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Weekly Time Waster – ‘Fortnite’

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What happens when you take the free-for-all/last person standing concept of “The Hunger Games” and let millions of players venture into a multiplayer tournament? Each fighting other digital players to be that last person standing? A glorious game called “Fortnite: Battle Royale,” that’s what.

“Fortnite: Battle Royale” is, well … a massive battle royale. With an extremely large map and 100 players in a game, you see yourself dropped out of the sky and fending for yourself, gathering weapons and supplies. You do this in hopes of setting yourself up to make it to the end of the tournament as the winner. This is why “Fortnite” is genuinely enjoyable to play. It is different every time. Its fantastic art style also leads one to believe it was created and animated by Pixar Studios. It’s extremely cartoony, colorful and gorgeous to look at.

To set the scene of an average match, you begin aboard a flying purple school bus, promptly named; “The Battle Bus.” That’s right - a flying school bus. Intriguing, no? All 100 players are on this bus. You are then transported to the huge map and prompted to “jump out.” As you free-fall from the sky, the map becomes a large open canvas from which to pick your adventure. You can fall wherever you see fit. In my first match, I saw a little farm on the outskirts of the map that no one seemed to be parachuting to. So that is where I laid ground. But there’s no shortage of places to go. The map is littered with towns, military bases, parking lots and mountains.

I then began scavenging for whatever supplies I could find: weapons, tools and some bandages. You do start out with a large pickaxe, which can be used to destroy things and gather materials to build with. Building includes creating forts, walls, stairs and more.

After feeling confident with my load-out, I set forth upon a town I saw as I was parachuting down. The game does a great job with sound effects. As I was approaching the town, I could hear distant weapon discharges and explosions, so I sat on a hill to see what was going on. I watched players eliminate each other one by one in the village. I figured it was better to let them all settle their differences and keep myself alive. Afterward, I ran down, took their dropped loot and continued on.

As the player count dwindles from battle, the map begins to get smaller, forcing the mere few survivors to engage with each other. This is where the tension really rises. You have to use your intelligence and play smart to make it to the final few. One small mistake and you lose. I found myself cleverly being eliminated in my first game by a smart player. He baited me to go into a building that had some armor in it. As I opened the front door, I sprung a trap he had set, in which could only be described as something out of “Home Alone.” I laughed at my loss - and then played 10 more rounds.

Playing “Fortnite” made me feel like I was part of the “Hunger Games” - and I didn’t have to pay a cent. On top of that, it is completely addictive. I wasted a bunch of my free time, so it has to be a time waster right?

Download “Fortnite: Battle Royale” for free on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox Live Stores. Don’t worry PC players, you can pick up this fantastic title for free as well, straight from Epicgames.com! Now venture forth survivors and strive to be the last man standing!

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