There are a ton of military-based action games out on the App Store, but very few focus on one of the most awesome vehicles used in combat — tanks. That’s where Ukranian developer G.H.O.R. hopes to fill the gap with Tanktastic (out now, Free). It’s an online game where up to 12 players can battle it out in various environments, earning achievements and such as they play.
The premise of the game doesn’t stretch much further than that. You either play online or you don’t play at all, which isn’t a big deal what with mobile data and all, but it’s just something to keep in mind. After picking a lobby or going through random match, you are dropped into the field where the battle begins. The controls have to be perfect for any online game because you have to be quick off the mark, keeping an eye on your six. Thankfully, Tanktastic has the typical control scheme seen in most tank-based games for iPhone — move with the joystick on the left, swipe to move around on the right, and tap a big button to fire. Easy.
For those tank fans out there, you will be happy to know that there are a wealth of real tank models included in the game. Aside from the basic tank you start off with at the beginning, the 35 thereafter have varying attributes (health, armor, damage, speed, reloading time, and turret rotation) that make the game very interesting as each player has a different tank that may outperform another. These better tanks may take some time to get to, however, because they do require some in-game credit or, as always, there is an IAP option.
If you find yourself fighting against tanks that are just too good, you can create your own lobby where you make all the rules. This is necessarily useful because you may find yourself battling with a much stronger tank in a random match. Furthermore, you can even have a private chat with lobbies and invite friends to join the room. It’s all very thought out and executed well.
Whether you play in Deathmatch (free for all), Team Deathmatch, or Capture the Flag, Tanktastic offers an extremely fun multiplayer experience. Rather than a frantic style of gameplay, the slow pace of the tanks make it much more centered on the tactics. This is where the in-game chat comes into play, as you can bring it up while you’re hiding behind cover, and then organize your team’s next move. The mini-map jammed in the top corner of the screen is also very useful, highlighting enemies and friendlies in relation to your location.
I don’t have much to complain about. The graphics are so-so, but could definitely be improved. There could be extra particle effects added in or an awesome sun flare that hits you as you turn your tank around. There could also be more control options for those that don’t prefer the regular stick-and-trigger scheme. It works for me but I know that a few others aren’t accustomed to it.
iFanzine Verdict: Tanktastic is an easy recommendation. The multiplayer aspect, albeit the only aspect, is very well thought-out and includes everything you would want from such a game. The in-game chat, lobbies, and plethora of various tanks make it easily worth a download. It’s FREE!