Anomaly Korea, the follow up to last year's acclaimed Anomaly Warzone Earth, is a first rate and all encompassing adventure which has gamers pitted against hard to kill alien robots. Don't expect a standard 'War of the Worlds' shoot 'em up, as strategically placing your military vehicles and weaponry, as well as planning your combat routes, are mandatory for your earthly survival. With so many responsibilities at your fingertips, Anomaly Korea is an intricate and inspired take on tower defense games which will keep you glued to your device.

When an iOS title pulls off a first rate intro, I'm usually wary of the actual game play experience. Maybe the developers focused on the eye catching graphics of the opening moments and subsequent cut scenes as a way to distract from the game's actual mediocrity. Anomaly Korea easily dodges that bullet with its perfect blend of cerebral decision making and rapid fire action, but more on that later. Seeing battle through the eyes of a downtrodden yet determined soldier serves as a perfect introduction.

Before you start each mission, a female commander named Lieutenant Park gives you all the details you need for the perilous journey, and surveying your map and changing certain routes could keep your vehicles alive just a bit longer.

You must also choose the type of troops to complete your mission. Need to fire rockets from a distance? Try the crawler, which unfortunately doesn't have the strongest armor rating. Want to blast a robot with one fatal shot? Try a formidable tank called the Horangi, that should do the trick. Vehicles can also be purchased if you have enough cash while you are completing your tasks. If one of your troops is terminated during the firefight, buying another weapon of mass destruction is the best way to go.

Different supplies are dropped on specified areas during each fight, and once you see any item surrounded by three blue triangles, tap the screen and add it to your collection. Once you use these supplies, they will set off a chain effect that alters everything in its radius.  To repair your units, make sure they cross that sectioned area in time to fully get healed. My favorite supply is Decoy, since once its set off, the robots will usually fire at your other enemies and actually avoid your troops for several seconds.

Once you're in full battle mode, however, all the strategy goes out the window and simply tapping for more supplies, buying or upgrading vehicles at a furious pace may be the only thing that gets you to the end of the road. When a splash of bright colors hit the screen, mixed in with the requisite explosions, that's when the proverbial *bleep* hits the fan. And then all you can really do is pray ... or blow stuff up.

The visually compelling intro, solid voice acting, varied strategic challenges, and the addicting game play are just a few of the ingredients that places Anomaly Korea into a higher, creative stratosphere. Get ready to save Korea from an alien invasion -- you won't be disappointed.


App Store Link: Anomaly Korea for iPhone & iPad | By Chillingo Ltd  | Price: $2.99 | Version: 1.0 | 165 MB | Rating 9+
8.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating