Fieldrunners iPhone Review: Tower Defense Gaming at its Best

Machine Guns, Rockets, and Tesla Towers

Tap Defense is arguably the most popular game currently available for free at the iTunes app store. It blends together the subtle simplicity of the tower defense game genre with the iPhone’s intuitive touch controls and accelerometer. Overall, it’s a fun little game and one that you can easily lose an hour or two playing. However, Tap Defense pales in comparison with its paid counterpart, the incredibly fun "Fieldrunners".

What’s Fieldrunners About?

For those who aren’t initiates into the tower defense genre, it is really quite simple. In its simplest form, a tower defense game revolves around a stream of bad guys making their way from one end of the screen to another. As they walk (or even before they walk), the game allows you to place a defense perimeter by selecting from a variety of towers to kill the baddies before they make their way across the screen. From there, you have different enemies that you’ll have to face. Some are immune to certain towers, others have ridiculously long life bars, and some are just fast and unfair.

As such, it’s up to you to make sure that your towers complement one another in a way that allows you to reach the end of the game – typically 100 rounds of bad guys trying to make their way across. As you pass levels, you gain cash that you can then turn around and spend on upgrading your towers or placing more towers on the grid – the choice is completely up to you.


Fieldrunners is the game that I’ve described, but so much more. Rather than working off of a grid, Fieldrunners allows you to place the towers at practically any point on the screen – even in the path of enemies that are oncoming. This means that you can force the little bad guys down a curving path where they’ll have to face a barrage of towers that they normally wouldn’t have to. As such, Fieldrunners forces you to think creatively as well as strategically.

The Best Part of Fieldrunners

The best part of the game is the level of polish that the creators have put into it. Everything from the little towers to the even smaller bad guys moves around the screen and is able to effectively convey the level of tension you feel from the enemies inching ever closer to their exit point. The difficulty tends to ramp up, but not so much that you’re daunted by the enemies.

Is There a Better Game?

The reality is, there is no other game currently on the app store that is quite like Fieldrunners. It combines the best level of polish I’ve seen in a tower defense game with the creative capabilities of the iPhone. Everything is perfectly animated and the game grabs you from the get-go and doesn’t easily let go. I’ve already lost an hour or two to this game without even really thinking about it – so what are you waiting for? It’s the perfect game for that long subway ride or for when you just want to kill some time on your iPhone.