Fieldrunners 2: The Holy Grail Of Tower Defense Games
Fieldrunners 2 ($2.99) by Subatomic Studios, LLC is the follow up game to the original Fieldrunners, which is a popular tower defense title.
There are countless tower defense apps in the App Store, but Fieldrunners is a game that helped to shape the mobile tower defense genre simply because it was one of the first TD games, published back in October of 2008.
Because Fieldrunners has been around so long, Subatomic Studios has had a lot of time to polish the game, and that’s one of the reasons that Fieldrunners 2 is an exceptional tower defense title.
The first thing you’ll notice about Fieldrunners 2 is the graphics, which look great. The game features 20 hand painted levels in four different environments, from grassy fields to volcanoes.
As in the original game, Fieldrunners 2 features an open field design that allows players to direct enemies through mazes of towers, though there are tunnels, trenches, and bridges to contend with.
I won’t spend too much time talking about the control scheme, but I will say it is similar to the first Fieldrunners, and there are no glaring issues to contend with. Placing and upgrading towers and moving around the battlefield are both done with simple touch gestures.
While the game features all of the upgrades you would expect in a sequel, such as additional enemies, towers, and modes, where it really shines is the gameplay mechanics.
The game engine has had a total overhaul, and the AI has been noticeably improved. In fact, this game may have the most impressive enemy AI of any tower defense game that I’ve played.
In most tower defense titles, and in the original Fieldrunners, the enemies are little more than walking targets, that progress woodenly forward to their doom. That is not the case in Fieldrunners 2.
Enemies are intelligent, which makes the entire game feel more organic than mechanical. Enemies are aware of you, and aware of themselves, which causes them to react to one another.
They will run into each other, climb over each other, and swarm up in unique ways. Enemies won’t always take the same route, and the game keeps you guessing, which is a lot of fun and a significant challenge.
Fieldrunners 2 has several new towers of note, including the bee hive tower and the plague tower. The bee hive tower will shoot hives of bees at groups of enemies, while the plague sends a syringe to infect them. Both towers have great animations.
Elite enemies, which are slightly harder than regular enemies, present a new challenge in the game. There’s also a coin system that allows players to purchase in game upgrades, such as rewind, which will roll back three rounds, or deep freeze, which stops enemies in their tracks.
I expected that Fieldrunners 2 would have in-app purchases, but all coins are earned in game and can’t be purchased at this point in time.
The game has a new sudden death game mode, which allows players to contend with an endless stream of enemies. Players will also find a new collection card system that rewards a card for every Game Center achievement earned, which is just one more reason why this is a solid, well-polished tower defense title.
Fieldrunners 2 essentially has everything that I look for in a tower defense, including tons of towers, plenty of enemy types, and multiple game modes. I have few complaints, other than the fact that it isn’t universal.
There is currently no iPad version of Fieldrunners 2, and though it is planned, the developers do not intend to make this a universal title. Instead, those of you who want to play on multiple devices will need to buy the game twice, so if you prefer to play on the iPad, as I do, you will want to wait for the iPad edition of Fieldrunners 2 instead of impatiently snatching up the iPhone version.
All in all, if you’re a tower defense fan, you probably don’t need me to tell you to pick up this game. It’s everything that you would expect from a sequel to one of the most popular iOS tower defense games, and if you don’t mind that it is iPhone only, it’s a must download.