Stop the bad men in red jackets from storming your base in this addictive tower defense game.
It takes more than flashy graphics to pry hard-earned dollars from our wallets, especially when it comes to iPhone apps. There are so many good and free little programs that we often turn up our noses at the ones that cost money. However, a select few ensnared us with their good looks and addictive play. Fieldrunners is one of those games. At first, the thought of dropping $4.99 amidst a financial crisis made us weary, but after a few minutes building towers and slaughtering little dudes in red uniforms, we're proud to say that it's among the best iPhone has to offer.
Fieldrunners' title couldn't be more apropos. It's literally a bunch of guys sprinting, driving and flying across a green field, en route to your military base. Your job is to prevent them from breaching it by constructing towers. The Gatling Tower sprays the evildoers will bullets. Then you have the Goo Tower, a device that blasts your enemies with green slime that impedes their progress. Finally, there's the Missile Tower (it fires missiles, unsurprisingly) and the Tesla Tower, which zaps your foes with bolts of lightning. In addition, each tower features upgrades that let you transform them into more efficient killing machines.
Doing this, however, costs money that you receive from killing soldiers. Once you have enough dough (Gatling Towers cost $5, while the Tesla is a whopping $70), you simply place your finger on a tower's icon, drag and drop it onto the field.
Enemies come in waves and feature varying amounts of health. Foot soldiers are easy to kill and a great way to amass a small fortune. The brutes, however, take a bit more work to destroy, and things get crazy when they start riding go-karts and attack choppers. Every bad guy that enters your base costs you one point of health. Lose your health, and it's back to Wave One.
For the money, Field Runners is a wonderful tower defense game. It's fun dotting the battlefield with towers and watching the action unfold. Plus, we enjoy arranging them in different patterns so that enemies march to their demise. And while things begin simply enough, the game gets crazy around Wave 13. That's when we need to manage our cash and hope that our defenses hold.
Like most iPhone apps, however, the game has its shortcomings. It looks good, with the different types of units, explosions and marching soldiers, but there's only one battlefield. Furthermore, we can't hear anything, and we don't know if our iPhones are wonky or the game doesn't have audio; we think the latter. Finally, there's no way to post scores online and that's ridiculous. Even free apps have that feature.
Then again, that's what free updates are for, and developer Subatomic promises more towers, fieldrunners and additional stuff. But even if it never comes, Fieldrunners is still a cool app that's worth the cash. Seriously though, we need those updates.
What's Hot: Time-consuming tower defense gameplay, attractive graphics, three difficulty levels.
What's Not: No audio, only one battlefield and you cannot upload scores to online leaderboards.