When Fieldrunners was released way back in 2011 on the Android platform, it received rave reviews from most critics, some even going on to call it the best Tower Defense game at the time. Having set such high standards of gameplay, developers Subatomic Studios definitely had their work cut out when they started working on its sequel, Fieldrunners 2. The game has now been released to the Play Store with a whole lot of extra features and improvements. Will more game modes, backgrounds, weapons, towers, levels, enemies and action mean better gameplay? Join me as I take you into the heart of the battlefield where defense is your only means of survival.
These Fieldrunners Are Smarter And Tougher To Combat
Fieldrunners 2 is a tower defense game that pits you against waves of incoming enemies or fieldrunners who intend to capture and rule your land. Your goal is to defend your kingdom against such ruthless enemies by placing your weapons in strategic positions that will take them down. If you manage to let 20 fieldrunners through, you lose the battle. The battles are long and challenging; you need to survive 60 to 70 rounds with a progressively aggressive enemy confrontation towards the latter stages of the game. Fieldrunners 2 lets the excitement and tension build up gradually, making for a very exciting climax and finish in the end.
The key to any successful tower defense game has got to be the manner in which the maps are defined. Fieldrunners 2 excels here. There are 4 zones where all the action takes place: Hometown, Grasslands, Drylands, and Lavaflow. Each zone features six to seven maps where the battles are fought. The battlegrounds vary from plain grasslands and trenched pathways to arid desert lands. Every map requires a unique strategy to handle the enemies. While a single exit and entry point makes for much easier gameplay, the maps get trickier and convoluted in latter stages with multiple entry and exit points. Some maps allow enemies to follow a predetermined path, while others offer the enemies a free run across the battlefield making it much more harder to build towers and defeat enemies.
In Fieldrunners 2 the enemies have definitely become more cunning and shrewd, finding loopholes in your strategy and realigning and modifying their attacks to outsmart you. They come in droves from one exit point, and when your towers are trained on them, they send out another group of fieldrunners from another entry point, who then make a quick getaway. When you fortify both entry points, they send in their flying crafts to make your weapons train on them, thereby letting some more fieldrunners slip through. Take your eyes off the screen for a minute or two and you’ll find a few sneaky fieldrunners have just evaded you. Its like these fieldrunners know and understand how you work and constantly try to match your strategies with a better one of their own. You definitely got to take your hats off to Subatomic Studios for bringing in such intelligent gameplay.
Weapons Galore But Its The Strategy That Counts
The weapons in Fieldrunners 2 are perfect for handling the fieldrunners. Initially, you have about 6 basic weapons and 3 items to use against the enemies. Each weapon type has a specific ability and shooting range but can be upgraded to deliver more power. The standard artillery is the Gatling Tower, which costs you $5 (earned in gameplay) to use. It has a medium range and works as a useful tower in the initial levels of the game. Upgrading this to include both front and back cannons makes it a much more useful tower. Then there’s Glue Tower. This one cost $10 to set up on the map, but is mighty handy when you want to slow down huge waves of fast incoming militia. Then there’s Missile Tower that’s great when dealing with flying crafts. The trick to successful gameplay lies in how well you combine the power of the various weapons to earn a perfect score. For instance, you have a choice between using highly upgraded towers right at the start of the game and leaving the back defenseless, or lining up towers all along the path right until the exit point. You can even use Glue Towers to slow down enemies and simultaneously launch powerful weapons. As you play along, you can add and remove weapons and realign your placements too. Using the right mix of weapons is important, but placing them at the right time in the right locations is probably what’s going to help you win these long winding battles.
There are plenty of other powerful weapons that can be unlocked too, but that comes at a price. The easy thing would be to use IAPs but if you prefer to take the tough route, you can play higher difficulty levels called Tough and Heroic to earn more stars and coins. Remember, the bad guys in this game are way too smart so every single coin or star counts. You can also make use of items or consumables to get out of sticky situations. There’s Rewind, an item that lets you go back in time upto 3 turns. This is perfect when you’ve placed a tower at the wrong spot and need to undo a few moves. Then there’s Deep Freeze, which freezes all the action around its radius; Mine obliterates everything around its radius, and Spanish Flu wears out units slowly over time. You can also pick up bonuses in the form of achievements or decks of cards. Each type of card will reward you with loads of coins, rewinds, freezes, mines and fire traps, all of which will come to your aid in tight situations. An easier way to pick up coins is to brag about your scores and achievements on Twitter or Facebook.
Terrific Action And Endless Gameplay Equals Immense Satisfaction
Fieldrunners 2 has so many layers of gameplay, you could play the game forever and ever without losing interest. If you want a change of pace from the default Endless mode, you can go in for Sudden Death where you need to survive a powerful onslaught of incoming enemies for a specific time, or play the Puzzle map where you trap the enemies to hit mines placed at specific spots with limited resources at your disposal. If you’re looking for a quicker challenge, there’s a Time Trial where you need to kill a specific number of enemies within a short time. Whichever mode you choose to play, the end result is sheer satisfaction. In fact, the only disappointment I felt was the inability to lead my army into enemy territory and blow up the bad guys myself. Such is the excitement you feel when you’re in the thick of the action!
Fieldrunners 2 can leave you gut wrenched when you get defeated at the penultimate or final level especially when you know that you could have made it through. Alternately, you’ll have your fists pumping the air, when you have just one soldier’s life in your kitty, zero fire power, and still beat the baddies on the final wave. No matter how many times you replay the maps, you find yourself employing a different strategy and dealing with a different wave of attacks and still enjoy the gameplay immensely.
For the sheer variety of options Fieldrunners offers, its hard to believe that the game is so easy to play. There’s a tiny little tutorial at the beginning of the game, and helpful hints along the way, but you’ll hardly need it. You can get right into the thick of things just by spending a few minutes with the game. At faster speeds the game is more gripping and intense and you truly truly relish the final wave of onslaught especially when you’ve got only a handful of lives to let through.
The graphics and animation in Fieldrunners are at the top of its class. The vibrant colors are pleasing to the eye. You can even zoom in to see a closer view of the game elements. Besides that, the scenic view of the areas away from the battlefield are awesome. Be it the streaming waterfalls, the gently bobbing water boats, or the slowly smoking house chimneys, the attention to detail is exquisite. Although I did experience a few hiccups and a few force close issues on my Samsung Galaxy S3, overall the game loaded quickly and played pretty smoothly. While it’s hard to say how the game will play out on devices with smaller screens, I can definitely vouch for its superior display and quality on a larger screen.
The music and sound in Fieldrunners 2 are definitely not its talking points. The sound effects are a bit on the silly side as the smart enemies emit absurd sounds when taken down. The constant hum of choppers and weapons going off add a lot of din and noise, but you may not really be paying it that much attention when you’re grossly engaged in the action. Similarly the music is not noteworthy and gets lost in din of gameplay.
Fieldrunners 2 Stand Tall Among All
Fieldrunners 2 costs $2.99 on the Play Store and frankly, its worth every single penny of it. Most sequels, be it movies or games tend to bring a feeling of familiarity-fatigue. Developers either tend to play it safe and continue where they left off previously, or go overboard and completely reinvent the game making it unrecognizable. Subatomic Studios have managed to strike a fine balance blending the elements that made the prequel a hit with new arsenal and maps that makes its sequel even better. With Fieldrunners 2, they haven’t just created a masterpiece, they have outclassed their original masterpiece in both design and gameplay. Fieldrunners 2 is guaranteed to shoot up the charts and onto every TD lovers device in the coming days. Even if you don’t have a care for Tower Defense games, Fieldrunners 2 is definitely one for your collection. So go ahead and grab your copy now!