Pros: Innovative twist on a crowded genre; Perfect touch controls; A5-enhanced graphics
Cons: Difficult gameplay
Verdict: The makers of Angry Birds provide a needed twist on the classic tower defense game.
There was a time when tower defense games were all the rage for mobile gaming. Unfortunately, a flood of clones deflated enthusiasm for the genre. It would take a seriously original twist on tower defense to bring people back, and that's just what Anomaly Warzone Earth is offering for iOS. This title also boasts enhanced graphics for the iPhone 4S' A5 processor.
In most tower defense games, you set up immobile turrets around a map to prevent a constantly advancing force from breaking your defenses. In Anomaly Warzone Earth, you are that constantly advancing force.
The game starts off in the Middle East, where aliens have landed and started taking root. You're a military commander tasked with bringing them down, tower by tower. Doing this requires directing a tiny force of jeeps, tanks, and rocket launchers through hostile territory, with certain units excelling against certain towers.
The touch-based interface works perfectly for this game, letting you quickly set routes and drop power-ups to aid your crews. Anomaly Warzone Earth was originally released on PC, but this new interface works far better than a mouse ever did. That being said, more casual players might find the level of micromanagement--even in the early levels--overwhelmingly difficult.
Anomaly Warzone Earth plays from a top-down perspective, giving you a clear view of the action from the sky. From this vantage, you can fully appreciate the visuals the developers were able to cram into this mobile game, from smoldering buildings to electrified wires to fancy alien technology. The game really looks like a living, breathing battlefield.
A recent update added even cleaner, more detailed graphics for iOS devices with A5 processors, including the iPad 2 and the iPhone 4S. It's a big step over the iPhone 4, which looked good enough but wasn't able to run at the consistently smoother frame rate that the 4S is able to achieve.
It's hard to imagine any strategy gamer not enjoying this new twist on the tower defense genre. Provided you're up for the challenging gameplay, you'll really enjoy the great graphics and spot-on controls.
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