By Zach Bergevin,
The wildly popular video game “Fortnite,” which has invaded Xbox, computer and PS4 screens across the globe, has now infiltrated the mobile scene as well with a new iOS app. And yes, it is addicting.
This unprecedented advance in the gaming industry has captured the attention of teens everywhere. A game which usually requires the computing power of a PC or gaming console has been expertly condensed so that it runs on mobile phones and can be played anywhere with an internet connection.
“Fortnite,” like its predecessor “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” (PUBG), is a massive multiplayer battle created by Epic Games in which 100 users are simultaneously dropped onto a virtual island in a battle to the death until only one remains. In order to win, players must harvest materials such as wood and metal, build structures known as forts to defend themselves and eliminate opponents with weaponry, all while avoiding being killed by opponents or being “stormed” out. The storm is the circular area on the map which decreases over time and players must continually remain inside of it to survive, forcing the game’s action.
To say “Fortnite” has been a success in the gaming world would be a huge understatement. According to PC Games, the iOS app skyrocketed to the top of the charts in 13 different countries just 12 hours after its initial release. This news comes as no surprise, given that the PC version sees over 3.4 million players at a time with a total player count of over 45 million.
The game has even spilled into the college and professional basketball scene; Detroit Pistons star center Andre Drummond claims his teammates hooked him on the game, and Los Angeles Lakers guard Josh Hart reportedly played for 10 hours straight, and now has custom shoes dedicated to “Fortnite.”
The mobile app, available now on iOS and Android, employs the same clever cartoonish graphics and battle-royale playstyle which lends itself to friends playing together by forming squads to compete against the field.
In an impressive display of maturity, “Fortnite” developers sent out the message on the app recently for student-users to stop playing in class. This action speaks volumes to the enjoyment and addiction users experience with the new app. First, it obviously means students are obsessively playing during other events, valuing it over even their schooling.
Second, and much more shocking, the makers are actually discouraging users from playing. The developers’ current stranglehold on the industry is tighter than a python’s squeeze on unsuspecting prey, and this warning to users is quite possibly their way of flaunting their dominance.
Oh, yeah, and it’s free. The game does not currently cost any money on the app store, nor does the PC or console version. What more could a prospective gamer ask for from the company? Players can team up with friends on mobile devices and play virtually anywhere in the world, competing against 99 valiant opponents on a worthy platform for no cost.
Although these advantages are certainly unparalleled in the gaming industry, “Fortnite” mobile still has room for growth. The cartoonish graphics, which users have grown fond of after months of obsession with the game, are slightly diminished in quality by the iPhone version, but the same basic elements of design are still present.
The only mechanics in the game that seem somewhat hindered by the mobile version are the aiming and trigger buttons on the screen, which are more difficult to coordinate because the user is without physical buttons that can simultaneously and ergonomically be employed.
As a free and mobile option to continue playing virtually anywhere the game users know and obsess over, “Fortnite” the app will rightfully dominate the app store market in near future and offer the best massive, mobile and multiplayer game to the public.