Game of Phones: Every week I’ll pick a game for iOS or Android that’s perfect for long journeys, the commute or just when you want to switch off from the outside world.
Fortnite has grown beyond a level of popularity that I honestly thought was possible within video games. Football players are ‘flossing’ after their goals while kids are learning to do the ‘Scrubs’ dance.
The popularity of this game is down to a number of reasons, but I truly believe that one of them is that you can play it on an iPhone.
Through some form of what I can only assume is voodoo magic, Fortnite’s developers Epic Games have somehow ported over a near perfect version of the entire game onto your iPhone or iPad.
That means you can get on the train, load up Fortnite and explore the same vast island and see the same beautiful graphics that a moment ago were appearing on your TV running on your PlayStation 4. Just take a moment to consider that.
Yes, playing it is harder than if you were using a controller. What makes it really special though is it isn’t that much harder. Normally playing a game like this on a phone would be a clumsy, infuriating mess.
After just a few hours however you start to feel like you’re getting the hang of it and by the end of the week it has become second nature.
The game’s battle royale premise is simple: 100 players, one island and you battle it out till one person is left. To stop things feeling stale, Fortnite’s map and content are constantly evolving.
The game is based around seasons and much like TV shows, each season gets teased inside the game, leading up to a huge in-game moment when something big happens.
Season 5 started this week, and along with it the game has undergone some huge changes. A vast rift has appeared in the sky and start teleporting objects all over the place. Locations have disappeared, new ones have popped up and dotted around the island are tiny rifts that can teleport you from one side to the other.
Other new features include rifts that are now dotted randomly around the map. These little teleporting anomalies will send you across the map to another location.
There are now vehicles, or rather one vehicle, in the form of a hilariously OTT golf buggy that can hold you and three of your teammates.
This combined with the new shrinking game boundary makes the game faster, harder to master and ultimately leaves you feeling all the more satisfied when you actually win.
Ultimately what makes the game so addictive, and so compelling though is the way it makes money.
It’s completely free-to-play so technically you don’t have to spend a single penny to enjoy all of the things I mentioned above. Instead Fortnite makes money from all the cosmetic items (clothes, gliders, dance moves) that can be earned or bought from playing.
Each season comes with a new ‘Battle Pass’ that for around £10 gives you access to all of these cosmetic items as you level up. That’s not a huge amount of money and at no point did I feel like I was being pressured into spending it.
It’s this combination of a pressure-free environment with the game’s utterly addictive gameplay that makes it utterly unique as far as I’m concerned.
Fortnite is available to download for free on iPhone via the App Store.