Anomaly Defenders



Traditional tower defense gets some engaging twists.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game shows the importance of standing your ground, but erecting towers and blowing up anyone that approaches isn't the best way to do it in the real world.

Positive role models

The game lacks any notable characters -- positive or negative. 

Ease of play

The tower defense genre is well-known, and the gameplay here doesn't deviate greatly from that general formula. Still, the game explains its technology tree thoroughly, so players know what each advancement does. 


As in most tower defense games, this one features a constant stream of enemies that players mow down with various types of firearms. But there's no blood or sounds of suffering from destroyed foes.


Your robotic guide/assistant has large, pronounced breasts that serve no purpose other than to sexualize her/it. 

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

The game is available only via digital download and doesn't explicitly ask for personal information, but developer 11 Bit Studios also doesn't have a privacy policy on its website stating what information is gathered and used in the game, if any. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Anomaly Defenders is a strategic tower defense game. Although there's lots of shooting and some gratuitous sexuality (in the form of a big-breasted robot who acts as your guide), the game is OK for older tweens and early teens, as the violence consists of laser beams and explosions -- the standard science-fiction kind. The game, which isn't rated by the ESRB, currently is available only on PC via digital download, not at retail stores. 

What's it about?

In ANOMALY DEFENDERS, the focus is on traditional tower defense as players take a defending alien's point of view (the Anomaly series has a backstory about a war between humans and an alien race that sought to control Earth, but it's barely hinted at here). As players advance through the game's 24 levels, they're able to unlock additional defense towers with new abilities -- and improve the lethality of the towers they have. What makes this game unique is that enemy troops attack your towers as they march toward their goal, forcing players to keep an eye on the health of their structures and occasionally repair them (using energy dropped by fallen enemies). This can create a frenetic situation when a user is under fierce attack -- and it amps up the excitement. Additionally, on some levels, you'll have to deal with environmental hazards, such as meteors, which also damage and destroy towers and further increase the challenge.

Is it any good?


The Anomaly series made its mark by shaking up the tower defense genre, which makes it rather surprising that Anomaly Defenders opts to reverse course and embrace the traditional style of play for these sorts of games. It's fun -- and it comes with a few twists that make it one of the better tower defense games around -- but it's not the trendsetter its predecessors were. 

But it's those twists that make the game's 24 levels so engaging. You'll have to monitor the health of your towers as you spend resources to upgrade them. You'll have to worry about environmental threats. You'll have to decide where best to expand your tech tree. Do you upgrade the firing power of existing towers -- or spend those points on a new and different kind of turret? Fans of the series who were hoping to see more substantial changes could be disappointed. The game is visually gorgeous, but on some levels it feels a bit unbalanced -- and could frustrate some players. Still, this is a solid addition to the tower defense genre.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about conflict resolution. What steps can you take to avoid a situation escalating into one where violence is involved?

  • Families also can talk about planning ahead and the importance of strategic thinking. How can anticipating possible future events help or harm your current plans?

Game details

Platforms:Linux, Mac, Windows
Pricing structure:Paid
Available online?Available online
Developer:11 bit Studios
Release date:May 29, 2014
Topics:Space and aliens
ESRB rating:NR

This review of Anomaly Defenders was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Write a user reviewThere aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Special Needs Guide