Tower Defense wasn’t always the default genre on the App Store. In 2008, developers were struggling to find a fit for the iPhone’s large touchscreen, and ports of old JAVA and BREW mobile games just weren’t cutting it. Subatomic Studios was one of the first studios to publish a quality tower defense game on the App Store, and five years later, we’re still playing the Fieldrunners series.
The original Fieldrunners was a real looker back in 2008. Our review praised it for its intuitive touch controls, which let you pan and zoom around the field, and quickly place your defenses with a tap. We also described its graphics as a combination of World War 2 iconography and Art Deco style. The only thing that was missing from this compact, well-polished TD game was music and sound effects, which were eventually added in an update.
Key Quote: Overall, Fieldrunners is a beautiful and satisfying game. It is balanced enough to challenge without frustrating, and although it lacks some features found in other tower defense games, the gameplay is well-executed and has no glaring holes.
Four years after Fieldrunners 1 burned up the App Store sales charts, consistently performing well despite the influx of tower defense games, Fieldrunners 2 launched to great acclaim. This time, the marketplace was crowded with imitators, so Subatomic Studios had to try extra hard to stand out. Fieldrunners 2 used a more cartoony art style, and packed the app with a huge variety of towers, missions, and objectives. It’s still one of the most satisfying tower defense games you can play on iOS, and a great value to boot.
Key Quote: It is, overall, a great game. The graphics are terrific and detailed, the puzzle designs are devious, and the variety of modes, units, and enemies is great. The game improves upon the original just enough and is well worth checking out.
Tomorrow, we’ll take a closer look at Id Software’s biggest hits: Wolfenstein and Doom.
This article is part of a series about the best games on iOS, 2008-2013. You can read the rest here.