Our Fort review, what we have to say about the deck building and hand management game that brings you back to your youth. This is a unique title that pushes player interaction and card usability to levels never achieved before. Through crafty move making, you want to grow your circle of friends, collect pizza and toys, and build the coolest fort.
We took a look across fun, replayability, player interaction, quality and art & style to come up with the overall score for our Fort review. See the breakdown by category below.
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– CATEGORY BREAKDOWN –
Fun (9 out of 10)
For the fun section of the Fort review, we award a great 9 out of 10. Fort lays in a mix of mechanics into gameplay that is almost too good to be true. It is a deck building game that has very little deck building and it is a hand managment game where all cards can be used in at least three different ways. The subtlety and balance is a thing of absolute beauty. We will get into this in a later section, but also, the player interaction is genius with layers that surpass so many others in its field. The game is beautiful, you have tons of options, it is light but deep and the balance is so incredibly on point. All this together is a formula for fun and success.
To boil further down on the idea that this is a deck building game with little deck building, it is important to clarify why this has such a subtle elegance. Like all deck builders, you start with a deck and need to cycle through it and add to it as the game progresses. Here you are only adding in a max one card to your deck each turn, which is pretty light in comparison to others in this field. BUT, players need to be careful what they don’t use during their turn because those go into a “yard” area and other players can take your cards from you from that area if you so choose. A game that lets other players stick their hands in your cookie jar like that is so crafty. The Deck Building is a subtle element of the game but it drives everything. You have to think about the process on so many different levels, but it is all still light and not overwhelming.
Replayability (8 out of 10)
For the replayability section of the Fort review, we award a very good 8 out of 10. This may be the lowest individual score in this review but it is by no means a slouch. We have said this several times before – many paths to victory, many options in choices to make and a healthy amount of game components changing from game to game is a recipe for fantastic replayability, and Fort has all that in Spades. There is not a TON of changes from game to game, but enough to make your dramatically rethink your planned strategy each new play.
There are different characters that have different “best friends”, your crew is going to be different each time, the perks you have available changes and your secret goals are always different. These all have the potential to way heavily on gameplay making for a fresh new experience each and every time.
Player Interaction (9 out of 10)
For the player interaction section of the Fort review, we award a nearly impossible to beat 9 out of 10. We cannot sing the praises of how great the Fort player interaction is enough. In a deck builder you are almost always doing your own thing. If you are playing one that is more interactive, it is usually where you are preparing something on your own and then you are heading off to fight someone else or something like that. In Fort, whatever action players take during their turn, other players can take a small piece of that action. It is very much like the iconic worker drafting game Puerto Rico. Not only does it have these rare actions on other turns but the game also puts you in a position where none of your crew is safe.
Instead of putting cards in your deck that are then yours for the game or until you decide to do something to trash them, this game has a “yard” mechanic that makes any unused card fair game to be picked up by other players. It fits the theme so well. Say you are a kid on the playground building a fort with your crew and they don’t want your help. Kids are fickle, they are more than happy to move over to the amazing team. Taking away this safety of your cards being safe in your deck, it adds a great layer that you always need to keep in the back of your mind.
Quality (10 out of 10)
For the player interaction section of the Fort review, we award a fantastic 10 out of 10. Another incredibly high mark that is well deserved. This is an incredibly strategic game with lots going on, but it is built so intuitively and uses simple ideas, that young children will have no problem with this. Everything shifts and changes, but instructions and any reference materials are clear as day.
Again, the balance here is off the charts. We previously mentioned that you can use your cards in different ways. The main thing is you can use them as a main thing on your turn that has two actions or as generic fuel for the aforementioned action. To be able to pull this off, all the cards need to have pros and cons that weigh equal to one another or there will just always be cards that are thrown away as junk. That does not happen here. A feat much more difficult than it looks.
We cannot move on from Quality without discussing the components and packaging. First off, they cram a ton of game into a small box. This is one of the most responsible and honest things a game publisher can do. Then you have the components. Simple things like thick player cards with indents where pieces need to sit. Anyone who has played a game of Terraforming Mars knows the importance of this. Subtle but important and a little thing that improves the overall experience so much.
Art & Style (9 out of 10)
For the art & style section of the Fort review, we award a great 9 out of 10. The theme is so on point. This is a game about kids building a fort and everything goes along with that perfectly. The colors are lively and fun, the illustrations are dynamic and interesting, and so much information is conveyed through clear and concise icons and symbols.
Even the games logo looks like a sign that would be on the outside of a kid’s fort and envokes all this joy. Its hard to describe but is a mix of nostalgia and whimsey. I mean your major source of currency is pizza and toys, if that doesn’t tell you anything, I do not know what will. It walks a fine line too. Kids will never think they are playing and adult game and adults will never think they are playing a kids game.
– IN CLOSING –
Fort Review | Board Game Halv
Fort is one of our highest rated reviews of all time. We are saying that to check this one out is a must. It brings new things to the table that have just never been in a package like this. It is beautiful, it is accessible and you will have no problem playing it over and over again. The publisher, Leder Games, has a reputation for quality and this game lives up to that reputation. This has been our Fort review.
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See the full explanation of the judging criteria here.