$4.99 Buy Now

When Anomaly Warzone Earth [$3.99] hit back in 2011, its ‘tower offense’ gameplay was pretty novel and made for a highly enjoyable experience. Fast forward to today, and games still haven’t quite  hit on what made Warzone (and it’s half sequel, Anomaly Korea [$3.99]) such a success. With Anomaly 2 [$4.99], 11 Bit Studios have raised the bar, with an impressive array of improvements and a new multiplayer mode I love.

From a gameplay perspective, Anomaly 2 plays very similarly to the other two Anomaly titles that have hit iOS. Each level still charges players with guiding a caravan of weapon wielding vehicles through maps filled to the brim with a variety of enemy towers. Power-ups, such as repair zones and decoys make a return as necessary items that must be employed strategically in order to survive the mission. The game’s currency and vehicle purchasing/upgrade system should also be familiar to series fans.

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However, Anomaly 2 does mix it up a bit in terms of new vehicles, new power-ups and new gameplay options. The new gameplay facets center around the fact that each mobile unit can now ‘morph’ into a different unit. For example, the long-ranged Assault Hound can morph into the close-quartered Hell Hound, swapping long distance guns for more armor and short-ranged flamethrowers which can attack multiple enemies. Every unit has a secondary mode it can morph into, granting significantly different attributes that are useful for certain situations.

While Anomaly has always been about choosing the right vehicle for the right situation, the addition of morphing units in Anomaly 2 almost brings an element of reflex gameplay to the otherwise heavily strategic gameplay. With the addition of morphing units, each level throws a lot more variety in terms of enemy towers which forces players to not only scan ahead on their routes but to continually morph units to maximize the likelihood of combat success. Anomaly 2 also encourages players to do a lot more buying and selling of units mid-mission as well as unit placement within the convoy. None of these aspects really overhaul the core gameplay but it certainly refines it and provides more interaction.

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Hands-down, Anomaly 2 is one of the most gorgeous games that I’ve played so far on iOS. The visuals are incredibly detailed and the game runs incredibly smooth on current generation devices. There is an occasional tendency for ports hitting iOS to take a hit visually, but Anomaly 2 pulls no punches and provides a graphical experience that matches the original PC release. True, the game’s demands are a drain on battery life, and older devices have had experiences running the game well (or even running it at all), but I think the great strides made with current devices outweigh some of the pratfalls seen on older ones.

While new gameplay additions and an impressive visual overhaul would be more than enough to make a good sequel, Anomaly 2’s addition of competitive multiplayer really sets it apart. Players have the option of being either the machines (i.e. the towers) or the humans in a crazy battle of tower defense versus offense. Gameplay for players on offense is pretty similar to the single player campaign while taking the role of defense is a completely different experience. Multiplayer matches are engaging and deep enough that there are a variety of different strategies that can be employed.

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Additional facets such as the addition of abilities which can be bought to upgrade your units and a novel points system for determining the winner also add to an already great multiplayer experience. In fact I’d argue that, while the game’s campaign is quite enjoyable, the new multiplayer mode is truly the star of the title. Finally, a decent multiplayer tutorial does a good job explaining how to play both sides.

Simply put, Anomaly 2 is everything Anomaly fans could have ever wanted in a true sequel. The gameplay additions, impressive graphics and competitive multiplayer improve on nearly every facet of the original (and psuedo-sequel Korea, for that matter). Anomaly Warzone Earth was a game of the year candidate when it came out in 2011, and Anomaly 2 should be on that short list for this year as well.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • tomj315

    I am so agree with you, I really love the game and it even has a great story behind it. If it was possible, I would have give it 10 stars.

  • Taclys

    Man, had I not spent my cash on Oceanhorn, I would have bought this. Can't wait to get it.

  • mhszappleapps

    the best strategy game I've ever played...

  • dancj

    How could you give this terrible game such a high score???

    How could you give such a great game less than ten stars???

    How much did they pay for the review???

    What does the star system mean anyway??

    Reviews should be objective.

    Ratings should be objective.

    5 star games should be absolutely flawless!

    Did I miss any?

    • themostunclean

      What was each individual star awarded for?

    • Retero

      Five star games should be games that are enjoyable to play. He had fun with it and thinks others would too, thus he gave it A five star review. Objectiveness leaves out fun factor and is dry to read. They want it this way for a reason.

      • dariusjr98

        He was being sarcastic.

  • Jake7905

    They took the first game and injected it with digital steroids. This game's a beast.

  • moonwax

    Any game with the word "pratfalls" in it's review must be good. A sure fire hit.

  • cowtruck123

    Never played any of the others. Should I get one of them first or go straight to this one?

  • http://www.zucchinipeoplegames.com/ Nicholas Yu

    I was wondering how they were going to improve upon the original experience when I first started playing.

    Wait, each unit can transform to an alt mode?
    Mind blown.
    What a terrific game and series.

  • worldcitizen1919

    Way too often reviewers over emphasise graphics. There are a hell of a lot of games with awesome graphics I have bought and deleted within 5 minutes because that's all they were -eye candy for selling the game. It's a trap. I played the first Anamoly and hated it so better graphics are not going to sway me.

    I would rather have good or average graphics and terrific gameplay than awesome graphics and trashy gameplay. 90% of games I buy or download with awesome graphics turn out to be duds and go to my deleted apps scrap pile.

    For me gameplay should ALWAYS be the benchmark for any reviewers not graphics. But as long as graphics are praised above gameplay all well get is eye candy with 2nd rate gameplay.

    • dariusjr98

      The problem is not the game or it's graphics, the problem is simply that the game is not for you. Oh well. Move on.

  • tomj315

    The game Anomaly 2 isn't just about graphics, it's a strategy game.
    Before I buy a game which cost money, I'm not just checking out a review and then spending the money, I'm watching some videos about it, to make sure I like the game itself, not just because the graphics.
    A strategy game needs thinking, and there's some people who don't like thinking a lot when they play.

    So before you buy a game and write a comment here, make sure that you will like the game.

  • Buzzit

    I don't like RTS (past the time of Red Alert & it's ilk) but I love tower defence and turn based strategy. I purchased the original Anomaly but after several attempts I could not get in to it largely due to having to do too many things at once. I am sure Anomaly 2 will be amazing for people who like such games - but this is written more as a warning for Battle of the Bulge type players like me.

  • gnome9er

    why cant i play multiplayer? both iOS and Android versions have the multiplayer menu greyed out?!

  • loophole

    Just got the game and it's really really good! It's really easy to get into yet it has great depth. Great visuals and the addition of multiplayer makes this game a no brainer. One area where I feel the game falters a bit, is the story. You don't really know or care much about the characters.

Anomaly 2 Reviewed by Eric Ford on . Rating: 5