Anomaly 2 ($4.99) by Chillingo Ltd is a 3-D reversed tower-defense game, which can more accurately be described as a tower “offense” game. It is the sequel to the original Anomaly Warzone Earth, which was first released as a PC game.
Although most tower defense games are usually very similar, it would be an understatement to say that Anomaly 2 is different. It is so different that it does not even appear to be this type of game until you pick it up and play it. This is mainly due to the amazing 3-D graphics, which screenshots cannot give justice to. They exhibit a nature that reminds me of Halo, the extremely popular first-person shooter game for consoles.
Anomaly 2 takes place in the 2020s, on a post-apocalyptic Earth where the average global temperature is below freezing. Instead of strategically placing defense units in order to shoot down enemies, the goal is to properly execute an invasion. This sounds evil, but those aliens who have invaded Earth are the real bad guys.
Before and during an invasion, you must map out the path that your units will take, as well as transform and upgrade them along the way. Different types of units and configurations are suitable for various conditions, and the in-game instructor will explain this to you.
After training in a simulator, which eventually gets destroyed due to an enemy attack, it is time to play in the real world. You will need to choose your units, which can be purchased and upgraded using the fuel resource that is collected throughout the game. Then, as you move along your path, you must use various objects that are similar to power-ups. These will repair your tanks, and give you advantages over enemies. For example, you can deploy a fake target for enemies to shoot at. Of course, all of these power-ups are of limited availability throughout the game, so use them wisely.
Still, how is this much different from any other tower defense game? Other than the fact that you act as the offender instead of a defender, the rest is all in the look and feel. The graphics are so intense that they could even rival Infinity Blade III, and they look superb on the iPhone 5s. With that said, it is probably not best to play Anomaly 2 for a long period of time, let alone while charging your device, since my phone almost became too hot to touch while doing this.
Overall, Anomaly 2 seems almost too good to be true. Not only will those obsessed with tower defense be satisfied, but this game can be enjoyed by anyone who craves stunning graphics and gameplay with many layers of depth. Most significantly, Anomaly 2 provides a console or desktop gaming experience, and it still amazes me that we can have this type of interaction with a handheld device. This type of gaming experience is more than worthy of the “Editor’s Choice” title in the App Store, which was awarded to it on release day.
Anomaly 2 is a universal download, available in the App Store for $4.99. Keep in mind that an iPhone 4s or newer is recommended for optimal performance, and the game will chew up about 1.2GB of storage once installed.