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Anomaly Korea lives up to its namesake, offering a very different kind of approach to the familiar tower defense genre by putting you on the offensive. Granted, this isn't 11 Bit Studios' first attempt to shake up the common strategic framework. Last year's Anomaly: Warzone Earth featured much the same concept: defend Earth from an alien force that just happens to set up fortified, powerful towers along city streets. Your roving caravan of armored vehicles is tasked with making it through each mission alive, or completing other noted objectives. In fact, there's a fairly meager amount of difference between Warzone Earth and Anomaly Korea, save the obvious location change.
Regardless, the concept of a "tower offense" game is still just as intriguing as it was a year ago. Your vehicle units are upgradeable as the campaign progresses, with each type offering unique strengths and weaknesses. The pre-mission screen offers an excellent top-down map, where purchasing units and plotting their course to engage towers offers an enjoyable, tactical experience. Thankfully, the mission objectives are generally unique to each level; while one mission may involve rescuing a stranded ally, the next might feature a frantic race against the clock. Power-ups are dropped conveniently through maps, including a missile strike – a real life-saver in Anomaly Korea's more hectic levels.
Late-game missions become a bit of a chore, though. Occasionally, it felt like 11 Bit was trying to compensate for Anomaly Korea's somewhat short campaign with unnecessary brutal difficulty spikes. When the campaign ends, Anomaly Korea does offer some additional challenge-type quests, though, which are earned through completing the main missions with a high-enough score.
The bottom line. While it doesn't reinvent the wheel like its predecessor, Anomaly Korea is an almost wholly different strategic experience than anything else found on the App Store.
iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 4.3 or later
Great alternative to standard tower defense. Varying mission objectives keep things fresh. Unique enemies require on-the-fly strategy.
Late missions are incredibly frustrating. Brief campaign with little difference from the first game.