There are hits on Steam, there are insider tips, and there’s Infested Fortress: the new strategy game on Steam has 92% positive reviews and players saying it’s highly addictive, but hardly anyone touches the game when it launches. It feels like RimWorld in a fantasy dungeon. Maybe that’s better, says Schuhmann, author of MeinMMO. Because gambling is addictive and poses a danger to leisure activities.
What kind of game is this?
- Infested Fortress is a strategy game on Steam where you build your own dungeon in real time, like Dungeon Keeper. A daily timer runs tirelessly and new days bring dangerous mythical creatures, wild animals and undead marauders to the dungeon.
- Battles against hordes of attacking enemies and boss fights are fought using a turn-based strategy, like in Baldur’s Gate 3.
- The game has been in early access on Steam since March 2023, but was only officially released on October 29th. It costs €19.50 – but there is also a free demo available for download. The game is available in German and English, but the soundtrack is in English only.
The trailer doesn’t look like anything, but the game has:
A mix of Dungeon Keeper and RimWorld in a fantasy dungeon
How does the game work? Surprisingly good. Just like in the old “Dungeon Keeper” or “Dwarf Fortress”, you get your own dungeon, which you can expand by digging and building walls, so that you will soon build an impressive fortress. With each cell you excavate, you obtain new raw materials such as wood, stone, magma, gold, ores or simply mother earth. Repeatedly you will discover farm animals in the dungeon, such as chickens, pigs or cows, for which you build farms.
In the rapidly expanding vaults, you can freely configure rooms and have multiple economic cycles running within minutes:
- So you can grow wheat, grains or mushrooms – which can be used to make soup or bread that will help your skinny fantasy heroes survive. If you eat a balanced and varied diet, you will receive a bonus to your hit points. If they starve, their HP will decrease quickly.
- You can craft different pieces of equipment at different quality levels and therefore have a progression system at the start: although you can only craft a bow or a short sword at the start, your heroes will quickly become more skilled and be able to use the materials stronger than you are mine, soon flaming swords or powerful armor will be made.
- You can also build housing, training rooms or a cafeteria.
You must make sure that your fortress is built sensibly and that the rooms are separated from each other by walls so that the effectiveness remains high: Because if you simply arrange all the rooms in one huge open space without any design, The effectiveness of the rooms will decrease drastically. In addition to long distances, there is a risk of loss of efficiency, hunger and loss of time.
If you build poorly, you will quickly have no chance in battles.
A group of heroes like in an RPG with items and skills
This is the appeal of the game: In “Infested Fortress” you are constantly under pressure, because enemies wait at regular intervals until you defeat them, otherwise they will rob you, destroy the fortress or simply start the fight themselves.
To dominate the hordes of monsters, you have a group of heroes at your disposal: you start with 3, but receive replenishment regularly. On the 15th you will have around 6 heroes available, which you can take into battle.
Anyone who falls in battle must be replaced. This invites you to constantly reload or even restart.
The collection of heroes is different and incredibly diverse:
- There are tanks using plate armor like Champion or Knight.
- Melee fighters like Assassin, Slayer or Paladin (who, strangely, are not allowed to wear plate armor).
- Various types of archers that can also summon pets or set traps.
- With the priest and the monk you have two healers at your disposal; the priest is a more offensive magical hybrid.
- With Warlock, Frost and Fire Mage you have three magic classes to choose from that are clearly different from each other. The wizard specializes in draining mana from opponents.
Classes have a complete system of skills and levels: you will quickly notice your progress in power. While a level 1 priest can do practically nothing other than swing his staff and send a beam of light at the opponent once per round, a level 5 priest has several healing spells, chains of lightning, and a holy whirlwind at his disposal. .
It’s also important that – as in Monster Hunter – you craft new equipment from defeated opposing bosses: a troll like this quickly becomes a special sword, a poisonous manticore becomes a shield.
And the animals provide the raw material leather and the meat resource for the grill.
Infested Fortess is addictive, but it has almost no players
And is this fun? In fact, despite the modest graphics, Infested Fortress is highly addictive and complicated. Even on the second highest difficulty level, the game is difficult to crack, even for experienced strategy players. Because the Infested Fortress mercilessly punishes weaknesses in dungeon structure or mistakes in tactics. The game confronts the player with an ever-increasing learning curve:
The initial idea: “My knight just tanks the mobs and the rest deals damage” quickly fails when the tank is attacked by 6 skeletons in one round.
“Kiting” mobs also present difficulties. The game is much more demanding than it seems, because opponents also use ranged skills, and therefore a magical skeleton is much better protected by magical formulas and tougher than a ragged skeleton would ever be.
An RPG without dialogue – divided into combat and creation
Because what looks a little difficult in the trailer turns out to be a smart, challenging puzzle that delivers the full “role-playing boost” many are looking for.
A kind of “essence of an RPG” without much dialogue and plot, but divided into combat and crafting game systems.
Infested Fortress has a high level of difficulty and you tend to make mistakes, fail and start all over again.
The game appears to have not yet circulated on Steam, as it has almost no players, despite already having 92% positive reviews.
In March 2023 there were 17 players at the same time. The game’s launch apparently failed completely and in the last 24 hours the peak number of players was 2.
Highly addictive for strategy and RPG fans who care little about graphics
What do the comments say? Players praise how complicated and challenging it is to build an effective dungeon and defeat the waves of monsters the game throws at you.
If you want to give a game that seems nothing like it a try, you should definitely take a look at the demo and then decide if Infested Fortress is worth the €19.50.
But I warn you: I discovered the game on Saturday and played until 4am. I didn’t touch it again on Sunday because otherwise it would have completely ruined my weekend.
More game recommendations:
Steam: I started as a lone Viking – 400 years later I have half of Europe, 12,300 descendants and a problem