We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Games software Reviews
15,670 Reviews PC Advisor Recommended

Anomaly: Warzone Earth review

£8.99

Manufacturer: 11-bit Studios

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Putting the old axiom “The best defence is a good offence” to the test, Anomaly: Warzone Earth shows a new path for tower-defence games.

I’ve grown weary of tower-defence games. Some offer interesting ideas, and others are just too cute and fun to ignore, but most just ask the player to throw up defensive units, giving you little reason to care why you’re doing so or options for employing different strategies. Anomaly: Warzone Earth gives me hope for the genre. By putting you on offence instead of defence, it opens up the genre’s strategic options, throwing you into situations that go beyond just the fighting off enemies that most examples of the genre throw at you.

The player is cast in the role of the 14th platoon’s commander as it’s dispatched to deal with an anomaly – a weird dome that appeared in the aftermath of an asteroid-strike in Baghdad. Unfortunately, the interstellar debris carried a surprise: alien machines, which comprise the towers your forces must fight through. The machines come in a variety of forms, such as basic cannons, heavy artillery, emplacements that damage shields, and even hulking machines that turn your capabilities and units against you.

Anomaly: Warzone Earth gameplay

The challenge is daunting, but you have a number of options to deal with the alien threat. The commander’s exo-suit comes with a suite of powers that helps him deploy his units: repair tools, smokescreens, decoys, and even airstrikes. The commander may run around the battlefield, deploying these capabilities in ways to best support his troops, or stick with his forces.

Your troops include cheap, low-level units like APCs and rocket-firing crawlers, to more advanced units like mobile shield generators, and powerful sci-fi tanks that blast the ETs with plasma. You purchase and upgrade these units throughout each level as you acquire more currency, and your task force may cruise the streets with as many as six of them in tow.

Anomaly: Warzone Earth gameplay

Anomaly’s major strength is the strategic options it gives players, and one of the best is how you choose your route through the alien infestation. Depending on the mission parameters, you may choose a route that skirts danger as you reach your goal or reduces the alien incursion to atoms. All of this affords you a great deal of flexibility in how you tackle the challenges of each stage.

You select your forces’ route at the beginning of each level, but you’re not tied to it; you can alter your path through each stage in response to battlefield changes, to better take advantage of enemy weaknesses, to grab some of the game’s currency, or to mop up isolated foes. Defeating enemies nets you a pair of possible rewards: a small amount of the game’s currency, or more powers for your exo-suit. The game also features a set of achievements.

Anomaly: Warzone Earth gameplay

What’s great about Anomaly is that it allows you to tackle the game on your terms. I engaged each map without the overall goal in mind; I deployed my forces to take advantage of the enemy weaknesses and reach goals as quickly as possible, and I’m eager to try some of these maps again with a different bent. I also like how the game controls. All you really need is a mouse: the centre button brings up your purchase screen, and zooming in and out with the scroll wheel takes you from the battlefield to the planning map, where you can change your route and examine the enemy forces you face.

Anomaly: Warzone Earth gives you a flexibility I’ve never encountered with tower-defence games, allowing you to determine the strategy you think is best suited for the situation at hand. The game is a lot of fun, extremely good value, and I sincerely hope that 11-bit Studios has plans for a sequel in the future.

Anomaly: Warzone Earth Expert Verdict »

PC Requirements: OS: Microsoft Windows XP SP2/Microsoft Windows Vista/Microsoft Windows 7
Processor: Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz or AMD Athlon 64 +2800
Memory: 1 GB RAM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 7600 / ATI Radeon X1800 or equivalent
DirectX®: 9.0c
Hard Drive: 1 GB
Sound: DirectX 9.0c compliant soundcard. Mac Requirements: OS: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later
Processor: Intel Pentium 4 2.4GHz or AMD Athlon 64 +2800
Memory: 2 GB
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 7600 / ATI Radeon X1800 or equivalent
Hard Drive: 1 GB.
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

An engaging new take on the tower-defence genre.

  • Orcs Must Die review

    Orcs Must Die

    This action-oriented tower defence title is an orc-annihilating blast, and a solid entry in anyone's XBLA or Steam library.

  • Fieldrunners HD review

    Fieldrunners HD

    Fieldrunners HD is a game for Android that may be enjoyable for newcomers to tower defence, but players experienced with the genre are likely to find it dull.

  • Fieldrunners 2 for PC review

    Fieldrunners 2 for PC

    The small soldiers graduate to a bigger screen

  • Defense Grid: The Awakening review

    Defense Grid: The Awakening

    Defense Grid: The Awakening is a prime example of taking an unoriginal, well-known style of video game and turning it into a masterpiece with touched-up graphics and sound.

  • Defenders of Ardania review

    Defenders of Ardania

    Tower defence, remixed.


IDG UK Sites

Best Black Friday 2014 tech deals: Get bargains on smartphones, tablets, laptops and more

IDG UK Sites

What the Internet of Things will look like in 2015: homes will get smarter, people might get fitter

IDG UK Sites

See how Trunk's animated ad helped Ade Edmondson plug The Car Buying Service

IDG UK Sites

Yosemite tips: Complete Guide to OS X Yosemite