If the first-person shooter was the game that defined the PC, then surely tower defence games must be the thing that sets mobile phones apart as gaming devices. It's not a lot of fun trying to play games that require elaborate moves on a touchscreen device, so they lend themselves far better to games that are a little simpler.
And it doesn't get much simpler than Fieldrunners HD. It's a tower defence game from the same mould as all the others, but if you ask us, it has sufficient personality of its own to make it worth coughing up actual money for it
- £ 1.94
- Google Play
The best thing about tower defence games has to be that they destroy as much or as little time as you want. Settle down with five minutes over a coffee, or an hour over lunch, and you can whittle your life away lining up guns to shoot at invading hoards.
Of course, that's only fun for so long and any game that doesn't keep things fresh is going to find itself being cast aside - or uninstalled - after the fun has gone.
To keep things fresh, there is a decent, but not dizzying number of levels to play in Fieldrunners HD. There are four battlefields, of which only the first is available until you prove yourself in combat. To "win" a stage, you must see off 100 waves of attack. This sounds simple, but no matter what you build, and how clever you are, there are always units that slip through. Obviously, you get a certain number of lives to cope with this, but they are easily whittled down to nothing.
In the second map, you go from preventing attackers from running straight across the map, to a crossroads-type arrangement where the enemy can pitch-up from two different entrances and head towards two entry points to your "fort".
The fun, of course is strategy. Do I go for a lot of cheap guns, or a smaller number of more powerful ones?And which beat which units most effectively? There are three levels of difficulty too, and if you speed the game up, things can move a lot more rapidly, which can make for a fun way to waste a couple of minutes.
The graphics are likeable too. Designed to scale well to larger screens, Fieldrunners HD is one of the nicer-looking games we've seen on Android. You can even zoom in, if you want to have more control or see what's going on in more detail.
This won't replace all your gaming needs, but it's certainly a must own for those minutes when you're on a train with nothing to do. Go on, get your £2 out and get buying.