Tower defense games come in all shapes and sizes, but none turns as many heads as Fieldrunners HD. This game’s graphics are top notch and will make you feel like you are playing a console game on your tablet.
Fieldrunners uses simple yet unique twists to make the potentially stale tower defense genre much more refreshing and exciting. The attention to detail is evident in nearly every aspect of this action-packed tower defense experience, and you’ll quickly find yourself getting pulled in.
On the surface, Fieldrunners HD looks the same as every other tower defense game. The menu is very simple; you can choose to play, look at scores, or change the options. There aren’t any “extra” options or any gimmicks here – just straight-forward gameplay.
Main Menu in Fieldrunners HD
Gameplay is divided into a series of rounds. At the beginning of each round, a wave of enemies marches through the battlefield, and it’s your job to destroy the soldiers before they make it all the way through. If they do get to the end, you will lose lives based on how many soldiers successfully escape. To stop the soldiers from crossing the battlefield, you must build towers.
The number of towers you have to work with is depends on what game mode you are playing. Classic mode will only allow you the four basic towers, while extended mode will allow you to use two additional towers.
The game will automatically advance to the next round after a short pause. This makes the game feel very fast-paced, and consequently requires players to always be on their toes. Thankfully, there is a Pause button that will pause the game whether you are in between rounds or in the middle of one. This will allow you to take some time to build more towers or power up the ones you already have. It’s very useful — if at any point during a round you find that your current setup isn’t successful, you can pause it and make adjustments as you see fit.
One terrific feature of Fieldrunners HD is the ability to place towers to force enemies down a custom path. This can by done by carefully choosing where to place the towers. This is very useful because the path becomes very predictable and consequently, much easier to deal with. It gives you the ability to make the path as long or as short as you would like. Obviously, the longer the path, the more time you will have to destroy all the enemies. It also allows you to use strategy while planning your towers’ locations, giving you a slight edge against the relentless enemies (and a reason to try levels multiple times).
Example of how to build a custom path for the enemies
Towers and Power Ups
In any given level, you are allowed either four or six different types of towers, and may use any of these towers as long as you have enough cash to buy them. You get cash by simply killing enemies and for completing rounds without losing all of your lives.
Not only do the towers themselves cost money, but every power-up costs money as well. This makes it absolutely essential to kill as many enemies as possible. It is also makes it important to budget your money in intelligent ways.
For example, in some cases you dont want to spend all remaining money just powering up one single tower. Sometimes it is more logical to spend extra money to make additional towers instead, although this is not always the best case. The six base towers are the gatling tower, the goo tower, the missile tower, the flame tower, the tesla tower, and the mortar tower.
The Gatling Tower
The gatling tower is generally considered the most basic tower and will be your primary tower early on in the game. Unlike other towers, the gatling tower has the ability to shoot continuously, so there is very little delay between shots. This allows the incoming soldiers to constantly be weakened from the moment they enter the battlefield.
Example of gatling towers used at the start of the battle path.
The major downsides to the gatling tower are that it inflicts very weak damage and has a very small range. Because of these limitations, your best bet is to position these so they will only shoot at single, very weak soldiers. They will not hold up well against stronger enemies no matter how much you power them up.
The Goo Tower
This tower’s function is very simple: it shoots goo to slow down enemies. This can be incredibly useful because it will give the other towers you’ve constructed more time to weaken and destroy them. The goo will work on nearly every type of enemy you come across, making it one of the most useful towers you can build.
It generally effects all enemies equally, so you can really place them anywhere you see fit. I recommend placing them in the middle so that the enemies are already weakened by the time they reach the goo towers.
The Missile Tower
The missile tower is what is known as a splash damage tower. This means that the tower doesn’t only hit one single enemy like most of the others. The missile tower will create explosions that will weaken every enemy that is in the vicinity. It has quite a long range and can still reach enemies after they have already past.
This tower does a great job of breaking stronger enemies down into weaker ones. Because of this, I recommend putting your missile towers at the beginning of the path. This will make it much easier for the other towers later on in the game.
The Flame Tower
The flame tower is similar to the missile tower in that it can damage multiple enemies at once. The difference between the two comes in when you look at their range and attack strength. The missile tower can in fact shoot at a much longer range than the flame tower. However, the flame tower’s attack are much stronger and can yield much more damage than that of the missile tower.
Example of a flame tower firing
It is really up to you on when and where to use each, but in my opinion they can generally be used for similar purposes.
The Tesla Tower
The tesla tower is the first bonus tower you get for playing in extended mode. This is by far the most efficient tower that you can make. It has a medium range, which means it works great for an all around tower that can be placed in many different locations.
Example of the tesla tower firing
The best attribute of this tower is how it delivers the highest close-range attacks of any other towers. Basically, put this tower on the front line, and watch it do damage that no other front-line tower can match.
The Mortar Tower
The mortar tower is the most interesting tower in the game, as it can only attack from a long range. That’s right — placing this tower to fire at nearby enemies will do absolutely nothing for you. While this may sound like a major inconvenience, it redeems itself: this tower will ultimately deal the highest damage possible. It is significantly more powerful than any of the previous towers I’ve discussed.
Your best bet is to set these towers far away from your battle path and make sure the path is within their range. That will ensure that you are inflicting the best possible damage from these amazingly strong towers.
Power ups are the meat and potatoes of Fieldrunners HD. In fact, I recommend that you power up smaller, existing towers rather than just building new ones or powering up towers that are already strong.
Power ups turn towers that are seemingly useless, such as the gatling tower, into a force to be reckoned with. They make the simple towers you start out with ridiculously powerful (and very futuristic in appearance). They can create a battlefield that could almost act as a setting for a feature-length movie.
Example of a battlefield with fully powered up towers
Unlocking new power ups will be essential for survival as you cannot hope to play late into the game without them. The best way to figure out power ups is to slowly get acquainted with the ones you are originally given. Then, as you are awarded more, begin to upgrade specific towers and see how they play out in certain situations.
Fieldrunners HD is a highly advanced game that can literally swallow up large portions of your life. The graphics used are extremely impressive to say the least. It is the perfect example of what the processors on our mobile phones are truly capable of. It is sometimes hard to believe that we can hold gameplay of this quality right in the palm of our hand.
This game is without a doubt setting a new standard for tower defense games everywhere. Its overall style and map flow is truly unique and is very welcome is a world filled with other predictable tower defense experiences. It uses an extreme combination of architectural freedom and action-packed gameplay to produce a truly top-notch experience all around. This game provides more entertainment than most console games for a fraction of the cost. It is no surprise that this game has one of the highest overall scores on the Google Play Store.
Fieldrunners HD will be sitting high atop the rankings of Android games for quite a while.