Fortnite came out of nowhere. No, not the PVE horde mode that was the original core of the game. Of course I mean Battle Royale. It's fun. I'll admit it. I've played quite a bit (and only won twice, but don't hold that against me). I've even spent real world money to get a skin I wanted and to get the Battle Pass which allows me to earn rewards as I play (I know you know what a Battle Pass is, I'm explaining for that one dude over there who doesn't). It's a game I suck at and it's infuriatingly addictive. Its family friendly aesthetic means that it's player base is broader and younger than say its main competitor, PUBG.
Despite this, when I heard that it was coming to mobile devices, I thought it was an early April Fools joke. My curmudgeonness aside, it makes so much sense to take the game in this direction. During the period, a fortnight back (see what I did there?), when the weather brought the UK to its knees, several schools around the country were closed leaving parents at a loss as to what to do with their offspring. I walked into the office next door, during the day, to find a colleague's son, who at a guess is probably early teens, watching Fortnite videos in the corner as his Mum worked away at her desk.
That's when it hit me. I use my phone for social media and news. I have two games on it (Pacman and Marvel's Contest of Champions just in case you're curious) that I haven't booted up yet this year. This version of the game, heading for both iOS and Android (sorry for the few of you still holding out on Windows, god bless you), is not for me. It's going to take High School by storm though.
When I play games I like it to be an event. I want to sit down, grab a controller or set up a mouse and keyboard, and experience something. This needs to be, at least, an hour commitment. I don't do pick up and go. The Switch looks cool and I really want to play Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but the idea of the console isn't for me. So too Fortnite Battle Royal: Mobile. As well as the diminished (in my opinion) experience, I know without getting my hands on it that I will not be able to control the game with a touch screen interface without the tactile feedback of keys or thumb-sticks. I can't hit the broadside of a battle-ship already in Fortnite, how bloody good am I going to be with a floating joystick?
Epic have now opened registration for the trial period. Both iOS and Android users can sign up but only the former can currently be selected with the Android launch coming in the next couple of months. To play you'll need an iPhone 6S/SE, iPad Mini 4, iPad Air 2, iPad 2017, iPad Pro, or a newer Apple device with iOS 11. Epic have stated that the experience will be exactly the same as on PC and consoles, the same 100 player count, the same map and the same weekly updates. The mobile version will also allow for cross-play with consoles and PC but this will be an opt in feature so if you are playing PC don't worry about being forced to play with mobile users (might be an easy win though). In a forum post on their site, Epic went on to say ""We believe this is the future of games. The same game on all platforms. Console quality graphics and action. Play when you want, where you want." Although the claim of same graphical quality is currently a pipe dream, with character progression migrating across devices maybe this will also become popular on the morning/evening commute, who knows, but I think that's what Epic is banking on.
Does a mobile version of Fortnite appeal to you? How often do you play mobile games or are you a grumpy old chuff like me? Comment below or tweet us @ghoulishent with your thoughts. You can check out the teaser trailer for the title below which might help you collect your thoughts, one way or another.