Boom! Tanks Is Simple, Fun … And Monotonous [Review]


Boom! Tanks

If you love tanks but find your standard-size garage and local laws too restrictive, you might want to check out Boom! Tanks, a free-to-play armored combat game by developer Codemasters.

Boom! Tanks by Codemasters
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Price: Free

This love letter to all things treaded and turreted tells the story of one group of people with tanks squaring off against a less-good group of people with tanks, and — look, it’s called Boom! Tanks. You can probably guess what you’re signing up for.

Combat in Boom! Tanks works like this: At the beginning of the round, you drag and hold an aiming cursor over your enemy in order to lock it into your targeting system. Once this is done, you will always hit; the question becomes how hard. And you figure that out with a timing-based minigame in which you try to stop a marker as close to the middle of the meter at the bottom of the screen as you can. Stopping it directly in the middle grants you a “Perfect Shot” which does more damage. Meanwhile, the game drives your tank around; you don’t even have to worry about that.

Some tanks have an ability to charge their shots before they fire; you can let your power build up for massive damage, but you have to hope that your enemy doesn’t destroy you before you can get your big hit out. It’s a nice little risk-reward mechanic that can make some battles more tense than they have any right to be. Other vehicles are rapid-fire and don’t hit as hard but take less time to reload between shots.

Boom! Tanks
The “Fort Knox” in-app purchase is probably part of why the term “microtransaction” is no longer the most accurate name for player payments. This is the priciest one I’ve ever seen.

While I was playing this game, I couldn’t help but notice its strange similarities to Epic Games’ Infinity Blade series. The opponents square off before the fight begins with a lot of clinking and clanking, and you can fast forward through the introductions which makes everything look kind of hilarious.

It was admittedly a strange connection to make, but even beyond the pre-fight preening, Boom! Tanks shares a lot with its sword-flinging cousin. In order to take on the big guns, you have to engage in a series of skirmishes with lesser opponents in order to make money to buy upgrades and equipment that make your tank stronger, faster, and more powerful.

I came up against an elite foe who was far beyond my abilities, and it turned out that the best thing I could do in this situation was to run away and go fight five consecutive battles against tank versions of Punch-Out‘s Glass Joe to build up a bank big enough to get the equipment I needed to stand a chance against the tougher enemy. I get the impression that the entire game works this way much as Infinity Blade toughens your character up over multiple runs so he can stand a chance against Raidriar, the super-powerful God King.

It’s called Boom! Tanks. You can probably guess what you’re signing up for.

And that is probably Boom! Tanks‘ biggest issue: It’s a very repetitive game. Despite the small strategic decisions you can make, every battle works the same way, and whether you win or not depends as much on your luck with the computer’s shots as your skill in firing your own. Tank nuts, players who don’t mind grinding, and those willing to shell out real, actual money to avoid having to build up their garage the old-fashioned way may be pleased, but it’s hard to recommend Boom! Tanks to a general audience.

Boom! TanksGame Name: : Boom! Tanks
The Good: Simple, effective controls; deep customization; and a variety of tanks to suit any need.
The Bad: Gameplay gets repetitive. Really, really repetitive.
The Verdict It’s a pretty game that’s easy to learn, but it takes more than painting enemy tanks different colors to break up the tedium that sets in all too soon.
Buy from:App Store