Fieldrunners is a gem amongst a slew of mediocre titles trying to cash in on the popularity of Apple’s iPhone. For a while it seemed like the only good games you were going to get for the iPhone were ports of existing titles that you could find on other platforms. With new IPs from indie developers being created exclusively for this device, you are going to start running into more exceptional games like Fieldrunners.
It is basically a Tower Defense style game, you build defenses to prevent enemy units from running from one end of the screen to the opposite side. You have four (note: more have been added via an update) different defensive structures you can build that all have their strengths. They can then be upgraded two times per structure. As you kill enemies you earn money to strengthen your defenses. It sounds basic in concept but as a whole, this game excels. Building the game with the device in mind the control system works perfectly. Since by default it is a grid-based game, placing your units is as simple as placing a piece on a chessboard, using your fingers to navigate is very intuitive.
Subatomic Studios did a fantastic job on the graphics and sound as well. Each enemy unit and each structure has a unique sound that you can identify as soon as you hear it. The 2D graphics look great, and the cartoony style and bright colors really make it pop.
I don’t want to go through this entire review without any constructive criticism though. I do think they should maybe go back and tweak the helicopters. You can have a ton of Lightning, Missile, and Goo Towers and fend off every oncoming enemy wave, but eventually, there will be nothing you can do about the helicopters and you will lose because of them. They fly quickly, have a lot of health, and sometimes spawn so many so close together that you are helpless. That and perhaps a couple of new maps, maybe some that aren’t just rectangles, would make this already great game even better.
Needless to say, I have sunk quite a bit of my time into playing this game. There were some less busy days at my job that I spent a little time playing since you can pause the game any time, even exit to the Home screen and still resume your game later. Even though I build almost the same set of structures in the same places every time I play I always feel like I can do better so I play more. It is really a very addictive game. For $4.99 this is a game that anyone with an iPhone needs to have.