Fieldrunners was practically an iPhone game must-own in 2008, and was one of the first games to actually deliver on the promise of touch screen games. It deservedly took quite a few awards at the year-end raids, so we’re a little more than the pleasure of seeing a sequel crop up in the App Store.
A tower defense game would be nothing without, well, towers and a selection of meat static weapons to choose from in this sequel. Gatling raises the most basic offer artillery support, and while they are weak to begin with, updates soon turn them into machines artillery units immensely satisfying, deafening. Glue slow enemies towers, missile towers are great to pull air invasions, and the Tesla tower packs a seriously nasty electric shock. There are an almost infinite number of types of towers to unlock and upgrade. This meant you could build your own paths by carefully placing down lines of turrets, ferrying baddies into snaking corridors and trenches. You were effectively making the queues from Alton Towers, only lined with machine guns.
One of the ways Fieldrunners 2 prevents you from dwelling on silly thoughts like this is to keep your mind constantly occupied. There are always problems to address, threats to deal with, towers that you need to get round to upgrading, or weak spots in your defences that need filling. It’s a brilliantly frenetic game.
If you’re new to the tower defence concept, it’s a straightforward one. The enemy assaults you with waves of mobile troops; your job is to prevent these from getting to the other side of the screen by spending your money (which you earn by killing) on gun towers in strategic combinations that will funnel the bad guys into bottlenecks and then shoot them to pieces.
Gameplay-wise, Fieldrunners 2 is your run-of-the-mill tower defense game. You have a bunch of towers to choose from and you unlock more as you collect points while playing the game. You have limited slots available for every game and you get to choose the towers you will use before each level begins.
Once the level begins, you have to drag and drop the towers around as you please. In this new version, the game shows you the paths the field runners will be taking using arrows. The arrows are visible when you are dragging the towers around and change to show you the alternate route the runners will be taking once you place that tower.
Runners begin to appear a few seconds after you start the level, giving you time to place the first towers. Different towers have different prices and once you run out of money you will have to wait for some of the runners to be sacrificed to get more. Different vehicles runners and get a different amount of coins when you kill successfully prize.
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Using coins, you can also upgrade the towers. Most towers can be upgraded twice after purchase. Can not move the tower around once placed but can erase the stain by selling a small amount of coins – usually less than what you paid.
Touching a tower gives you the option to upgrade it, sell it and find out more about it. The size of the circle also shows you the effective range of that particular tower.
Complete levels gives you two stars – that unlock new weapons – and coins to buy power-ups and special towers. There are also cards too, which are essentially groups of achievements: completing a series of cards will give you a bonus. This may sound complicated, but in practice is simple and increases the depth of the game. Unlock new towers – and choose which ones you want for each level – can be the key to defeating a difficult map.
What really makes Fieldrunners 2 work, however, is not rigged or aesthetics larger list of the towers. No, sir. It’s the little things that make you wanted to know 2 shine so bright. Here, unlike its predecessor, the enemies are just a little bit smarter. They know how to space. They know how to make your life difficult. At a pause in frustration, you will have the opportunity to see the dotted lines illustrate the paths that will take. Most importantly, while common in the App Store, Fieldrunners 2 is wonderfully free of IAPs. For its current price of the entrance, you will have everything.
Fieldrunners 2 is one of the most addicting games I’ve ever played and I kept coming back for more. I was up late playing the game and before I knew it, it was two o’clock in the morning. In fact, I’d rather be playing the game right now instead of writing about it. And I love the iPad version with the screen’s even brighter, sharper retina display. Fieldrunners 2 is one of my favorite games of the year and I highly recommend you pick it up. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have runners to kill and a world to save.