I don’t enjoy the Heroes of Might and Magic games at all, nor am I a fan of 4X gameplay. I can’t even tell you why; it’s just an example of the subjective-objective distinction that I try to emphasize. There’s a lot of great stuff in HoMM – it’s just not something that appeals to me personally.

This is part of why Fort Triumph grabbed my attention: it took the HoMM thing and then fused it with the sort of gameplay that I’m more accustomed to covering. I figured I had to give it a try. Lo and behold, Fort Triumph ended up being the most fun I’ve ever had with any HoMM-like game.

I can still safely say that HoMM is not something that appeals to me personally, however. For this reason, I wouldn’t feel comfortable writing any more articles covering them; I don’t feel qualified to speak to their quality, so it just wouldn’t be fair to them if I tried. (Anyone who’s an expert in those games is welcome to do so, of course.)

For fans of HoMM, Fort Triumph offers the typical 4X overworld stuff that you’d expect. You have a town you can expand, hero parties who can explore the map, resources you can exploit, and enemy heroes you can exterminate. It’s a good test of your ability to multitask and execute a grand, macrocosmic vision for the battlefield. 

Every time you start a new campaign or skirmish, the overworld map is randomly generated, resulting in infinite replay value. If you love the system, then there’s no shortage of enjoyment to be derived here. 

This is what one of the towns looks like

That’s the first half of Fort Triumph’s gameplay. The other half would be the battle system itself, which takes on a completely different form than what you’d expect of HoMM. Here’s where the Xcom influence probably comes in. (I haven’t played any Xcom games and don’t really know where to start, so that’s why I say “probably.”)

Battles take place on typical SRPG grids. Here, characters use action points to move, attack, and use skills. They can take “cover” behind terrain for evasion bonuses. Ranged units can use a skill called “Overwatch” to stay in place and automatically fire at the next enemy to walk into their field of vision. 

Fort Triumph places a lot of emphasis on the terrain. Characters can kick enemies into rocks or knock over trees to damage enemies, usually stunning them in the process.

Each character has their own skills, too. Instead of managing troops like in HoMM, you level up your characters and upgrade these skills. Units you recruit will have randomized skillsets. Additionally, certain random encounters on the overworld can result in your heroes learning new skills or acquiring new items. 

All things considered, it’s a fairly good battle system with a well-designed character progression model.

Fort Triumph only has one campaign, and it’s fairly brief: I beat it within 6 hours. It would’ve been even faster, but I crashed a couple times. That forced me to replay entire battles, costing me around 30 minutes.

A neat thing about the campaign: at the end of the first two acts, you’ll have to choose a few things to take with you. You can’t bring everything.

Just like many other games made with Unity, Fort Triumph has its share of bugs. Enemies take too long to think sometimes. The game will unpredictably crash sometimes. Pausing will sometimes freeze the game, forcing you to restart. Loading screens take very long. The bugs aren’t too bad, but they’re still something that hold back the game. 

Mostly due to its randomization, Fort Triumph has something to offer for fans of HoMM and fans of traditional SRPGs. HoMM fans have the typical skirmish stuff which lends itself to endless replayability; SRPG fans have a short campaign which also has lots of replayability. What we are given is decent… I just wish we had more campaigns. 

This stuff is cool, but meh; I rarely find myself interested in skirmishes with no story. 

Overall, Fort Triumph is a very good game. It’s not my personal favorite because after playing it, I’ve come to the realization that there’s nothing that a HoMM-like game can really do to make me love it. However, I need to emphasize that I have a great deal of respect for HoMM and Fort Triumph. 

If you’re a fan of SRPGs and have (somehow) never played Heroes of Might and Magic, this may just be the perfect starting point for you.

General Information

Year: 2018
Console: PC, Mac, Switch, PS4
Developers: CookieByte Entertainment
Steam page: https://store.steampowered.com/app/612570/Fort_Triumph/

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