Pocket Tanks Deluxe: A New Champion!

Bitwise Productions brought Pocket Tanks Deluxe to the app store on April 14, 2009. For those of you that don’t know, this game is a port of the classic PC/Mac version which is available on their website. I can’t do a just review without mentioning iShoot and comparing the two games. Most of you out there probably have or have at least heard of iShoot, and I have played both extensively. Therefore, I think it only really does you a service if I show you how Pocket Tanks Deluxe stacks up.

First off, Pocket Tanks deluxe has the perfect control scheme for the iPod. For those of you that have read my other reviews, you will notice that I have never before said a control scheme was perfect, so I mean it when I do. But you probably want to know why I say it is perfect. The answer is simple, the controls are pretty, responsive, the hot spots are big enough for those with big hands, the game remembers the setting of your last shot, and you can adjust the controls very precisely for just the right shot. Compared to iShoot, the controls are far superior. In addition, pocket tanks deluxe looks good and has fluid animations. I didn’t find the screenshots appealing when I first saw them, but the game looks great in action.

Likes:

Variety of Weapons: There are a whopping 105 different weapons available during the game. At first, this number didn’t astound me, but once I saw that each weapon is completely unique, I was blown away! The weapons are just fun to learn. And trust me when I say that you will have to play Pocket Tanks Deluxe a lot before you really know all of the different weapons. This is important because at the beginning of the game you (and your opponent) get to pick from a list of weapons. However, you can always just pick the random option and the weapons will be split up randomly.

Accuracy: I love an artillery game that actually requires skill. This is such a game. You can be off by just 3% and completely miss the target depending on the weapon used. This is extremely important for replayability. There are ten difficulty levels, and I die about half the time on level 6 and 7. This is great because it leaves room for me to improve and still leaves me with a good challenge.

Controls: As I mentioned above, the controls are perfect. I can’t praise Bitwise Productions enough for their work on creating new controls for the iDevice platform. They aren’t just usable, they are fun to use! Also, the power setting is remembered unlike iShoot where you hold the power button and then release it for the shot. In Pocket Tanks Deluxe, you set your power and then hit fire. I think the controls are much, much better than any other artillery game on the app store (including iShoot).

Dislikes:

Only One-On-One: I really like the fact that you can play with multiple opponents in iShoot. However, Pocket Tanks Deluxe is only a one-on-one artillery game. I really think the developers should look at adding a multiple opponent option as this adds a lot of variety in the game and forces the player to change up their strategy.

Background is Always the Same: I always thought iShoot did a great job of providing varied backgrounds, but I noticed quickly that Pocket Tanks Deluxe only uses textures and they are always the same. However, the animations somewhat make up for the lack of interesting backgrounds.

I think Pocket Tanks Deluxe is the best artillery game on the app store hands down. However, I am not a huge artillery game fan. While I like the genre, I just don’t think it is a must have for every iPhone and iPod user. However, if you are a huge artillery game fan, this is a must buy for you! For everyone else, I think this is a buy and is seriously worth your consideration.  Pocket Tanks Deluxe is not only a contender to iShoot, it is the champion!

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Pocket Tanks Deluxe was developed by Bitwise Productions and is available for the iPhone and iPod Touch for $4.99.  I played through version 1.0 on an iPod Touch 2G. A free version is also available to try.

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