Style Games Tower Defense (Tower defense) are already quite common and have already proved extremely addictive. But what if we tried, instead of defending a path from a horde of enemies with towers, we ourselves try to invade a place protected by enemy towers? This is exactly the proposal of the multiplatform game “Anomaly: Warzone Earth”. Tower Defense, only the other way around.
The Earth was invaded by aliens, and it is your duty to command missions to overcome the extraterrestrial barriers installed in various places in Baghdad and to recover goods, positions, antennae and the like, of great value to humanity. Although superficial in the iOS version, the story is very interesting and serves to “justify” the invasions in a plausible way.
Missions like: «Reactivate the communication satellites» or «Destroy the alien energy generator» are just excuses to put you in the action, but they serve as a good background for the game.
The game basically consists of two stages: planning and supervision.
In the planning stage, you determine the path of your vehicles on a tactical map, which shows the enemy towers and the start and end locations. The interface is surprisingly intuitive, at least in the tested version, of the iPad, with a line indicating the route and arrows at the intersections that, when touched, change the street your troop will follow.
At this stage, it is still necessary to buy the vehicles that will carry out the mission. Among them we have cheap tanks, more powerful tanks, missile launcher, shield, skill generator (more on that below), flame launcher and the like. Each of these vehicles can still be promoted, which adds a good layer of strategy. You can, for example, choose to make a large troop with cheap tanks and without improvements, or try a reduced troop, perhaps with a heavy tank and a missile launcher with several upgrades.
In the supervision phase, your plans and agility are put to the test. Contrary to what it may seem, in Anomaly it is necessary to be attentive during the entire journey, as it will be necessary to use what the game calls Skills, which are short actions that can fix your vehicles, launch a cloud of smoke that makes it harder for enemy towers to aim, remote bombing or even launch a fake unit to outwit the towers.
So, you need to be careful not only to collect the skills launched by airplanes during the route, but also to use them at the right times.
During the journey you earn money by destroying enemy towers and by taking small pyramids in the levels. This money makes it possible to hire new units along the way or upgrade those that are already hired.
In order not to make the game boring, several stages have specificities that demand more than a single strategy to be overcome. In a phase, for example, an enemy unit absorbs all the power of the abilities used within lightning to restore towers that you have already destroyed.
In addition, the game features Campaign and Assault modes, with special missions. There are 15 missions in the Campaign, the last of which are quite challenging on the Advanced difficulty, which corresponds to Normal.
Interface / Graphics
Despite having several facets, the game interface on iOS is extremely simple. One side button changes between the tactical map and the actual battle, another opens the screen for hiring units and making upgrades. Just drag to determine the order. In the game itself, the skills are on the left side and just click to select and click again to choose the location where they will be used.
The graphics are excellent, far superior to most games of the genre. On iPad 4, enemy streets, vehicles and towers are very well detailed, with shadows and lights worthy of a console. It is definitely one of the most beautiful games for iPad.
Anomaly WZE has three levels of difficulty: Casual, Advanced and Hardcore. At the Advanced level, which we understand to be “normal”, the game is quite challenging in its final half, requiring several attempts and tactical changes to pass the special stages, which can please the most demanding.
At the Hardcore level, it is necessary to plan each step intensely and use the skills very precisely, otherwise you will be defeated.
The Casual level is very easy, but still challenging. In other words, there is no point in telling a child to play that he will certainly have difficulties.
Game Duration / Replayability
The Campaign lasts a good 5 hours on Advanced difficulty, and there are still several missions in assault modes. It is also possible to play the Campaign again at a higher level of difficulty. In short, to enjoy everything the game has to offer, it takes between 10 and 15 hours in total.
Anomaly: Warzone Earth takes a well-known genre and inverts its concept to put you in the role of invader. With a good dose of strategy and surprising action during the missions, the game will require reasoning and agility, and is more geared towards hardcore players than casual ones. In conclusion, the game is very well made, beautiful, long and offers a good dose of challenge, worth the price charged.
You can download the game on the App Store, for $ 3.99, on the Google Play Store for $ 6.29 and even on the Mac App Store, Steam, Xbox and Playstation 3.
Note: The game was tested on an iPad 4 and there are slight differences in content and gameplay between the mobile versions and those available for consoles and computers.