by Josh Miller
reviewed on PC
Tower Defense Games, And Why This Is Different
Tower defense games were first created many years ago for RTS titles such as Starcraft and WarCraft III. Since then they have been introduced to the casual gaming market in the form of iPhone games such as Plants vs Zombies and Fieldrunners. It seems like nowadays you can find tower defense games pretty much everywhere and on every platform. However, 11 Bit Studios have taken the typical mould that such games are cast from and added their own little twist. In a usual tower defense game you generally have to stop a horde of enemy units that spawn on one end of the map from reaching their goal at the opposite side. You do this by building various towers that wield diverse powers and attacks to deal with each unique enemy unit type.
In Anomaly: Warzone Earth, 11 Bit Studios has transferred control of the attacking units over to you, and you must ensure that at least one unit makes it to the end of the level or completes whatever objectives lay at hand.
You And Your Convoy
Although you do not get a mass of expendable units to send to their inevitable deaths, you do get a small convoy of mechanized, armored units. Each of these comes with their own special attributes that make them key when dealing with specific situations. They range from your standard heavily armored APCĺs to your heavy damage dealing tanks. There are also more specialized units such as the shield-generating unit also known as a shieldůthe army is not exactly known for its originality.
Escorting your convoy is a single man that you control directly. He has the ability to call in additional reinforcements and use four different abilities. The repair ability can be called upon to repair damaged units, the smoke screen ability provides cover for your convoy, a decoy ability distracts fire away from your convoy, and the airstrike ability marks an enemy position for a single bomb dropped by air. Units are sparse and if one goes down it is expensive to replace. Due to this it is vital to configure your convoy to best fit the current situation while deploying your four special abilities when needed in order to keep them rolling.
Throughout each level there are always multiple paths for your convoy to take, with each one having a different enemy tower combination that you might have to face. Each path will also vary in the amounts of minerals that you can collect to use as currency for purchasing more vehicles or upgrading your existing units. You can choose and customize your path when you begin the level, but you are also able to change your path mid-game by simply pressing a button that brings up an overlay of the entire level. More often then not, you will face obstacles that will force you to reconsider your path and choose accordingly.
All of these elements blend together seamlessly to provide a tactical experience that is both addicting and requires some thinking on the players end. Levels never feel impossible but if you lose, you do not feel overwhelmed but are instead more motivated to figure out the right configuration that will get you to the end of the level. Of course if it is too easy you are always able to increase the difficulty for a truly challenging experience.
Fun and tactical gameplay
Very short with little replay value