almost the top of the level on each side of the fortress and then simply joined them slightly below the top. The boss and his replicas were at the center of the enclosed area, so I captured them at the same time I won the level. I just had to wait for him to actually replicate before finishing it.
While writing this, I also won the first half a dozen classical levels and even got three stars on some of them.
What does that leave me with?
Three more difficulty levels, 14 more achievements, and the rest of the classical levels on the easy difficulty. That’s plenty to go through.
In my usual postings about other games, I’d say here that I’ll definitely attempt to give it a go and clear the game completely, but in all honesty, that probably isn’t going to happen.
What’s more likely is that I’ll be going back to the game a few more times and eventually just forget about it in favor of something else.
And that’s fine. I got it for cheap, it was fun and it will be fun for a little while longer. There isn’t anything more I’d ask from a game like this.