Tanked Up


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Rating: 4.6/5 (24 votes)
| Comments (19) | Views (11)

tankedup.gifdancemonkeyOften the best things come in the simplest packages. The idea behind Tanked Up, the latest game from UK developer Nitrome, is a simple one: race a tank through eight tracks of varying terrains while trying to blast your opponents to smithereens. You must win each race in order to unlock the next track, and the difficulty increases the farther along you go.

Each race is only two laps, but on the harder tracks it can be tough to keep your lead for that long. The main reason you'll find that it's hard to stay ahead is the unique control scheme: steer with the arrow keys while aiming and firing your turret using the mouse. Even after several races you'll find yourself occasionally overwhelmed by the task of firing in the opposite direction that you're steering and run yourself right into a wall, cursing a blue streak as the computer opponents pass you by.

Shooting is more defensive in this game than offensive. The tanks take a lot of damage before blowing up (which, unfortunately, they don't really do, they just sort of fizzle out), but when a tank is hit it stops dead in its tracks. That may be your main tactic: get out in front as early as possible, aim your turret behind you, and start shooting at your opponents to keep them at bay. It's hard to climb out from last place because you're every one's target.

The difficulty level overall is fairly easy, so the control issue becomes as much a part of the fun as the shooting and the racing. I never lost more than three times on one track before finally getting my act together and placing first. The computer opponents are sometimes as inept as you are, occasionally getting locked into clusters, firing all around and keeping everyone from getting anywhere.

The pixelated graphic style is great, reminding me of old shareware games (like Death Rally, which the gameplay in this game also reminds me of). The music fits the game well, but with my limited musical tastes I can only describe it as a blend of 80's Depeche Mode and funk.

All in all I had a great time playing, and managed to finish all eight tracks in probably around 30-45 minutes total playing time. I'd love to see this game become something of a franchise, mainly because I'd love to race on more tracks, see more hazards, and if it's possible race against human opponents.

Play Tanked Up

19 Comments

This is a fun game. I enjoy the idea behind it, and the actual tank movement flows really well. The graphics are (as usual for nitrome) simple and fun. I always enjoy nitrome games.

However, a few complaints:
-The tanks are difficult to control while rotating the gun. I know that this is the price of multiple axes to control (tank vs. tank gun) but it's still a bit confusing. Not a very big thing.
-The gun was probably the most poorly designed part of the game. The turret seemed only to lock into certain places, so I could only fire at certain angles. This got very frustrating after a while.
-No matter where I am in the lineup, first or last, if I'm ANYWHERE near a tank, it will fire on me. That's actually a lot of fun (and challenging!) but it means that all of the tanks will fire on ME when they are grouped up together. I got wasted a couple of times simply because there was a tank pileup, with everyone runing into each other in a thin part of the track, and they all turned on me! how unfair!

I know it seems like a long list of complaints, but it's really only a couple explained in full detail. I really enjoyed the game (anything that lets you aim with the mouse is a fun game to me, even if the mechanics are a little frustrating).

Good find!

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This game requires flash player 8. The latest flash player that runs on linux is flash 7. Could you add some kind of a label that shows which flash version is required for each game so I can tell which ones will run on my computer.

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Kate Blanquette September 28, 2006 2:13 PM

What a frustrating little game...

Addicting, sure, but frustrating...And well designed too!

Two thumbs up if I manage to get past that tank pileup that Scramble125 commented about...

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Rockwalker - I've considered that. Problem is going back through our list of games to figure out the Flash version of each would be extremely time consuming. If someone would like to do that and provide me with the list of data, I would gladly add it to the database. Are you up to the task? If so, please let me know by sending an email to the address at the bottom of the sidebar.

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reminds me of, um...
*runs off to lo0ok at box of old SNES games*
micro machines, that had a shooty tank racing thingy!

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I had a few pileups on #7, but once everyone managed to be so bunched up that in the process of trying to hit me, they hit each other. In fact, they hit each other so much that I was eventually able to not only break out of my trap, but also kill all the opponent tanks. It was pretty easy to score first after that. ^_^

My only regrets about this game are that it's so short and doesn't have a multiplayer function, which means no real reason to come back to it (unless they make a sequel, of course).

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I agree with Ben, the game's too short and a multiplayer would be great. I've played a few games with the keyboard-move/mouse-aim mechanic before, so this little racer was a quick beat for me. It was just a matter of sneaking between the two lines of tanks at the start, shooting a couple shots behind to put away anyone that's catching up throughout the course, and the rest is clear sailing.

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Hassle Free Author Profile Page September 28, 2006 7:34 PM

yes definately too short, and I guess 25th isn't bad to be listed on the high score list...!!! Had a little trouble with the second level until I got a system going. Also the snow level was pretty difficult. Oh and by the way, since I don't see any of these yet:

you shoot faster when you click instead of just holding down the clicker

you can fire a couple shots before the greenlight. This will only attack the tank ahead of you, but it does help when starting.

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its sooo hard for me!! i hate the pileups and they all team up to shoot at me. any tips on how to win? im still stuck on 2nd stage and ive tried so many times.

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Hmmm...

Has a lot of potential for later versions but also a lot of flaws. Firstly, the tanks tend to gang up on the player more than normal (although this keeps games exciting normally - egotistical souls we gamers are we need to be the center of attention - it was far too pronounced in this one). Secondly, a less than complete stop when attacked would make the game more tactical rather than some desparate lucky scramble once you've taken out those infront of you. Finally, the game could do with some power ups or more than simply the basic lay out. It's a shame that nitrome (who i think are genuinely talented) will probably never revisit this project because it has real potential.

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I've been waiting for game like this to show up on JIG for sooooooooo long.

Decent gameplay, originality, perfect graphics, but lacking skill and in depth gameplay. 7 out of 10.

I was very sad they didn't make another 1/2 of the game that was just about killing each other vs racing. I realise everyone will scrutinize for making a game that has been done before a million times. But, there is no such thing as "not enough tank games"

As for as gameplay within the game:
I'm sure you could add lots of more obstacles and make it 3x as fun. I wan't a fan of the up,down,left,right movement or turret aim either, but it did make moving easy. The overall strateg was also a weak point.

If you get in first place, just shoot behind you while you watch the road. A simple multitask idea, but simply doesn't merit skill.

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I really liked this game.

As said in the review, it has a simple gameplay idea, close to micromachine, but this game quite is quite addictive.

The pixel-art graphics are very well drawn, the track design is good, and the shooting ability is very fun :).

Besides the "opponents all hating you" problem, I lack a "restart track" button. I found this game addicitive enough to try to beat the best times scores (especially on the track #5), but you have to quit the game in order to restart the race, if you want to beat your last racetime.

It's also very frustating when you get blocked by more than 3 opponents at the same time, because they will never let you go away alive.

Anyway it's a very good game. If Nitrome fix these minor flaws and add a multiplayer option, I think this will add a lot of replay value, causing me to spent a lot of more time on this game :).

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Fun game... too easy when out in front, too hard when in the pack:

When in front enough that they are off the screen they don't shoot at you and you just have to drive.

If in the pack they all shoot at you and you always come out last no matter what.

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Good game!

Shortcut in level 4: Dusty Debris

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FlyingHigh Author Profile Page April 11, 2008 9:36 PM

No offense to Nitrome, but I absolutely despise this game. It confuses my cerebellum. The music can get annoying. The AI is questionable. It's too easy to run off the track. The gun isn't maneuverable. The whole game is ugh (except the graphics).

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Lambert June 17, 2008 6:02 PM

I you try only a little bit its very easy to stay largely on track and aim the other tanks.

what I think lacks is that there are no upgrades for the gun, speed, acceleration, autofire, could also buy blindage and something to be less stunned buy the other guns.

races are too short, it is hard to kill all opponents :)

also big complaint, the 8-position gun.. make it smooth guys! :)

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this game is pretty easy, except for level 7.
I can't stand 2 things about this game:
1: The gun only fires at some preset angles.
2: The other people's tanks are faster than yours.

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I raced my heart out and I finally beat it!

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I truly hate it when games give you only the arrow keys and not allow you the option of using WASD. I have a ThinkPad with the red nub mouse in the middle of the keyboard, meaning I can't use mouse and arrow keys together unless I were to try to use the pointer mouse with my left hand.

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