Several weeks ago I criticized the iPhone for being a difficult platform to develop for. While this is true, there are some very good iPhone games. One such iPhone game, which I am totally addicted to, is Fieldrunners. Fieldrunners is a tower defense game of which there are many variations.
A single game of Fieldrunners has 100 ‘rounds’ of play over 3 levels of difficulty. The playing field is very simple and open as opposed to some tower defense games which offer more diverse selections of varied maps. The goal of Fieldrunners is to stop enemies from crossing the map by building towers which shoot at them as they pass. The Enemies consist of either fast weak enemies such as basic infantry or slower more powerful enemies like giant tank-like robots. All of the enemies except the flying helicopters must navigate around the player’s towers. If any enemy makes it across the map they reduce the player’s health by 1. However, if an enemy is defeated the player earns money to buy or upgrade towers. If the player loses all 20 health the game is over. The towers have varied abilities and costs. There are Gatling Towers which are inexpensive and have a short range, Goo Towers that slow enemies, long range more expensive Missile Towers, and Tesla Towers that are expensive but do massive damage. The game-play is very simple but quite addictive . The essential experience is very similar to Desktop Tower Defense which can be experienced at http://www.towerdefence.net/games-19-Desktop_TD.php.
While it is true there are many free options for tower defense games, $4.99 is still a pretty sweet price point to be able to play tower defense on your iPhone. The designers have thoughtfully optimized the controls for the iPhone so that control is fluid, intuitive, and easy to understand with a very minimal but clear HUD. The graphics in general look good if a bit reminiscent of Team Fortress 2. I am pretty sure the Heavy is one of the enemies in Field Runners This version of tower defense is faster and easier to play then in any mouse driven version. All in all very excellent!