When it comes to casual mobile games I love, Fieldrunners ranks at the top along with others such as Plants vs. Zombies and Civilization Revolution. All of those games allowed me to get an ‘on the go’ experience that still scratched my hardcore gamer itch. So I was wary when Fieldrunners 2 came to iOS devices last September – but as noted in my review of the iPad version, I was thrilled with the results. This week the game (finally) landed on Android devices and I took some time to check it out!
Type of app: ‘Tower Defense’ game
Developer: Subatomic Studios
• Pint sized invaders seeking revenge!
• A tower that launches bee hives!
• Tons of levels in a 20+ hour campaign!
• Revolutionary AI – each enemy creates a dynamic, realistic path through the battlefield!
• Gorgeous, hand painted, 2D graphics by award-winning artists!
• 20 unique, upgradeable weapons!
• Custom load-outs let you pick the perfect weapons for each battle!
• Air strikes, mines and powerful items so you can strike with the precision of a surgeon!
• Time Trial, Sudden Death and Puzzle maps bring all new challenges to tower defense!
• Trenches, bridges and tunnels add new dimensions to gameplay!
• Collect all the Elite enemies to become the ultimate tower defense champion!
• A tower that turns enemies into barnyard animals!
Major features: I was amazed when I heard from the Subatomic Studios Twitter feed that they released the Android version of Fieldrunners 2. What amazed me was that it had taken more than seven months for the port to happen! The good news is that the port is every bit as satisfying as the original version I played on the iPad and more recently on the iPhone.
As noted before, gameplay is similar to the original Fieldrunners 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.
Technically, the game is perfectly adapted to Android. The load-times are quick, sound and performance are smooth, and the graphics on the Samsung Galaxy SIII are simply stellar.
Ease of use/Overall performance: In the early levels the game helps you understand what to do and why, and provides tips during load screens. The overall impact is a game that is simply bursting at the seams with content and presentation; so I am thrilled that the Android port packs in all the improvements made to load-times in the patches. It is still not an ‘instant on’ game, but by greatly reducing waiting, it makes for a more satisfying on-the-go experience.
Would use again/recommend?: Definitely! Fieldrunners 2 HD is better than the original and takes the throne as ‘best tower defense’ game on smartphones or tablets!
Suggested changes/wish list for updates: Nothing!