The tower defense genre has been around for years, punctuated every so often by the release of a game that sets a new standard. One of the first for the browser world was Desktop Tower Defense, and for the mobile market, an early heavy-hitter was the original Fieldrunners. Developer Subatomic Studios took a few years to do it, but the team has finally rolled out a worthy sequel with Fieldrunners 2. Expect more maps, more variety, more units, more enemies, and more rewards with this stunning release that will rewrite the way you think of the tower defense genre on iPhone.
Fieldrunners 2 pits you against wave after wave of fieldrunners, disposable enemies who crowd the level trying to make it across the screen. By buying and placing towers with different abilities, you can slow and eventually halt their progress, upgrading and deploying more units when the enemy creeps bump up their game. You can place towers on certain locations on the screen, and if the level has a more open design, you'll actually use them to block the enemy's progress, creating a gauntlet that pummels each foe as he weaves his way through the maze.
Instead of just static levels with waves of enemies, Fieldrunners 2 mixes things up with a variety of stage themes, each with a different goal and method for victory. Survival stages operate just as you might expect, throwing loads of enemies your way and forcing you to deal with them for as long as you can. The same goes for time trials and traditional wave-based levels. Puzzle stages are rather unique and require you do things like funnel enemies into certain areas or defeat them with particular towers. Later levels get even more creative with goals, turning the Fieldrunners 2 experience into something of a puzzle game instead of a typical tower defense title. But, you know, there's plenty of the latter to go around!
Analysis: Fieldrunners 2 spent years in the incubator, but it was worth the wait! This sequel managed to outdo its predecessor in almost every way, something very few follow-ups can claim. The design is more free-form and varied than the original, and it draws a lot of inspiration from the waves of tower defense games that have hit over the last few years. Even with the new elements, Fieldrunners 2 doesn't betray the proven defense formula, it merely complements it with a number of welcomed extras.
Here's the only real downside to Fieldrunners 2: no native iPad version, at least, none at the time of writing. Naturally, you can use the iPhone version on your iPad with no problems, but scaling the graphics doesn't look so pretty and is no substitute for a true iPad release. As with the original Fieldrunners, expect the big screen version to be released at some point in the future. In the meantime, break out your small iOS devices.
Three levels of difficulty can be selected before starting each stage, allowing you to earn more cash and points if you're up to the challenge. If not, no one's going to laugh at you for choosing the casual setting. We promise. No matter your mood, no matter your skill, Fieldrunners 2 has something to satisfy you. It stands out as one of the most full-featured and satisfying tower defense games on the mobile market!
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NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on an iPad. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the iPad. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.