January 23, 2019
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Genre: Strategy & War
Min OS X: Any Version    CPU: G3

Pocket Tanks
April 15, 2003 | Zack Lipowski

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I know what you're thinking, Pocket Tanks? That must be some little kids game. While in truth it does appeal to kids, Pocket Tanks can be enjoyed by people of all ages-a true sign of solid gameplay and presentation.

Most shareware games come and fade, unless they have that special "spark" of ingenious gameplay that stands the test of time. I'm proud to report that Pocket Tanks (PT) is one of those games. Simple in explanation but deviously unique and deep, PT will make you keep yelling "Just one more game!"

Gameplay: Fire in the Hole!
I'm guilty of it too. At first looking at PT, I brushed it off as just another simple solo diversion. The plain, uninspiring 2D graphics and colorful, childlike text didn't help either. A lot of this skepticism came from my bad experience with Shareware titles. Usually just mind-numbing diversions, I passed up on trying any of them out. That was until I tried PT. For such a small price, PT packs a lot of firepower.

Basically, PT is in the same vein as Dome Wars. If you don't recall that game, let me explain the fundamental principles behind these games? gameplay. The game takes place on a 2D landscape with rolling hills and dips. One tank is positioned on one side, the other another side. The goal is, in short, to basically bomb into submission the other player or CPU, and the person with the most damage when ammo runs out wins.

The HUD itself is easily navigatable and picked up by even the youngest of players quickly. Covering a part of the lower-screen are a set of buttons, which you use to perform actions with your tank. You can move your tank left or right, change your currently loaded weapon, reduce or increase the angle of the tank's barrel, and increase or decrease the power behind the shot. Mastering the angle and power is critical to winning. Don't worry though, it only takes a few Target Practice games of trial and error to get things down pat.

At first this sounds simple, right? So I thought until I experienced one of many kinks the designers throw in to cause strategy and utter mayhem. An assortment of obstacles are presented, including varying degrees of wind power, which affects your shot's accuracy.

However, one of the best features, if not the best in PT is the sheer variety and uniqueness of the many weapons you choose prior to battle for the purpose of annihilating your opponent. Not just simple pixel balls lobbed at your opponent, these things will light up the screen and cause utter destruction to anything they touch.


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