Check on any flash game website and you will quickly notice that the top strategy games are always tower defense games. And that’s because it’s a genre that has always been popular and will most likely stay that way. The same can be said about the App Store, with literally dozens of tower defense games bringing unit destroying goodness to fans around the world.
So how does one go about making a slightly more original type of tower defense game? Well, the formula is very simple. Just reverse the roles of the player and AI. Instead of controlling towers and upgrading them on the fly to fit incoming waves of enemies, give control of the enemies to the player. And that’s exactly what Anomaly Warzone Earth by 11 bit Studios does.
Is it an original new twist on a stale genre? Despite what many may say, it’s not. There have been MANY flash games that do the exact same thing, so unfortunately, 11 bit Studios can’t really be considered that original, nor the game that groundbreaking. So then why get this game over others?
The gameplay IS very refreshing. The art is absolutely stunning as you run around the streets of a futuristic Baghdad, and the game does in fact deviate from the traditional genre (and even the newer “you’re the bad guy” model) through the way in which you control your units as well as the power ups that you receive mid-level.
As mentioned, Anomaly Warzone Earth finds you in a slightly futuristic Baghdad that has been invaded by alien forces. These forces have set up shop in the form of various turrets that have various attacks and attack patterns. Your goal is as in any other TD game, to get from one point of the map to the other, whether that’s an area, some soldiers, etc.
Things get tricky though, as you will need to plot out a course for your convoy of trucks, tanks, and other vehicles that avoids as much damage as possible, while also inflicting as much damage to the towers as possible. That’s right, you can attack the towers, and by destroying them, you will earn resources that allow you to either get additional units or just upgrade existing ones on the fly. This is an extremely important aspect, as it adds to the dynamic gameplay that Anomaly Warzone Earth already had.
Improving on this dynamic aspect is the fact that you can change your route at any time (but only in intersections, deciding which road to follow), so you will have to think of the best way to avoid fire, while inflicting as much damage as you can. This is done mostly by going around towers that turn slowly, or that simply don’t have 360 degree vision. Watch out though, as some of these seemingly beneficial routes will put you in front of much worse turrets without you even noticing, so be careful when plotting the course, and don’t be too greedy.
You will occasionally use power ups such as repairs to your convoy, or smoke screens, or decoys, and these are extremely important and beneficial. The controls are very easy to use for the power ups, just tap to choose the area where it will take effect (the problem is that with a sliding screen you may find yourself accidentally using power ups in the wrong places. We sure did a few times).
The 15 levels vary just enough one to the next, and it takes a few hours to play through the game. It doesn’t get repetitive so that’s always a good thing, and you can replay it in order to gain a better score, as well as just to test yourself on the harder difficulty. Once you’ve finished the campaign mode, you have 2 additional modes to enjoy.
The art is just beautiful, with an ultra realistic background, great animations, and beautifully cell shaded models running around (or rather driving around).