Type of app: ‘Tower Defense’ game
Platform/where to buy: iPad (iPhone version also available); available in the App Store
Developer: Subatomic Studios
The biggest sequel in tower defense history is now on iPad: Fieldrunners 2 HD has arrived! From Subatomic Studios, creators of the award winning classic strategy game, comes an all new adventure that was years in the making. Build epic mazes out of powerful weapons to defend the world from the invading fieldrunners!
Major features: I am amazed that I never did a review of Fieldrunners, which I absolutely adore and have been playing on my iPod Touch, all three iPads, and a variety of Android phones and tablets right up through the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD! So when Fieldrunners 2 for the iPhone was launched I … waited for the HD iPad version. Seriously – I knew I would only play on the iPad anyway, so I waited. This past week the game launched, and it is better than the original in every way.
Gameplay is similar to the original where you place a variety of offensive towers (machine guns, slowing glue, rockets, etc) on the field in places designed to maximize the likelihood of stopping the marauding clones trying to get from left to right on the screen. Each clone that you destroy adds to your available cash, which you can use to buy more towers or upgrade the ones you have. Upgrades increase power and range, and are very effective. You have a health bar that is reduced by each enemy that passes your defenses, with the game ending when your base is destroyed.
This time around you have more tower types than you can use at once, so you have a selection screen. Also, you get special powers such as a ‘smart mine’ that will sit and wait for an enemy to pass before exploding. Also, after a while you get the ability to call in airstrikes, and as the game progresses you will unlock more and more powers. You can play at three different difficulties, with more rewards coming at higher levels. Aside from normal tower defense levels, you also have timed onslaughts, puzzles, survival modes, and so on. Finally, the graphics on the iPad are simply stellar.
Ease of use/Overall performance: In the early levels the game helps you understand what to do and why, and also provides tips during load screens. The overall impact is a game that is simply bursting at the seams with content and presentation; sadly the price you pay is load-times. When you start it takes about 30 seconds to get to the main menu, then 30 seconds to get to the level select screen, then yet another 30 seconds to get to the actual mission! It makes it feel like a console game rather than a mobile game, and definitely detracts somewhat from the ‘on the go’ experience.
Would use again/recommend?: Definitely! Fieldrunners 2 HD is better than the original and takes the thone as ‘best tower defense’ game on the iPad bar none.
Suggested changes/wish list for updates: Load times are WAY too long!