Developer: Roamza LLC
Price: free Download on the App Store
If you like having your cake and eating it too, then Anatopia is a mashup app that might make you happy. With a storyline that pits animals against humans, Anatopia combines the general gameplay of three popular mobile games – Angry Birds, Plants vs. Zombies and Fruit Ninja – into one app. Spanning three worlds, with 11 levels each, Anitopia™ players can launch cows, dogs and elephants from a catapult, defend farmland, circus tents and the city animal shelter and then slice and dice incoming fruit.
It may sound a bit like a copy-cat, which in many ways it is, but Anatopia™ hangs its hat on the popularity of the three games by creating a clever mix of player favorites and incorporating them into a new story with a few original points. The initial few levels of each world are reminiscent of Angry Birds, but feature structures with human targets and caged animals. By launching animals from a catapult or cannon, the objective is to eliminate the humans and free the captive critters. The middle levels are essentially a PvZ forgery with farm animal defenses and the game rounds out with a Fruit Ninja-ish finale. Players earn coins in the livestock launching levels that are used to buy animals to defend the landscape in subsequent levels.
Though an all-in-one mashup sounds like a fun idea, Anitopia struggles a bit to hit the mark. It is clever in its concept, but unfortunately comes off like a cheap imitation. And besides the minor faults in execution, like touch sensitivity and lack of any real depth, the biggest disappointment comes from discovering that purchasing the app only gives players access to the first world and its eleven levels. Access to the remaining two worlds requires an additional purchase – the minimum investment being another $0.99 – and the obtrusive advertisements that remain even after the second investment is a further disappointment.
Anitopia does have some decent artwork and somewhat humorous cut scenes as well as a solid enough storyline. A few of the characters lend some charm to the title and of course the overall gameplay is familiar enough to most to be classified as comfortable. Yet whilst playing, no matter how reminiscent of the favorites, it’s hard not to notice an amateur feel. The touch response and game reaction time is just “off” in places, invoking a sense of longing for the smoothness felt in the originals.
At the end of the day, Anitopia can sell itself on the basis of offering a new way to play those tried and true smash hits everyone loves. With a bit of polishing and some additional level offerings it definitely has potential, but without some attention to these details, this concept would be like counting chickens before they’ve hatched. In its present phase, Anitopia isn’t exactly a utopian mash-up but instead a bit like generic cheerios – it’s OK, but just not the same.