iPad Game Review: Field Fighter (Universal) Review
Reviewed by Tom Slayton
Field Fighter is a fast-paced vertical shooter with bright vector graphics and beautiful effects.
Field Fighter falls squarely in the vertical shooter category. You maneuver your ship around the screen, dodging bullets and collecting power-ups and try to survive as long as you can. Firing is handled automatically, and there is an option for relative touch controls so your finger isn't covering up your ship while you play. The action is frenetic as enemies can come from any direction (even from the bottom of the screen). The slightly pulsing power-ups will constantly tempt you to leave your fortified corner and try to collect them, which goes a long way toward keeping this game fresh and interesting. One feature that I particularly like is the inclusion of a health bar for your current ship. Impact with enemy bullets is almost unavoidable so death is not instantaneous. Instead, it will be a race between health power-ups and damage as you watch your bar slowly shrink. Once it hits zero, you lose a life, but each game gives you the standard three so games tend to last a lot longer than most shooters of this type.
There are three different weapons to collect and use: Spread Shot, Laser, and Missiles, all of which also feature unique attacks once they are charged. Unlike many shooters, there is no best weapon for all enemies, and you will find yourself alternating between yearning for what you need and dodging what you don't. For those moments when you have your back up against the wall, there is also a limited number of nukes to use that will clear the screen completely. Field Fighter features (alliteration unintended) 3 difficulty levels and 6 game levels as well as an endless mode. It is also fully integrated with Game Center Leaderboards and Challenges, and supports Facebook as well.
The graphics of Field Fighter are excellent. I'm a sucker for vector graphics and this one delivers nicely. The explosions are bright, the enemies easy to see, and almost everything looks crisp and clear. I say almost everything because the big exception is your ship, which is ridiculously large, and looks like it was drawn by hand with a Sharpie. I got used to it as I played, but I am puzzled as to why it looks so much worse than everything else.
A great techno soundtrack and some nice electronic weapon and explosion sounds to go with it. I tried it with headphones and it actually sounded even better.
In-App Purchases (IAPs)
Field Fighter offers the option to purchase lives, nukes, and a Premium Version. All are reasonably priced, and only the nukes are consumable so I don't have too much to complain about here.
If you like vertical shooters and vector graphics, you're most likely going to enjoy Field Fighter. As with all shooters, it's not something that you can play endlessly for hours, but it sure is fun in small doses.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4 - Crisp vector graphics, although your ship looks a bit clunky. Sound: - 4 - Techno soundtrack and electronic sound effects enhance gameplay nicely. Controls: - 4 - The recently added relative touch controls make this a winner. Gameplay: - 4 - A fun vertical shooter.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Take the time to learn what the weapon powerups look like so you don't grab something you don't want. Between waves, move toward the center of the screen so you don't get ambushed.