Anomaly Korea, the sequel to 11 bit studios’ stellar tower offense game, has been published by Chillingo and is now available from the app store. Constituting a refinement of the Warzone Earth model that brings new maps, a handful of new elements, and a challenging Art of War puzzle mode, Anomaly Korea is every bit as engaging as we expected.
Anomaly Korea Pros:
- Gorgeous graphics, smooth animations, and interesting levels to explore
- Soundtrack is cool; radio chatter brings the game to life
- Controls are responsive and easy to use, requiring only taps to handle your business
- Multiple difficulty levels and challenging Art of War mode add replay value
Anomaly Korea Cons:
- Campaign is a little short
- New elements are welcome, but don’t really change the gameplay/strategy in a major way
Anomaly Korea provides a 12-level single-player campaign mode that places you in various scenarios where you’ll need to control the “creepers” in a tower defense setting. The enemy takes the form of sentient towers placed throughout a twisting maze of streets in various war-torn locales. Using a variety of purchasable and upgradeable vehicles (tanks, crawlers, shields, etc.), you must wend your way to the endpoint, completing some form of an objective along the way (collect all Carusaurum in the level, destroy all towers within a factory, etc.). You automatically fire upon towers within your range, using various abilities that you collect from destroyed enemies to enhance your effectiveness, heal your damaged vehicles, cloak your movements, and distract your opponents. The new Boost ability is particularly helpful, increasing the rate of fire, range, and damage of any units within its radius for a short time. Access to Horangi tanks allows you to utilize its rechargeable power that fires a devastating single blast that can take out a smaller tower in one shot or significantly damage a larger tower. Flamer towers are somewhat challenging, as they release a molten discharge that can cause damage to your vehicles even after the attack. There is a good deal of strategy involved, tasking you with making split-second decisions on when to utilize your abilities, when to reorganize your vehicles to protect weakened units, when to re-route your units from the original path that you set up, and when to purchase new vehicles/upgrade current vehicles. Each level can be played at a Casual, Advanced, or Hardcore difficulty level. You receive a score for each level that takes into account your cash bonus, squad bonus, abilities bonus, and score multiplier. You also earn bronze, silver, or gold medals for Ruthlessness and Efficiency.
Graphically, Anomaly Korea retains the same stylish look as Warzone Earth, with highly-detailed maps and a great blue-on-black tactical map for setting up your routes, scoping out tower locations, and identifying dropped abilities that you haven’t picked up. You switch between the two maps at any time by tapping a button on the screen’s right side. Accessing your vehicle loadout is accomplished in the same way. Any collected abilities will appear on the screen’s left, with an indicator showing how many of each you have in your inventory. Tapping an ability and tapping a location on the map will activate that ability at the chosen point, beginning a duration timer represented by a depleting perimeter. Pathways are altered by tapping on arrows at intersections on the tactical map. All points of interaction are handled via screen taps, with no tilt or gesture-based options available. It’s all very intuitive and fluid. Animations are super smooth and the action is heavy and exciting. The soundtrack is fantastic and the voice work is good, offering radio chatter back and forth between you and your contact. Explosion sounds and their accompanying visuals are satisfying.
Replay value is good, as the multiple difficulty levels change up the experience considerably. Chasing gold medals and new high scores can also keep you engage for some time. The Art of War mode is unlocked little by little as you complete the campaign, placing you into bite-sized scenarios with significant limitations that really test your expertise with the game. A universal app on launch sale for $2.99, Anomaly Korea is a standout 4.5-Dimple experience.
Anomaly Korea Review,