Day 180: Tank Strike

Posted: 2011/05/08 in Indie Games

I’m purchasing an Xbox Live Indie Game (XBLIG) every day, seeking out the quality titles that got lost in the shuffle and are not well represented in the top 50 lists on the Xbox Dashboard. Today is day #180, and today’s game is “Tank Strike”.

Nearly 100 days ago, I played and loved an XBLIG called “Battle Havoc”. It was an artillery game in the vein of Scorched Earth or Worms, and had features (most notably jets to allow the tanks to reposition themselves, and a nice system of play-balancing people who used the jets frequently vs. those who used them sparingly) that made it a standout. Tank Strike is another in that venerable vein of artillery games, though turn-based where Battle Havoc was a real-time contest. Tank Strike has perhaps what is the widest, and most impressive, selections of options I’ve ever seen in any artillery game.

First, from the developer (Daniel Steger of Stegersaurus Games):

“Tank Strike is a turn-based artillery game allowing up to 8 friends to battle it out. Compete in a variety of unique landscapes customized for your play style. Demolish your foes with a variety of weapons. With tons of options to play the game, Tank Strike is fun for both new players and hardcore artillery fans. — Tank Strike: It’ll blow you away… with explosions…”

One of the first things you’ll notice about the wealth of options and in-game upgrades are shields. The option to acquire them in-game can be turned off if you feel they unbalance play, but I find them to be an interesting option that extends a round and allows a less precise player to stand a chance against a more experienced player. The risk/reward system here has you failing to upgrade other parts of your tank by spending money on shields, and an experienced player may forgo the shields in exchange for more firepower, but a less experienced player may like the security they offer even if it puts them behind in the arms race. Most of the other features and weapons/upgrade classes in the game are equally customisable. And while you might expect to be able to modify shot damage, starting resources, and other such things, you can also customise gravity and several other game elements that you normally wouldn’t have any control over.

Though it lacks the online play of Worms on XBLA or Battle Havoc on XBLIG, and won’t win awards for its visual appeal, it does have offline multiplayer and a nicer price than the competition. The game also has several themes that overhaul presentation, offering several unique sets of look and feel. The game’s ridiculous level of customisation (and unique options, such as the ability to have the borders of the screen bounce shots back into the playfield) allow for customised gametypes that its competition can’t do at any price. The lack of online multiplayer does mean most of us will only be playing it against the CPU, but if you do have friends over it’s a hell of a lot of fun. While I’m still a big fan of Battle Havoc, those looking for something less than a 400 point game, those who distinctly prefer turn-based over real-time artillery games, and those who never seem to find the perfect artillery game and simply need this game’s customisation options to make the perfect one, will find Tank Strike is an 80 MSP cure for what ails them.

Click here to download “Tank Strike”, and then please come back after playing to rate the game.



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