Tank Wars

Arcade 1986 Dos Cody Snider Single screen Challenges

Artillery blasting fun

If you're a fan of artillery-style combat games like Worms then this hardcore retro take on the genre might prove entertaining with its surprisingly complex and deep shooting action. The concept, as with the best of games, is simple but the execution is anything but. In essence, the game is a fairly straightforward shooter where several players must simply destroy each other using their tanks and a variety of weapons. Taking a side-on perspective, the tanks manoeuvre through a series of simple landscapes, jockeying for position and taking every opportunity to blow the living daylights out of the enemy. The trick here is that you must take into action things like windspeed and the power and angle of your shots, as without careful consideration of such things, you're just going to end up blowing holes in the scenery. Of course, that in itself is part of the fun, as the environments are fully destructible (OK, not exactly Battlefield 4, but hey, this dates from a long time ago!). As a competitive multiplayer game, this is actually pretty fun stuff, similar to EGA Bomb (aka Combat Artillery). While the graphics and sound are obviously dated and rather crude (especially the sound which is limited to some very basic effects), the gameplay is enjoyable enough to overcome any such failings. Of course, this is never going to last forever or be considered a classic, but if you can grab some mates and are in the mood for some simple, old-school blasting action, this makes for a good time. For something a little more sophisticated but even more fun, check out the Worms series.

Just a bit fancier than Scorched Earth

If you want to calculate angles against the direction of the wind, obsess over a more difficult hit and just play with artillery from a sidescrolling perspective do give Tank Wars a go. Similar to the father of the genre, Scorched Earth, Tank Wars is not about realism but about verisimilitude and about a certain kind of arcade experience that is very focusing and very entertaining. Basically, all those that love aiming based games (pool, shooting where the pellet/bullet/missile has a trajectory influenced by gravity and other factors, etc.) you will definitely love this one. The look of the game is very minimalist and relatively jaggedly, it's got that on the fly DOS look to it, over which the developers haven't really obsessed too much, though the game itself looks more than alright. Other than that there are a few playgrounds and a few different artillery pieces, but that is of no import. All you need to do is calculate your shots and be very thorough and exact in your appreciation of distances, wind speeds and so on. So that the graphics won't give you pause, quite on the contrary, the minimalism of the game will most probably be conducive towards great play sessions, undisturbed by no clutter.

Blow 'em up!

Tank Wars is an old 1986 artillery game released for DOS, As a kid, I used to play it very often and enjoyed it immensly, however simple the game may look. Maybe you can remember Scorched Earth, a a game that is very similar to Tank Wars in its gameplay and design. This game includes 1-10 players who control little tanks and the objective is to destroy other tanks by various weapons. You pick a weapon, choose the angle for the trajectory (just like on a real tank!) and then shoot, hoping it will hit you opponent and destroy it. However simple it may sounds, the game is a load of fun. The weapons range from awesome to hillarious. Not before long you will find yourself addicted to the game, playing for hours on end. The visuals are extremely simple, and the green terrain is too bright and a hufe contrast to the black night setting, but the player will get used to it fairy soon. There is almost no sound, only blowing up sounds when the weapons hits. But despite all slight objections, the game is fantastic, simple, and a great deal of fun even almost 30 years after its initial release.

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