Review: Anomaly

I am a Gamer. Whether it’s PC, console, or iPhone, I own and play them all. However, the one thing I really enjoy about gaming is getting achievements, which is most notably active on the Xbox 360 console and I always thought how great it would be if achievements came to the iPhone. Well, I found a game that does that!

Anomaly by Sumiguchi

Anomaly is a top-down space fantasy shooter that combines great visuals, great sound, a solid (but initially difficult) control scheme, and the best kind of gaming incentive, achievements!

The game “missions” are played through “Anomalies”. Before you begin a mission, you are presented with a galactic map that shows which anomalies you have completed and which you still must attempt. Within each anomaly is a series of “phases” that must be completed before moving on to the next anomaly. There are 11 anomalies across the game for a total of 40 playable missions, which is a great value for the $0.99 price tag.

Once you begin a phase within an anomaly, you pilot and navigate a ship through the phase dodging and destroying geometric shaped enemies, of which have different characteristics. Some enemies target you directly, while others simply make obstacles for you to get by. There is also another enemy type which is very innovative. This enemy comes in the form of a missile that targets you directly but only if you are “camping”, which means if you are not moving your ship. So you can imagine how intense the gameplay becomes when you have a screen full of enemies and cannot stop moving, because if you do, missiles away!

The game includes both a campaign and arcade mode, so you follow through the story or just challenge yourself in the arcade modes. Anomaly has three different arcade modes; Classic, Timed, and Objective. The Classic mode is simply shoot the enemies and gain the highest possible score. The Timed mode is to stay alive for a set period of time and the Objective mode is to collect “cargo” items and destroy power cores.

Then comes the awards (achievements)! Anomaly includes 14 awards that spans the campaign and arcade modes. As typical for awards, some are easy to achieve, while others are extremely difficult but in any case, it takes time and skill to get them all. The awards are a fantastic method to add replayability value to a game and Anomaly does that well with their awards system. If you are like me, you will find yourself constantly going back to the game to achieve a new award!

In terms of navigation and control scheme, it is very simple once you get the hang of it. The best way I can describe the control scheme is the “D-Pad” on a controller for a video game console (think Xbox 360 or Playstation). You get one left control pad for navigation of the ship and one right control pad to control your ship weapon. Your thumbs are used with each control pad and moved in the direction that you want to navigate or fire your weapon. If you shake your device, you get to use a bomb feature and if the action ever gets too hot, you can pause the game by simply tapping anywhere on the screen.

Anomaly also has an update coming in a few days that adds a lot of new features to the game. The new update will include a landscape mode, because at this time the game plays in portrait mode. The update also refines the control scheme for better accuracy and also adds additional anomalies and phases, so that means you will get more than 40 missions!

The price was recently reduced to $0.99 for the upcoming update, so with engaging gameplay and 40 missions available now, with more coming later, I would suggest to purchase the app now instead of later (in case the price goes back up after the update).

You can pick up Anomaly in the iTunes AppStore for the value price of $0.99.

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