Anomaly Warzone Earth is a tower defense-style game created by Bit 11 Studios. This is the first title from this studio and is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, and just recently, XBLA. With the amount of tower defense titles around and the genre becoming a cash cow, how is this game any different to other tower defense games? Well, let’s take a look and see.
The year is 2018 and aliens have invaded Earth. The aliens have created shielded domes in certain areas around the world and you take on the role of a commander of an armored battalion known as the 14th platoon. You venture through Baghdad and Tokyo with the objective of defeating the aliens and saving the world. Something that is rather disappointing isn’t the overplayed concept of the alien invasion but the delivery of character development and the driving along of the story. Since most character interactions are done through non-player characters, your personal investment in them is limited.
This game is unlike most tower defense games because it places you in the role of the attacker. It’s more of a tower offense game with quite a bit of strategy. You not only have to pick your battalion but also your route through the map. The game supplies you with item buffs to help you get around certain towers, the controls are very easy to pick up, and the graphics look good for an XBLA title. There are two mechanics that work particularly well for this title. First is the “Speed Up” mechanic – if the game is moving too slowly, this item can be used to easily speed it up at any point. Second is the enemy AI – it’s brutal at certain points, causing the game to be less of a tower defense title and more of a real-time strategy game.
Game Features (2.5/2.5)
This game has tons of features that provide a wide variety of gameplay possibilities. While sticking to single-player, the game extends outside the typical “Story Mode” option. “Baghdad Mayhem” and “Tokyo Raid” modes work more like a time-limit style of gameplay that tests a player’s ability to react quickly. “Tactical Trial” resembles an AI training simulator which gives you an opportunity to practice if you’re stuck at a certain point in the game. Each mode has to be unlocked, which gives the player more content as they progress. Playing through the current offering of modes, this game can give you 20-30 hours of gameplay, which is good for a $10 XBLA title. If you like the genre, you’ll probably put in more.
Fun Factor (1.5/2.5)
Even though this isn’t your typical tower defense title, it still provides that fun factor and gives you a little something new. At times, this game can be both fun and frustrating. When you’re doing well, the game is fun and enjoyable. When you make a wrong move or you are out of essential items, it can make you want to walk away from the television. With that said, this game will challenge your strategic abilities, and anyone who enjoys that type of challege will certainly find it here.
Overall Verdict – (7.5/10)
While this game is different from most tower defense games, its artifical intellegence and lack of a proper story don’t make a compelling enough case to spend money on this title. However, it does have some excellent mechanics that aren’t fully realized at this point in time. With strong gameplay and features, this title would earn our recommendation if the price point were lowered. With this being the first title from Bit 11 Studios, it’s a great debut and should at least be given a chance to be enjoyed by any tower defense fan.
This review is based off of a review copy of the XBLA version of Anomaly Warzone Earth by Bit 11 Studios