If you want to see how influential Fortnite has been, look no further than Creative Destruction. This slick shooter could pass for Epic’s blockbuster game in a line-up – and that’s a very good thing.

There are differences, of course, and we’ll get into those later. But for now we’ll look at how Creative Destruction is a solid rival to the game that provided its inspiration.

First things first. The aim in Creative Destruction is simply to survive. Ideally you’ll do some killing too, and you’ll be lucky to avoid a spot of bloodshed before the end of the round, but winning just means being the last player standing.

Matches start when you hurl yourself out of a flying car onto a sprawling 4x4km island, where as many as 99 other players are waiting for you, locked and loaded.

This is always the same island, and it never changes – but your landing site almost always does. You can drop into a snowy region, a rocky place, and other environments besides. Moreover, the playable area on the island closes in over time, always in a different place, so every round feels radically different from the last.

Kill or Be Killed

Matches typically involve dropping into an underpopulated area and hunting for weapons. You start with a Destructor, but it works on buildings and trees rather than people. To survive you’ll need a pistol, or an SMG, or an assault rifle, sniper rifle, shotgun, grenade, or bazooka – or all of them at once.

These weapons are in the buildings that are scattered around the island, hidden in loot chests, dropped randomly into the battlefield, or left behind by murdered players.

Moving around and shooting is handled exactly as you’d expect, with movement on the right of the screen and looking around and firing on the left. Neatly, there’s a fire button on the right, too, so that you can look and shoot simultaneously.

Along with a fire button you’ve got a jump and a crouch, as well as a button for opening chests. And when you’re holding your Destructor, there’s a range of different buttons for building various types of structure.

Believe it or not, building is as much a part of Creative Destruction as shooting is. As long as you have the materials to build with – which you collect by taking apart existing structures and other objects – you can instantly create floors, walls, entire rooms, and ramps.

The value of this might not be immediately apparent to a beginner, but experienced players rely as much on their building skills as their shooting skills. A firefight between two pros is a dynamic process of creating cover and building elevated points of view to shoot from, all while strategically taking apart their opponent’s cover.

Robots in Disguise

You may have encountered this sort of gameplay in Fortnite, but in Creative Destruction the structures you create are much more destructible, which helps the battles to flow a bit more. You can’t just build a bunker and hide – building and movement are inseparable.

While solo is the main mode – the classic last-player standing – there are several other modes to try if you don’t like that one. There’s Duo, Squad, Fireteam, and – for this month only – a special Bumblebee mode in which you drive around on the island. If you’re lucky you can even drive the iconic yellow Autobot yourself.

Plus there are daily missions, a guild mode, chat, and even a wheel of fortune. You can spend a lot of time in the shop, too, choosing cosmetic items, weapons, and more to spend your hard-earned in-game currency on.

You know the drill by now. Creative Destruction is a free-to-play game, so a lot of its peripheral gameplay is centred around its in-game economy, where you get to gear-up for maximum bragging rights on the battlefield.

It works in Fortnite, and it works here too. If you’re looking for an alternative to Epic’s blockbuster, you won’t find much better than this. You can find Creative Destruction on the App Store and Google Play. Check it out here if you’re located in Europe or Japan, and here if you’re located anywhere else.