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Anomaly Korea Review: Nobody Does “Tower Offense” Like Chillingo!

These days, developers of tower defense games are probably finding it pretty hard to impress iOS gamers. It seems every possible twist has been taken on the genre, and even so, we’ll probably continue to see more of the same old tower defense games popping up in the App Store in the near future… But you know who shouldn’t see that as a problem? Chillingo. They first introduced us to their unique take on tower defense in Anomaly Warzone Earth, and now they’re staying true to what made that game so great with Anomaly Korea. By turning the genre upside down and putting the player on the offensive, Chillingo has made the Anomaly series into something replayable, expandable, and totally innovative.

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If you’re new to Anomaly, then backstory isn’t important. You’re about to get thrown into a global conflict that has seen Earth taken over by robot machines with an extremely destructive bent… In Anomaly Warzone Earth, the action took place around Baghdad. This time we’re in Korea, where more of the same problems have sprung up, and it’s up to you and your fleet of war machines to fight back.

The phrase “tower offense” is often thrown around in conjunction with the Anomaly series, but in case it’s not clear enough—Chillingo’s spin on the genre has you taking control of the moving units rather than the “towers.” While the two opposing sides (towers and vehicles) are still going to battle it out in a straightforward manner, the Anomaly gameplay format means you’ve got to figure out where you’re going on the map as you seek to do things like rescue personnel, protect transport vehicles, or just wreak havoc on the nasty towers. Luckily, Chillingo provides us with a brilliant map interface, so charting your fleet’s course on any particular mission is half the fun. By simply tapping arrows, you determine which roads are taken and which enemies you’ll encounter. Of course, the strategy in choosing a path all depends on the fleet you’re taking to battle (which is further dependent on what you can afford at the time).

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By now you can probably tell you’re not in for a typical tower defense experience, which might be reason enough to spend $2.99 on Anomaly Korea. But Chillingo sweetens the deal with a whole lot more variety. Some of the boosts that are available for deployment allow the player to tap a position on the map (you’d be wise to make it right in front of your fleet’s path) and create a zone that will do things like repair your vehicles, temporarily boost fire power, or create a smoke screen.

All of these elements come together for incredibly entertaining, sometimes-overwhelming jaunts through this Korean war zone. There’s a lot more to do in Anomaly than simply wait around for enemies to walk by and see if your towers can handle them. Instead, you’ve got to factor in where you’re going, what boosts are available, what you can afford, and the amount of risk you’re willing to take… For most gamers, it should make for a refreshing experience that’s not soon forgotten.

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Apart from the common “complaint” that Anomaly Korea packs a too-short campaign, it seems most are in agreement that Chillingo’s own calculated risk has paid off doubly now that Anomaly Korea can be had. The game does more than the unexpected. It presents fantastic visuals, relentless action, and plenty of challenge… By all means, Chillingo has succeeded in further establishing the base on which their very own tower offense genre can and should be built.

Our Score: 4.5 Out of 5 Stars


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