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Can 'Fieldrunners 2' retake the iOS throne?

Tower defense

Fieldrunners 2
Fieldrunners 2
Russ Frushtick is the director of special projects, and he has been covering the world of video games and technology for over 15 years. He co-founded Polygon in 2012.

Four years since the original Fieldrunners, Subatomic Studios is back with the long-awaited sequel.

It was just a few years ago when the iOS gold rush was in full force. While the marketplace remains highly volatile, it's not like it was back in 2008, when super simple, low-fi games ruled the roost. Back then, a deep, high quality mobile game was a rare sight. Fieldrunners was one of the very first and most successful, and now that game's developer is back to do it again with Fieldrunners 2. Unfortunately for them, the App Store is not nearly as bereft of quality games as it once was.

Fieldrunners 2 doesn't depart from the core concept of the original. It's still a tower defense game. As with many sequels, though, the focus seems to be on including as much content as possible. The original shipped with a small handful of levels and towers. The sequel, when it drops in June, will have 20 levels and 20 upgradable towers. In addition to long-play maps, there will also be shorter, sudden-death maps if you're not looking to spend too much time fighting back the hordes.

As a slight gameplay twist, the enemy fieldrunners will no longer march in straight lines. Instead, they'll swarm around your defenses, so leaving a hole in the middle of your array of towers is a shortcut to a game over screen.

I was a big fan of Fieldrunners when it first came out, but more complex tower defense games, like the excellent Kingdom Rush, have made the original game feel a bit dated. It's hard to say whether Fieldrunners 2 changes enough of the mechanics to help it stay ahead of the curve, but we're certainly willing to give it a shot. After all, back in 2008, it was the only thing keeping us from never-ending games of Doodle Jump.

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