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Indie Review: Awesome Tank

Awesome Tank is an Xbox Live Arcade Indie title that has a familiar feel to its game play and Design. In the game you control a green tank and you are on a mission to destroy other tanks or, for the pacifist, collect green balls to advance. To accurately portray the game in a nutshell, it’s as if the Pacman and Bomberman Developers had collaborated back in the day and this would be the result.

It is a 3D shooter developed by Ubergeek Games that has you pilot a tank on a square grid with walls and pillars as protection against other tanks with powerups scattered about. The point of the game is to advance through the levels without dying but I’d sooner lose my patience than bother to try. Of course being an Indie title, one shouldn’t expect a game to be top notch but I believe that there should be a standard.

First and foremost, as you play you quickly realize by round 2 or 3 that the controls are laggy. You try to turn a corner and the game doesn’t respond, often leading you to trap yourself or run into an enemy tank. Now in this game you are to avoid the enemy tank’s fire and avoid collisions as both may cost you a life. Shooting is no problem as the power ups help; one powerup allow the bullets to travel faster and another allows up to 3 bullets on screen at one time, where originally the game only allows 1 at a time. I believe the Developer wanted to offset this lagging turning reaction by offering a speed-boost powerup that allows your tank to go faster, sadly it doesn’t change the slow turning.

The game also suffers from a bland score of music and soundtrack. During gameplay you hear a muted techno bass beat that is easy to ignore but if you get frustrated, the repetitive music doesn’t help. Explosions and other sound effects are typical and stock at best, hardly exciting and different and just distracts from the game because it doesn’t seem to fit.

There are a few things I was impressed and even surprised to find in the game. The first is that because the game is an indie title, it can’t have achievements to go towards your gamer score, however, the developers instead put in an in-game achievements list. These are typical achievements; kill 10 enemies, reach level whatever, etc. I personally think that if the gameplay wasn’t so bad, the achievements would be fun to strive for.

Another great addition concerning an indie title is the multiplayer aspect of the game. Unfortunately, this game lacks the number of people needed on-line to play multiplayer, as every time I have attempted to find and even host a game, I never found another player. It’s not necessarily the fault of the game as it is entirely relied on other players to fill the lobbies. But given the game itself, I can hardly blame the players for missing in action. I believe that until Indie titles gain some traction and a solid fan base, multiplayer shouldn’t even be on the game developing list.

Of all the Indie titles I’ve played and reviewed thus far, I have to say this is a great disappointment. I’ve seen some games with worse graphics but overall better game play than this and considering that this game comes at a price tag of 400 MS, I feel that the developers are insulting a player’s intelligence after presenting this game.

You are free to download the trial and test this game for yourself by clicking here

Average game Rating on Xbox Live – 3 stars

Final Score: 4 out of 10 (How do we rate games?)

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