Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

Double Feature: Fieldrunners, Defense Grid

As I’ve previously mentioned, I love tower defense games. Can’t get enough of the suckers. In celebration of my love, I’m reviewing two of the best games in the genre that I’ve played recently. First is Defense Grid: The Awakening, a great indie title on PC that’s been a sleeper hit. Next is Fieldrunners for iPhone/iPod Touch, arguably the best mobile variant of this game style. Both are relatively easy on your wallet – Defense Grid retails for $19.99, and Fieldrunners can be had for $4.99.

I know what some of you are thinking. At least I think I do. “Tower defense games? Aren’t those just casual games for people that can’t get their heads around meaty titles like Fallout 3 or F.E.A.R. 2 or Sins of a Solar Empire? For the love of all that’s holy, Fallout 3 was so good a cinematic masterpiece was made based on it!”

*end sarcasm*

Sure, tower defense games aren’t as complicated or deep as a really good RTS or RPG, but that’s the point. The tower defense genre (or hybrid sub-genre, really) is to real-time strategy what checkers is to chess. Is it as hard? No. Does it take as long to master? Heck no. It’s accessible without being brainless, easy to play in ten or fifteen-minute increments without devolving into a “press this button as hard and fast as you can” monstrosity. At the same time, it’s decidedly more complicated than something like Bejeweled or Scrabulous.

Allow me to get off my soap box. There. I’m off. Without further ado, here are my mini-reviews for Defense Grid and Fieldrunners.

Fieldrunners (iPhone/iPod Touch)

Fieldrunners is a less expensive and less complicated game than Defense Grid, but it’s still a lot of fun. Recently updated to version 1.2, this game has three different maps to play on with three difficulty settings and 100 rounds of enemies to shoot up. This new update has fixed a ton of bugs, added some new content, decreased load times, and generally made a great game even better. If you’re looking for something you can play for a few minutes here and there, this wouldn’t be a bad choice. The price for Fieldrunners is $4.99.

Defense Grid: Awakening (PC)

Defense Grid essentially took the simple, web-based fare that makes up the majority of the tower defense genre and amped it up a bit. And by “a bit,” I mean a lot. This sucker has good graphics with some decent eye-candy available for effects (typically when the towers fire). Add on top of that a different “grid” per level, with varying strategies for being successful in each one, a bunch of different enemies with varying speeds, hit-points, and abilities (opening vortexes to spawn smaller enemies, etc), and you’ve got a fun game. The give and take between towers and enemies is nicely balanced, often leaving you unsure whether or not you’ll get the baddie. Not to mention the AI that serves as a helpful mentor and unobtrusive tutorial; he’s more fun than I thought it would be. Overall, a great game, and well worth the price. If you pay attention, you might even catch it on sale when Steam has its weekend discounts! If not, throw down a Jackson or whatever $20 USD comes out to in your country and have some fun.

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February 4, 2009 - Posted by | Gaming | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] first collected Added 04 Feb 09 from techpluslifestyle.wordpress… Flag as inappropriate or […]

    Pingback by Double Feature: Fieldrunners, Defense Grid Video | February 4, 2009 | Reply


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