We are pretty sure that the “tower defense” game genre has been around for some time. This genre has enjoyed multiple incarnations, but the mechanics are pretty much the same—you will have to build defensive structures that will protect your territory from hordes upon hordes of enemy forces. FieldRunners does not stray too far away from this formula, but developer Subatomic Studios has refined the essentials with this title for iPhone, iPod Touch, and the iPad.
About the Game
FieldRunners is not much different from the Desktop Tower Defense game developed and released by Paul Preece in 2007, but Subatomic Studios has taken everything that worked in the Adobe Flash game and refined it visually for the iOS platform, turning it into an engaging and entertaining real-time strategy title for Apple mobile devices.
The FieldRunners game star with your home base being under enemy attack. This base is located at the right side of the game field, and the only thing standing between your vulnerable camp and the enemy is a large open field and some woods. Your enemy, however, is determined to cause some damage to your territory—and this enemy will do everything it takes to make sure that you will be conquered. He will send infantry battalions, terrifying ogres, armored robots, helicopters, tanks, and even bad guys on motorcycles just to conquer your territory.
At the start of the game, you will be given a bit of money to build towers that can possibly stop the enemy from razing your territory to the ground. You can equip these towers with Gatling guns, goop-spitting cannons, Tesla cannons, and missile launchers. Every enemy force you slay will make your defense funds increase. You can use these funds to fortify your defenses by upgrading your towers and weapons. Just remember a basic rule—the more towers you build, the more damage you can deal on the enemy forces.
You can choose to build a gauntlet, which is basically a long line of guns and cannons that can pummel the bad guys to extinction. This can be pretty expensive, but you can be sure that your defenses are fortified and you also get to rack up some points.
There are three levels of difficulty in FieldRunners—and each level affects the main variables in the game, which are: the strength of the enemy forces, the effectiveness of your defenses and weapons, and the amount of points that you get.
Controls are very easy to learn in this game—after all, what matters in a tower defense title is the strategy that the player employs in order to keep the enemy forces at bay.
Graphics and Sound Effects
What sets FieldRunners apart from the other tower defense titles—and most especially, its “father,” Desktop Tower Defense—is the quality of the graphics. FieldRunners is visually delightful, with the quality of the graphics unexpected from a mere iOS title. In fact, the graphics look as though they belong to a more powerful handheld console such as the Nintendo DS or the PlayStation Portable.
However, some players might be disappointed that FieldRunners does not come with sound. This might be an advantage to some, though—after all, one cannot play a noisy shooting game in the middle of a boring meeting. We are wondering why the sound is completely cut off, though, as it can add another dimension to the already enjoyable gaming experience.
The lack of sound might be a little disconcerting for some players, but we are more likely to be forgiving about this relatively minor flaw because this strategy title is highly enjoyable.
The developers are still continuously developing the game—there are new towers, new fieldrunners, and even additional surprises for the players to discover—and we think that the $2.99 price tag is well worth the experience that FieldRunners brought us. Highly addictive and engaging, we recommend FieldRunners for those who enjoy a good strategy puzzle.
Developed By: Subatomic Studios
Requirements: Requires iOS 3.0 or later
Compatible With: iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad
Other OS: Android, Facebook, BlackBerry, Nintendo DS, PSP