Anomaly: Warzone Earth
has landed on iOS devices and 11Bit Studios have a definite winner on their hands. When a small development team wins an Apple Design Award, you know that their title is one to keep an eye on and in this case, it seems that the award was definitely justified. For fans of the Tower Defense genre, this flips it on its head, finally allowing players the chance to send their convoys through the game's plots of turrets and towers.
What immediately strikes you when you start up this App is the staggering quality of the visuals. The pre-rendered HD cinematics are all breathtakingly impressive and actually tie in perfectly with the direction of the artwork in game. The tactical view, for planning your troops' path through the stages, is minimalistic for pure clarity and the intuitive arrow system for planning your route is so fool-proof and easy to manage that you know exactly what you're supposed to be doing right from the beginning. Switching into the real-time action view bring the high-res graphics back to the forefront where everything works together seamlessly for fluid, controlled play.
The bones of the game are built in a way that allows players to plan accordingly, but the real beauty of this title is how it throws in surprises and lets the player's seemingly bulletproof plan crumble around them once they finally realise that all is not as it seems on certain maps. New item types lead to a variety of options that affect units and the environment in different ways, but are never so radical as to disrupt the core gameplay. Even collecting them is super-intuitive; you just have to tap them on the map and can use them on the side of the screen in real-time.
The game's weakness lies solely in the repetitive nature of the gameplay. Many tower defense games suffer from this same problem, where after three or four levels, you need to take a break and do something else. Being the invading forces doesn't alleviate the issue and sadly highlights the pacing problems still evident in this type of game. For iPhone users, this is probably the norm when it comes to play, as prolonged game sessions are not something traditionally seen on the system, but it is a little hard to recommend Anomaly Warzone: Earth for those who are expecting it to be fresh and exciting from start to finish.