Anomaly Warzone Earth Review

very good
key review info
application features
  • Enjoy innovative game play – mixing action and strategy in a reversed tower defense formula – you’re the attacking side!
  • (5 more, see all...)

Anomaly Warzone Earth is a tower defense game in reverse mode! If you have no idea what that is, then you are not the first to ask the question.

Anomaly is the result of an out-of-the-box thinking. The game was initially launched more than a year ago and it arrived in a saturated market full of tower defense games. Everyone was doing this kind of genre and there was little room left to innovate.

The developers of Anomaly Warzone Earth must have had a revelation and thought to themselves "what if we do a tower defense game, but from another perspective?". In normal tower defense games, players kill the bad guys round after round, but the developers at 11 bit studios realized that we should play from another perspective.

So, in this game the player controls the units that are trying to reach an end goal, on a modifiable route. A simple and brilliant idea that makes you wonder why anyone hasn’t thought of it so far.

Installation

The game has a sizable installation file, and at 420 MB is the biggest game in the Humble Bundle for Android 3 pack. Developers provide binary files for 32-bit and 64-bit platforms, in a tar.gz form which contains the game with everything inside. Also, the players can install it as a .deb file for Debian-based operating systems, as a .rpm file for Red Hat-based operating systems, or as a .bin file for the rest of the distros.

We've installed the game in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (Precise Pangolin) and we didn’t encounter any problems or special dependencies. In any case, we recommend installing it from a terminal in order to check for any unexpected errors. Just type the following command in a terminal near you:

sudo dpkg –i linux-anomaly-1326768872-i386.deb

The name of the file might vary if the developers chose to update the game.

Story and Gameplay

Unlike Fieldrunners, a run-of-the-mill tower defense game (we will review it next week), Anomaly Warzone Earth has a story that tries to be a little too serious for its own good.

Parts of a gigantic alien spaceship crash into Earth and scatter around the cities, especially in Bagdad and Tokyo. If we keep in mind that the surface of the planet is 70% water, crashing in more than one city seems at least unlikely.

It appears that an alien civilization capable of traversing interstellar space has not been able to master the landing procedure, or it has to be the most botched invasion in the history of the Universe.

In any case, the 14th platoon of a generic nation is sent into the affected areas to assess the anomalies created and to better appreciate the nature of the damage. Needless to say the things quickly turn sour and the platoon will fight for its life.

The gameplay is straightforward and everyone will be able to pick up the game and play it. The players don’t actually control the units, they control just one man, in an RPG manner, with the mouse. This soldier, let’s call him unit commander, has free reign over the map, but the convoy of vehicles he commands can only move on predetermined paths.

One of the most important job of the unit commander is to control, via a fancy map, the direction of the convoy in an effort to keep them out of harm’s way.

During the gameplay, players will find various power-up scattered all over the place, which will help the unit commander keep the convoy alive, such as repair kits, smoke screens, and decoys. Players can also modify the composition of the convoy by buying supplementary units, when the brass allows this action.

The Bad

The players have little time to understand some situations and most of the time they will have to reload a previous checkpoint because they’ve lost too many troops in a situation that couldn’t have been handled when it first presented itself.

The Good

Surprisingly, the gameplay is not that impressive, but it feels natural and well balanced, with some amazing graphics. Debris is flying everywhere, storms are passing through the map, and helicopters hover over the convoy. The entire atmosphere is believable and it makes for a great experience.

Conclusion

When I first saw that Anomaly was made available through the Humble Bundle initiative, I was a little skeptic. I knew about the game and I knew it could have presented a challenge in porting it to Linux. I have to say that 11 bit studios have made a great job, the game runs really smooth (the system requirements are medium), and it will provide gamers and tower defense fans with hours and hours of pure fun.

If you manage to skip over the presumptuous story and get right into the action, Anomaly Warzone Earth makes for one hell of a game.
user interface 4
features 4
ease of use 3
pricing / value 4


final rating 4
Editor's review
very good
 

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