Back in October 2008, Fieldrunners marched into the App Store, and it has been a platform defining game since. The App Store landscape has changed quite significantly over the past four years, and that has lead to the introduction of Fieldrunners 2, which completely reinvents the game. We’ve seen a number of sequels in the App Store, but none have had as stark a difference as Fieldrunners 2. The base elements return with classic tower defense action, easy drag and drop controls for towers, and the pint sized red coated Fieldrunners.
The sequel takes all of the base elements, and builds upon them masterfully to make the game accessible to all. The main change revolves around the gameplay with brand new game modes including sudden death, puzzle, and time trial. There are also over 20 intricate levels that alternate between the different modes to keep the action fresh throughout. The level set-up provides distinct challenges, and once you complete a level, you then unlock an endless version of the given map. Each map also provides a unique design, and there’s a great balance between open and fixed path maps to continue to switch up the style.
The new modes really stand out beginning with sudden death where a huge mass of enemies comes at you, and you simply try to kill a given number before you’re over run. The puzzle mode is extremely challenging as you need to place just a few towers to direct Fieldrunners through specific gates. The time trial mode gives you a limited time to kill a certain number of Fieldrunners, and you will need to play the game at fast forward to reach the goal. Then there’s the open maps where you need to construct a maze to survive a certain number of waves. The next fixed path level features trenches and paths that layer on top of each other, and require very strategic tower placement.
The game is packed with content to be sure, and then there’s all of the great little gameplay elements. The Fieldrunners are now cognizant of each other so that they pile up at bottlenecks, and can think to move around each other. You can also view the direct path the Fieldrunners are taking, and that path switches based on your tower placement which is an essential feature in a number of modes. Then there’s the outstanding visual design with ornate towers, environments, and Fieldrunners including great death animations. Not only does every level feature a unique layout, but also a different design across four regions of the grasslands, dry desert, city, and volcano lair.
Fieldrunners 2 ($2.99, iPhone) is an absolute masterpiece that is more that just an amazing tower defense or iOS game, but masterful game making on any platform.