Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★★
Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Anomaly 2 is, yes, the third Anomaly game released on mobile. But see, Anomaly Korea was kind of just a spin-off of Anomaly: Warzone Earth. Whatever. Anyone who owns an iPhone 5, the 6th iPhone, probably has no right to complain.

Anomaly2-4And what’s not to complain about is that Anomaly 2 is bigger and better than ever. Anomaly 2 released earlier this year on PC, and 11 Bit Studios decided to just try and bring the game in its entirety to mobile instead of scaling it down. This includes the graphics: the level of detail and visual fidelity is matched by few other games on iOS. This burns through battery life like no one’s business.

The tower offense gameplay has the same core goal: players must command their units through roads lined with enemy towers, finding the optimal paths to complete the objectives; such as destroying all of a certain obstacle type or just getting to the end in one piece. Players can customize the order of their vehicles in combat, upgrade them as necessary, and of course drop assisting tools like repairs and decoys in order to keep units alive. There’s the risk/reward element as always – more dangerous paths may lead to higher scores and more Carusarum, the resource used to buy new units and upgrades, but of course may lead to a quicker death.

Anomaly2-1The big new hook? Vehicles that can switch between two different types on command. This has to be done for tactical reasons as one mode is usually better for close combat and another for distance. It forces players to be a bit more involved with the combat instead of just trying to keep the units alive by laying down repairs, decoys, and the like. After all, it’s easier to keep a unit alive if it’s actually able to defeat the towers oppressing it! Some units are also more effective when firing constantly, so it’s worth keeping them firing if possible. Along with the lengthy campaign there’s also an online multiplayer mode that has one player placing towers on defense, and another trying to break through on offense.

The thing is, Anomaly 2 isn’t really that different from its predecessors, even factoring in the new tweaks. The unit-morphing? That’s just a new tweak on the game. And the missions feel interminably long in this one. Perhaps it’s a byproduct of the game being a PC release ported to mobile seemingly verbatim, or perhaps it’s just impatience. The fast-forward isn’t very fast and isn’t a toggle, unfortunately. The game is bigger than ever, but it’s possibly too big.

Anomaly 2 is still quite the solid little strategy game, and there’s a lot to like here. But it’s a lot of what was to like in Anomaly: Warzone Earth and Anomaly Korea. Perhaps the more involved action will appeal to those who found the first two games too passive, and for those who haven’t played an Anomaly game this isn’t a bad time to dive in. But Anomaly 2 isn’t essential for those who don’t just want more of the series.


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