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Update: Fieldrunners

February 7, 2009
Fieldrunners is a great game for the iPhone. Everyone knows that. Not everyone knows that Subatomic studios just released an update for the game, expanding the content by a third. I’ll fill you in on what’s new in patch 1.2!

Two New Towers

Up first we’ve got the Flame Tower, which (can you guess?) sprays flames at oncoming runners. The area of effect damage for this tower is pretty handy, especially against tightly-packed bad guys, but I felt that the real bonus was the nonstop damage - as long as the enemy’s in range, there’s no escaping the hurt. Then there’s the Mortar Tower, which launches giant bombs across the map to take out how groups of runners at a time. The Mortar Tower is borderline overpowered, but when you take into account how costly it is ($300 for a fully upgraded tower), I suppose it evens out. A unique aspect to this tower is its range - it has both a minimum and maximum range, as seen below.

One New Map

Drylands is the newest map in Fieldrunners, and it’s the toughest one yet. Three entrances and exits make it tough to use the tried-and-true strategy of creating a maze out of your turrets. The fact that more air units come through the Drylands than any other map means you'll be experimenting with new ways to construct your defense grid.


Patch 1.2 is riddled with bugs. In my time with the game after updating, it crashed about 14 times. On a number of occasions runners didn’t trigger turrets, allowing them to run straight past my elaborately constructed death machine. One thing that may or may not be a bug (but is infuriating either way) is that your progress in the game seems to be wiped upon updating. This is doubly frustrating because in order to access the new turrets, you have to be playing on Endless or Extended mode. I can understand limiting the new towers to higher modes, but don’t make veteran players re-beat the game! Though the new features are VERY cool, I’d recommend weighing your options first. The frequency of crashes really makes it tough to have a smooth playing session. However, the autosave is very solid, and I never lost progress due to a crash. If you can deal with frequent interruptions, the new towers, map and small features like extra sound effects are definitely worth it. We’ll be sure to watch Fieldrunners and see if a patch to fix these crashes pops up in the days ahead. Oh, and if you don't know what the heck Fieldrunners is, check our earlier review here!

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