Enjoyable arcade-style action
Barrel Patrol 3D might be obscure and largely unknown to the average gamer but it is actually a neat and enjoyable little gem that is well worth seeking out. It plays like an updated version of the equally obscure Rip-Off, which is a sort of Galaxian/Defender hybrid which sees players guarding fuel cells from thieving pirates. Barrel Patrol brings 3D graphics to the formula and adds in a few new elements to create a fun little time waster. The game plays out in a series of circular arena-style environments, with the player being given control of a sci-fi tank. Each level has a specified number of enemies which must be destroyed and barrels which must be defended. Once all the enemies have been destroyed, you can move on to the next level, with bonus points awarded depending on how many barrels you have successfully protected. Upgrades appear periodically for your tank, allowing you to boost your defensive capabilities or firepower, but they also benefit your opponents if they pick them up first, so speed is of the essence. Barrel Patrol really is a highly addictive little game, that is perfect for brief bouts of intense action. While the concept is undeniably simple, it is executed almost to perfection. The controls are tight and responsive but simple to pick up, which adds to the appeal, while the gameplay itself is fast-paced and hectic and provides a neat twist on the usual shooter conventions. The 3D graphics are likewise straightforward and uncomplicated, but make good use of textures, colours and effects to create a visually interesting little game. Barrel Patrol only lacks a multi-player mode and with this addition, it would go from being a good game to a great one. Check it out if you like Assault Wing or games like Tank Wars and Scorched Earth.