Infested Fortress – Demo Impressions

Tried out Infested Fortress by Bitmen Studios, and it’s a hybrid of X-com and Dungeon Keeper, set in a medieval fantasy setting. It is similar to their previous game The Storm Guard: Darkness is Coming, but a lot more advanced. While it ticks a lot of my gaming boxes, it comes with a serious problem… just like Storm Guard to be frank. The problem is that it’s way too hard on normal!

I got no issues with difficult games, but it got to ease you into it. To be fair, it does in a way, the first two fights, however, after those, you are in for a very bumpy ride. The next fights to come are very tough, and while you might have recruited a few extra heroes by this time, they will still be low-level with pitiful equipment. The enemy gives no f’s about that, though, and the second raiding party might as well be an end-game boss. I managed to dig out a chimera too that constantly ate all my food. I tried to fight him, but he had 1500 hp, and one to two-shotted my heroes, and this game got perma-death. So you can guess how that ended.

Other than that, and some graphical issues – in that the game is pretty hideous. Not in bad graphics, but design, like how the rooms you built are just open squares with no walls separating them. It just looks plain ugly, and messy. That can be overlooked since the premise is very interesting. You are running a group of heroes excavating a dungeon, fighting monsters on the way. Rooms need to be dug out and transformed into different workstations, bedrooms, and the like. There are a lot of different classes of heroes, and they all have an inventory and skills. Lots of cool stuff in other words, and from what I tried, this aspect is very enjoyable.

We got an ugly goblin too!

The combat is typical for turn-based titles, and this part of the game is good too, except that it got way too hard for me very quickly. And as I mentioned, Storm Guard had the same problem, a game I enjoyed until I ran into a wall of punishment there too. You can change the game to easy, but who wants to do that? I play on the difficulty intended, however, I’m not sure normal is intended to be that frustrating. I mean, the game had barely begun. Okay, I will stop going on about the difficulty now, it’s just that I want a more “balanced” experience in my older days.

Infested Fortress has real potential nonetheless, and it has made my wishlist. The X-com base building, combined with RPG-like heroes with turn-based combat makes for a good time. If it comes out, and normal is as hard as in the demo, I guess I just have to swallow my pride and go for easy.

Thanks for reading.


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