You may have heard of Anomaly Warzone Earth HD before, and while it isn't new to Android, it is new to the Android Market. 11 Bit Studios released this game exclusively into the Amazon Appstore some months ago, but now it's fully out in the open for everyone else to enjoy. What's so great is that this game is both fresh and entirely unique. Hearing that about a title coming out of the tower defense genre sounds weird, right?
First Things First
Before we go any further, allow me to explain just what makes this game so unique. While it technically can be categorized with other TD games, it's actually the complete opposite. Instead of planting and upgrading towers to defend a certain position from waves of enemies, you set up a convoy, play the offensive, and go up against enemy towers. This adds a completely new perspective, effectively making tower-type games fun again. Quite frankly, I'm dumbfounded that we haven't seen many more games like this because the idea is so simple.
In addition to the kickass concept, the plot behind Anomaly Warzone Earth HD is equally as interesting. The whole game is set in Baghdad in the year 2018, sometime after a comet of some sort crashed into the city. Along with the comet came hoards of unidentified alien-like machines, and your job is to move in and find out what's going on before they destroy the Earth.
These machines line every possible route, and you have to guide an attack convoy of special units through the city. As you progress through the game, new towers reveal themselves, making your trek more difficult and thought-provoking. Don't worry though, because new units that can be added to the convoy also become available. In addition, you'll also unlock abilities that can really change the game if used properly.
The way that you set the up your attack path is also pretty cool. You enter Tactical View, which is kind of like a blueprint of the warzone that shows you every possible route and enemy locations. After entering Tactical View, you tap the arrows and set up a line that seems the most strategic to you. Then enter into Battle Mode to set your unit in action. If you change your mind or if something unforeseen happens, just switch back and alter your path.
In my opinion, this is the best part of the entire game because the plotline is so captivating. 11 Bit Studios really did an excellent job at making sure the story was interesting and had good flow. The campaign mode is broken up into 15 different missions, with each one bringing you deeper and deeper into enemy territory. I was happy to find that every mission wasn't the same - some require you to protect units or collect information, while others ask you to do things like destroying particular enemies. This really helps the game hold your attention for much longer, and makes everything tie into the story nicely. I honestly found it impossible to put my phone down, and ended up playing through the entire game in one sitting (with the exception of the final level, which I had much difficulty beating for some reason.) For added fun, you can play each level on 3 different difficulty levels - casual, Advanced, or Hardcore.
Squad Assault & Squad Assault Re-armed Modes
These modes have nothing to do with the storyline, but add a ton of replay value to the game. To unlock the first, you'll have to complete several levels of the campaign, but the second requires completion of the full game. I originally thought the two modes would be different, but was disappointed to find out otherwise. The latter is just a harder version of the first. However, that does not make them any less fun to play. Basically, your mission is to seek out and destroy enemy power generators. After you've destroyed one, another pops up at a random location on the map. It seems pretty simple, but on top of having to drive your convoy through enemy fire, you have to beat a clock.
- APC - This a basic armored vehicle. It will be one of the first you play with, and consists of decent armor and mediocre attack power.
- Crawler - Here we have a giant rocket launcher on wheels. It has devastating fire power, but is lightly armored and slow to fire.
- Shield - This unit is vital to the well-being of your convoy. It generates a shield for itself and two adjacent units.
- Tank - Just what you'd expect from a tank - heavy armor and decent fire power.
- Dragon - What do you picture when you hear the word 'dragon'? Well this is worse. It sports twin plasma throwers that can set fire to two enemies at once.
- Supply - These are nice to attached to any convoy. The supply unit will generate abilities after a certain amount of kills have been made.
These guys make up your convoy, and diversity is key here. If you don't have a well-thought out and balanced squad, you will be torn to shreds in later levels. It is important to note what kinds of enemies the team will be facing, and to choose the proper units for each mission. You'll need money to buy more units, and you get cash by collecting carusaurum (those little yellow blips on your Tactical View map) and eliminating enemy towers.
- Blaster - Here we have the basic tower. It has a laser attached and does minimal damage.
- Scorcher - You'll never want to head directly towards this one. It shoots a steady ray of thermal energy, and can quickly destroy your entire convoy.
- Behemoth - This pesky tower shoots out a powerful blast that can affect many units at once.
- Stormray - The beam of electricity this tower emits will not only affect the targeted unit, but other units close to it.
- Hacker - Try to avoid this one if you see it in a large group of other enemies, as it disables the weapons on affected units.
- Energizer - Don't use abilities in the vicinity of this tower, because it will absorb the power and repair other towers you've already destroyed.
As you plan your route, keep an eye out for which enemies you'll cross. A good strategy is what's going to win this game, so get to know your enemies well.
- Repair - This does exactly what it advertises - it will repair units that pass through it's deployment zone.
- Smoke - This ability is a smoke screen that greatly reduces damage to your units when they are hidden within it.
- Decoy - Throw this one in front of a group of towers, and they'll focus their fire power on it instead of your convoy.
- Airstrike - Can't make it past a heavily guarded area? You could rethink your strategy, or just destroy them with an air strike.
These abilities will help you win the game. In fact, you won't be able to do it without them. They provide another element to throw into your strategy, and help bring the whole game full-circle.
In short, Anomaly Warzone Earth HD is the best $3.99 I have ever spent on a mobile game. It truly is difficult to explain how unique and awesome this game really is. Not only is it different from everything else, it has high-quality. As a player, you'll definitely be able to tell how much work went into making this game so phenomenal.
My one complaint is that there isn't a demo version. I know that many people are hesitant about spending so much on a mobile game, and a demo would really show those teetering on the edge what they're missing.
Hit the link below if you want to check it out.