Review by Fransiska Ike
"Solid Tower Defense release for the casual and veteran alike."
So you like Tower Defense? You can't go wrong with this game.
After complaints for the performance of the game's predecessor they received, Subatomic finally released a sequel that fixed the problem. Game's performance's smooth, transition between world map and menu, transition between menu and level are quick. In game frame per second is also reasonable for low-end machine even when the map is crowded.
Like many other tower defense games, you just need to stop a pack of enemies from reaching the destination. Enemies follow a single path, as designated by arrow grids. You may not block their path directly as the game will stop you from do so, but you can create maze - the basic skill of all tower defense games - to make it difficult for the enemies to reach their destination.
Some maps offer open world level, meaning there's only a field without predetermined road. It is up to you to create a maze freely. There are also levels with predetermined road OR roads. Yes, one road or two at most. This can be tricky since some levels do not have many intersections that allow you to efficiently placed the towers and guard more than one road.
Speaking about Tower Defense, of course there will be towers. There are some unlocked towers from the beginning, they're more than sufficient for the early levels but as you advance you need more powerful and wider variety of towers like Tesla Tower for example. Each tower can be upgraded twice... at the same cost. For example, Gatling Tower can be upgraded for 5 gold for the 2nd level, but also 5 gold is required for the 3rd (final) level. Kinda doesn't make sense, does it?
Difficulty level can be adjusted. Casual, for casual of course. Tough for challenging levels and Heroic for veterans. Higher difficulty level usually means tougher enemies (more HP). Pick whatever suits you, just remember this will apply for that level as a whole - around 70 waves - so higher difficulty means longer playing time but more rewarding in the end.
Not much you can change for the graphic. Option menu only allows you to select from Windowed to Full Screen and resolutions up to 1360x768. Although, yeah, even with higher resolution on your monitor it won't change the game much. This is unlike Crysis series, after all, that better graphic settings means more detailed experience in game.
Camera view is top-down style. You look from above and that's it, cannot rotate camera, cannot zoom, cannot do anything.
Now for the art design, apparently they want this to be appealing and catering to all sort of gamers out there so they use very casual art but neat looking for the design. Everything looks to be hand painted.
No cinematic in-game but do you even need one?
Zero point here. There's no story. You start up the game, you select level and difficulty, you play a level and beat it. After that you will advance to the next level on linear progression. In-game dialogue is non existent.
Frankly I'm not impressed. Background soundtracks can be a bit repetitive and boring at times. If you've played Facebook games like City Ville this game is not much different. Sound effect is also average at best. You don't pay much attention to either anyway during the game, as the enemies will keep you at bay.
Personally I'd suggest you to start from casual level first. Finish the game with it and when you have acquired several resources to buy a better tower, restart with higher difficulty level. New experience.
Worth it or not for 10 dollars?
If you're really into Tower Defense, you can't go wrong. This will keep you entertained for hours because it has many levels and several layer of difficulty selections. I bought this for full price and didn't look back.
But for more casual players, my personal recommendation is always the same - wait for the sale unless you're desperate to play it now. And apparently digital distributors like Steam always has many sales throughout the year. More likely this will be discounted for 33% or 50% bringing it to a more reasonable level.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/22/13
Game Release: Fieldrunners 2 (US, 01/10/13)
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