coreymw's Anomaly: Warzone Earth (Steam) (PC) review

An unorthodox take on the Tower Defense genre

Anomaly: Warzone Earth is a top down reverse tower defense game developed by Polish developer 11 bit Studios. They're a small team with lots of experience in the industry.

In Warzone Earth you play the role of a commander who wears a suit of armor that can repair columns of vehicles, provide smoke screens, call in air strikes and place decoy systems on a battlefield. The game takes place on a future Earth that is about to be impacted by a large piece of space debris, but not before we're visited by strange ships that erect domes in various cities around the globe.

The game is very straightforward. You plan routes via a top down tactical layout of a city or battlefield and make adjustments as things happen during the mission. The UI is very intuitive and lends itself well to new strategy game players. The game is surprisingly deep for having so few gameplay menus. You switch between the tactical top down map and the game using the mouse scroll wheel. Down or up, that's all it takes. To enter the upgrade or purchase menu you tap the space bar.

Once you've determined the columns route, you decide in what position of the column each of the vehicles takes via a simple drag and drop interface. One of the early missions adds a vehicle that can shield up to two other vehicles, one immediately in front and one behind. It's best to put that vehicle in line between two powerful or weaker ones. The same interlace can be used to upgrade or purchase new and better vehicles.

Upgrades and new vehicles don't come cheap. You have to complete various objectives in order to collect money. These range from finishing a mission to picking up or mining various items on the battlefield. Finishing a mission with all of your vehicles grants you a bigger reward and a higher rating on the leaderboards.

Scattered around the battlefield are enemy turrets and various other hazardous objects. Your goal is to find the path of least resistance, but to also get into areas that will reap the largest reward. As you progress through hostile areas your job as commander is to repair your column and mine or collect rewards or air drops. Air drops consist of repair kits, decoy units, smoke screens and various other items.

The game is nice to look at. The voice over work needed more attention though. It's cheesy, but not enough to detract from the experience. Everyone is gun ho and happy to let you know that fact. I've yet to finish the game, but it's taken me about 3 hours to get halfway through. I'm playing on the casual mode, and having a rough time on one particularly devious city block.

Missions last between 5 and 20 minutes depending on how good or bad you are. I imagine It can be played in one sitting if you're determined or used as a filler of spare time. I believe Anomaly: Warzone Earth is worth the $10 I paid for it on Steam. It provides a new take on tower defense, and I'm never one to complain about that.


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