Anomaly Warzone Earth HD

Anomaly Warzone Earth HD

Tower defence is turned on its head

The iPad is fast becoming the perfect place for an array of gaming genres, such as tower defence titles, but Anomaly has turned that concept on its head to create a unique experience that combines action and strategy, but puts you on the other side of the battle.

While in traditional tower defence titles the object of the game is for you to use maps and strategy to successfully defend your territory, Anomaly places you on the attacking side as you attempt to breach and destroy alien defences.

This is also made clear in the brilliant opening credits sequence of the game, which whets the appetite for combat, and  will have you gripping the sides of  your device just that little bit tighter, creating the perfect atmosphere for  the game to begin. Anomaly uses a brilliant fusion of route-planning maps and an action-packed game map, complete with impressive graphics. But the real beauty doesn’t necessarily lie just in the visuals; it is the tempo and the teeth-clenching tactical aspect that will keep you coming back to Anomaly again and again.

The business end of a level, where you find yourself surrounded and frantically tapping to deploy decoys, repair damaged units and take out enemy positions while planning your route, is the perfect example of this.  The basic structure of these levels doesn’t change throughout the game; you take command of an armoured vehicle unit that must be manoeuvred through the streets of a near-future Baghdad, complete with landmarks. Watch out for the Arc of Triumph.  Throughout the streets lay varying types of alien turrets that you must either sneak past or destroy.

The accompanying soundtrack and impressive graphics really fuel the feeling of war, and your sense that an ambush is around the corner never goes away, even if the voice acting sometimes spoils the mood by being a bit cheesy. There are plenty of frantic moments in Anomaly, and the simple touch-navigation allows you to keep on top of things. You don’t have to worry about aiming and firing, as your units do that upon sighting any enemy. Instead, your focus is on collecting resources that appear on the map, repairing units, and deploying decoys that become more advanced as you progress. Any available to you are displayed on the left side of your screen; just select it, and touch where you’d like to drop it, and it will apply to any nearby units depending on what you’ve deployed.

This allows the game to flow well, and only upgrading vehicles requires you to leave the battle screen and pause the game, though given the intensity this can be a blessing. Beyond the main gameplay there is plenty to satisfy you. With achievements and Game Center connectivity to keep you competitive, and the aforementioned upgrades to work towards and improve your arsenal, you could lose several hours without realising it. You can also use social network links to share achievements, which begs the question – is there any base Anomaly doesn’t have covered? If you’re not entranced by the graphics or tempo, then the painful tactical choices you must make will get you, and keep you coming back for more.

Rated 5 out of 5

Strategy, suspense and action wrapped in a beautiful package.