Back in the VERY early days of the App Store, Subatomic Studios had one of the first breakout hits on mobile with their tower defense game Fieldrunners ($2.99). In fact, that release pretty much sparked the tower defense game trend, and long before Angry Birds was a household name Fieldrunners was one of the games I’d always see “normies" playing on their iPhones out in the wild. It was also a pretty hardcore game for such a mainstream success, and even though we’re approaching the ten(!) year anniversary of its release later this fall the original Fieldrunners is still as fun as it was the day it launched. For being such an old title, Subatomic has done a fantastic job of keeping Fieldrunners up to date with all the new iPhone hardware advancements. In September of 2012 it received a massive update featuring completely redrawn artwork to suit the high-res Retina Display, and then in May of last year it received an update to make it 64-bit compliant and add widescreen support. Now today another new update has brought full screen support for Apple’s latest iPhone, the iPhone X.
Yes, the original Fieldrunners is truly a classic and it warms my heart to see it continuing to live on. But let’s not forget that there’s a sequel, too. Fieldrunners 2 ($2.99) launched in July of 2012 and looked to expand on the original game in every way. First off, it uses full 3D graphics so there’s actual depth to the characters and environments. Which leads to the second significant change, and that is that the “fields" in Fieldrunners 2 aren’t just wide open areas where you can build your own maze of towers as you wish. Here you’ll have objects and even elevation changes to contend with. It’s actually a really nice change of pace from the first game, and aside from some bugs and balance issues that were ironed out with post-release updates, Fieldrunners 2 was another hit.
That is until controversy struck! A few months after its release, Subatomic added in-app purchases to the paid Fieldrunners 2, which they said were per the many requests from players who wanted to be able to fast-track their progress. That decision was not a big hit with our community. Eventually the controversy died down and Fieldrunners 2 has continued to be a hit in the nearly six years since its release. And, like its older sibling, Fieldrunners 2 has also received an iPhone X update today.
Of course, the story doesn’t end there, as Subatomic released Fieldrunners Attack! in December of 2016, and it was a very free to play take on the Fieldrunners formula with added base building and attacking similar to the juggernaut Clash of Clans. It was mostly a turnoff for long-time fans of the series, but for its part Fieldrunners Attack! has been a huge success and likely has out-earned both of the original premium games. Such is life. The good news is that the first two Fieldrunners are still excellent tower defense games and thanks to Subatomic they still live a happy life in the App Store. For fun you can check out our super old “review" of the original Fieldrunners, back before we really found our groove and format for reviewing games, as well as our full review of Fieldrunners 2 from when it first released. I’ll say it again that these classics still hold up well today and I hope there’s never a time when they’re not able to be constant companions to my iPhone.