XBOX Live is not the first home to Anomaly Warzone Earth, but it is the newest being released Friday, April 5th, 2012; and it may just be the best! Coming with six exclusive tactical trial levels, the debut title for 11 bit studios feels right at home on XBLA. Coming in at a size and price of an old-school XBLA game, Anomaly Warzone Earth takes what you know about tower defense games and flips the script. Literally.
You play as “The Commander”; a one-man army in the war against an alien invasion. Where in traditional “Tower Defense” games, the player sets up a defensive position to hold back waves upon waves of evil doers. Anomaly Warzone Earth is a “Tower Offense” Game; meaning you are the “waves upon waves” and are tasked with taking out the enemies’ towers. Armed with an APC (mobile machine gun nest), Crawler (mobile middle launcher), and Shield Generator you plot your course in a “Tactical View” map and take to the streets of various cities around the world to eliminate the aliens. As with any tower game you collect resources to gain money to buy new units. You can have up to six at any one time, and upgrade those unit’s armor and damage.
The enemies come in many shapes and sizes as well. Some are basic gun turrets while others are powerful lasers; that may only shoot in one direction but if you make a wrong turn and face it head-on you will lose almost every time! Along the way other items are air dropped in for you to use. Decoys, Smoke Screens, and Repair Kits will come in extremely useful against the right enemy. Choose poorly and well we all know what happens.
Not only is there a deep story mode, but you unlock “Mayhem Mode” along the way as well. This mode is a race to complete 10 waves. To finish a wave all you need to do is take out the enemy power generator, but if you don’t take out some of the various turrets as well each wave will be increasingly more difficult. With a Friend’s Leaderboard to compare your score with your friends, the choice between destroying turrets and going for a higher time bonus will have you playing each level over and over until you have the top score.
As with all XBLA games there is a demo, and having a price of only 800 MS Points ($10 USD) no one would blame you for just making the purchase. Anomaly Warzone Earth is already a highly rated iOS game, and is available on PC and Android devices as well. With the recent launch on XBLA it is set to make a deep impression on console gamers. When they talk about the great hits of XBLA they will have to now include Anomaly Warzone Earth.