There are plenty of tank games available in the App Store. Some try to simulate the tank experience, and fails quite miserably. Others, like for example the brilliant Vector Tanks, focus on arcade action. Thankfully Tankz fall in the same category as Vector Tanks.
Tankz is a 3d action game where your goal is to collect flags. You choose whether to chase higher scores or quicker times. Other choices to make are which hover tank to use of the three available, map to play, easy or hard difficulty and then you are ready for action. And action you get as enemy towers pelt you right away at the spawn point.
Enemies consist of enemy tanks that shoots and rams you, as well as the towers already mentioned. You fire rockets and bullets that you have to pick up new ammunition for as you lay waste to the enemy. Tankz is not a realistic game in any way; you can even jump by hovering over special pads. This gives the game a bit of a free roaming feel to it even though the levels are enclosed spaces. The three maps are varied and offer different types of environments to hover around in.
Customer service is felt throughout Tankz. There are settings for all those things we want in an iPhone game. Vibration on/off, right/left handed controls and choice of whether how to mix the sounds of music and sound effects. If you aren’t connected to the Internet it saves your score locally. I wish all game developers would focus on us customers like Clickgames does with Tankz.
Presentation & Graphics
Graphics are a bit middle of the road. Not bad, but occasionally uninspired and a bit blocky. Environments look ok but you won’t have time for sightseeing as the action is on right away. Weapon fire looks awful with green, blue and red lines and whatnots flying around. The HUD also suffers from unnecessary ugliness, especially the weapon buttons disrupts the visual experience. The problem with the graphics seems to be that it tries to be both retro and modern at the same time. It works well enough to enjoy the game though.
The music is upbeat and give a sense of urgency to proceedings. The sound effects in general are really good, but I am still not sure if the engine noise is brilliant or crap. If you play your own music the sound effects is kept giving you the opportunity to crank some heavy stuff while hunting flags.
The controls are really good in Tankz. You tilt to steer your tank, and use touch controls for throttle, strafing and firing. You can also touch the tank to switch between first and third person point of view. I thought the dual touch controls found in Vector Tanks were the ultimate control method for a tank game but Tankz controls give them a run for their money.
The developers have really managed to get the feeling right that it is a hovercraft you pilot. Turning at high speed forces the tank into a slide, and once you get skilled at it you can slide around enemies picking them off without retaliation.
It is really hard even on easy. Enemies and towers respawn when you do after dying, but you have a limited number of lives, which they don’t. Your machine gun and rocket launcher have dodgy aiming systems making them miss even close targets. You can park your tanks right in front of a tower just to see your green bullets miss on both sides of the target.
The inclusion of online leader boards adds a lot of gamelife if you can stomach the level of difficulty.
At the App Store page the developers promise some sort of campaign mode in future updates, which might make this a good investment for the future. Hopefully they also change the name of the game as Tankz is a bit generic, and there are ten other tank games with more or less the same name.
Tankz is a fun action tank shooter well worth the price tag of $0.99. I found it fun just to drive around not caring about the enemy at all. Sadly they kill me right away when I take the pacifist approach to tank battle. Lack of game modes, harsh difficulty and unfocused graphics lower the score. Still recommended as it is enjoyable to play.