Anomaly Korea for iOS
Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.
Age Rating: 9+
This follow-up to the relatively accomplished tower-defence-in-reverse game Anomaly: Warzone Earth, but it does come across and tighter than its predecessor. As opposed to traditional tower defence games such as Fieldrunners, your job isn’t to set down turrets in order to prevent the relentless march of a computer-controlled army, but instead you are that army.
You set what you believe/hope is the safest and most efficient course around a twisty map guarded by fiendish but static alien death-machines, then off your little tanks and other vehicles go. As they auto-pilot themselves around the path you’ve programmed, your role is to frantically activate power-ups, summon reinforcements and swap badly damaged units to the back of your troop in the hope of minimising casualties. It’s absorbing stuff, finding itself a difficulty sweetspot, so everything feels achievable even when there’s no immediately obvious way to survive all those towering alien horrors.
Unfortunately, while Anomaly‘s attractive on a technical level, it’s a bit short on character. Various soldiers mutter objectives at each other tediously, the aliens rotate a bit and, well, that’s about it. It’d almost be better as a minimalist game of shapes (i.e. like Hundreds) than putting so much effort into its unengaging sci-fi setting.
Macworld Australia‘s buying advice
Even two games in, the Anomaly series’ remixing of the oft-abused tower defence formula remains impressively fresh, but it’s a shame the same can’t be said of its dry style and narrative. Still, it’s good stuff if you’re looking for some touch-screen strategy gaming.