Fort Boyard: The Game Review
Reviewed on Sony PlayStation 4Also available on Microsoft Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch
Fort Boyard has been turned into a game. Fort Boyard, the TV challenge show from the 90s that hasn’t really been a ‘thing’ since the early 2000s, is now a video game you can play on your PS4, Xbox One, Switch or PC. Indeed, the world has turned up side down.
In many ways, Fort Boyard: The Game is a little bit too faithful to its roots - as well as taking source material from a niche TV show 20 years ago, it also has PS2-era graphics, mini-game activities that would have seemed a little basic on the Nintendo Wii, and an eerie tone that’ll make you wish you were locked in a French island prison fort.
Fort Boyard: The Game is a faithful adaptation of the TV show it’s based on, in that it follows a group of contestant - one of which you control - as you work your way through challenge rooms in an island fort, in order to collect enough clues to earn treasure at the end.
In the game, most of these ‘challenge rooms’ consists of a quick-time event, and they’re usually incredibly easy at that - ‘Barrack’ tasks you with mashing trigger buttons to run in a straight line, then pressing a button to complete the challenge when you get to the end, and there are many similar games.
A few of the challenges are a little more complex, like ‘Safari’ in which you have to drive a vehicle along a 2D plane to collect water from one spot, then leave it in another, but it’s still so much more basic than your typical mini game bonanza.
So the actual gameplay is overly simplistic and boring, so much show that it wouldn’t even be appropriate for a family gathering with youngsters or a drunk group of friends. Are there any redeeming features of the game?
No. The levels are tied together with cutscenes that look like they’d be rough in a PS2 Worms game, let alone in a game on the current generation of consoles, and there’s no voices at all - instead, it’s clips of a CG wizard gesticulating gently, or blobby humanoids applauding each other.
The load times are also surprisingly long given the basic art style and gameplay.
After a few super-easy randomly chosen mini games and soul-sapping cutscenes, you play the final mini game, and the game ends. You get a score, and the game ends. Your whole experience is over in half an hour, and even if you replay the ‘campaign’ to try all the mini games (of which there are thirteen, that you can choose between in a ‘training’ menu), you’re getting about two hours of content before you’re pulling your hair out from boredom - if you even get that far.
Who’s Fort Boyard: The Game for? The TV series is fairly niche, so it seems likely the crossover between avid gamers, Fortnatics, and people have no standards in what games they play, is incredibly limited.
The few people in the centre of that tight vein diagram who decide to buy Fort Boyard: The Game will be disappointed when they play it, as it’s far more simplistic and short than the legions of better party games out there.