Artillery Live!


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dancemonkeyArtillery LiveSome of the best multi-player memories I have are from a regular weekly session of Worms: Armageddon some friends and I managed to keep for a couple of months. The gameplay is fun, intuitive, and original, and for an added bonus you can turn on the language filter and curse a blue streak in the chat window. It replaces your potty-mouth with words like "love" and "flowers." Ahh, good times.

The gameplay mechanic of lobbing bombs at your enemies is nothing new, and Artillery Live! returns the genre to its simple roots. You have a tank on a mountainous battlefield, and using a combination of angle and power must lob shells at your opponent. Unlike Worms but exactly like ZWoK!, everyone (up to four players) sets up their shot simultaneously and secretly, and the tanks all fire at the exact same time. Double-kills are not unheard of.

Once you start a game (don't miss the little box at the bottom of the main menu, where you customize your display name), you're dropped into a battlefield to await a game. This took for me, at most, ever, about 3 seconds. A big flashing arrow shows you that "You Are Here!" so you don't miss exactly who you are, and this helps because sometimes between games you flip from sitting on the right shooting left, to sitting on the left and shooting right.

In the screenshot you can (just barely) see the little angle and power meter. Grab the dot that sits on the angled indicator and drag it: run it up or down the line for greater or lesser power, and swing the bar to the left or right to adjust your angle of fire. You can fine-tune your shot with the small purple arrows, but don't take too much time. Don't forget about the effects of wind, either! You can also click the larger left and right arrows to move your tank, but you only need to click once in either direction, since your tank can basically only occupy two positions. Once you're all set you press the big circular "Fire!" button and wait a few seconds for the planning round to end, then watch the shells fly! Trash talk in the chat window at the bottom of the play screen, but don't miss watching where your shell lands so you can plan your next shot.

The game tracks your stats during the current session only, and once you die or quit lets you submit to the scoreboards. There's no sign-in, no persistent identity, no cookies, no nothing. Just hop in, play, hop out.

Analysis: Although this game has only one weapon, little movement, no login, and lacks worms, it has several things going for it that I love. It loads and plays quickly: you don't wait for long at any point to start shooting. The limited options work well within the game since you have barely enough time to aim and fire as it is. The combat is fast and frantic, and I frequently found myself losing track of time as I kept muttering "Okay, just one more round." This is one of the few games that I have bookmarked for future random, time-insensitive play. It's the perfect counterpart to that first morning cup of coffee before you really need to start work for day.

Play Artillery Live

19 Comments

Josh Armstrong Author Profile Page May 16, 2007 9:55 PM

I'd try it but my university's firewall blocks pretty much any game (they say it's to keep the line free for 'academic pursuit' but that barely takes any of the bandwidth...) including flash games apparently.

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I enjoyed it for the first few rounds, but it seemed to get repetitive after that. Minimal strategy involved. It would be more fun, probably, if you were playing on a LAN or knew your opponents. Although I knew the other players were "real", I didn't feel much more connection (or competitiveness) than I would have against AI.

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Haha, you sometimes forget how stupid some people are until you get on to a chat-enabled game. I love this!

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cajuncook May 17, 2007 12:33 AM

Anybody remember Scorched Earth? That game was an integral part of my childhood.. it's too bad that the developer never went anywhere with the game. It's great fun, but unfortunately was developed before the time online gaming was feasible for independent coders, so you'll have to hunch around a keyboard with some oldschool loving friends to really enjoy the game.

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I totally remember Scorched Earth, but couldn't remember the name so I didn't mention it in the review.

My friend hacked the binary and renamed it "Misogyny Wars" after a bad breakup.

Awesome game.

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If you were playing this game last night and are Avarion/Taco.. Have my babies

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Interesting game ... I've played several similar.

I don't like the (sometimes) constant wind changing, that gets a little annoying. And anytime I grabbed the little circle to add power the level got screwed up, so very minute adjustments are tough. (Even clicking the arrow the numbers seemed to leap up for me.)

Anyway, besides that, it is a fairly fun diversion.

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Scooby: Use the keyboard instead of the mouse to adjust. Key bindings are listed below the game. Then the only time you need to use the mouse is for the "Move" buttons.

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NANUman May 17, 2007 4:14 PM

i love this game! it rawks!

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how do you turn on the filter?

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Sorry krick, I was just wondering today if someone might ask that.

My sentence about the filter was vague... I meant there was a filter in the chat window for Worms, not this game.

Pottymouth in Artillery Live! is just naked pottymouth, so beware.

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Rich: thanks for the tip! Definitely using the keys helps for finer adjustments.

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re: The wind changing all the time. It changes every time a tank is hit, or another player enters the game.

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The worst thing about this game is constantly getting disconnected. Sometimes it's fine and other times it's horrible. It almost makes the gam unplayable.

I can't count the number of times I've had a high kill count and been disconnnected.

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snagerls July 1, 2007 5:10 PM

there is a 3d version of scorched earth out for free.
huge fun. fine little community there.

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Does anyone want a fight (or join up as a team)? Great Game, now addicted!

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Don't take too much notice of the hi-score table. it's been got at.
A reasonable score would be 20`s hi-score 40 - 70.

Just thought you might like to know.

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Neon is wrong June 5, 2008 9:23 PM

Sorry Neon, those scores are legit. I haven't scored over 1000, but I have personally scored 694 (that's my best). It takes a LONG time of playing one game to get up that high, but it can be done.

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Before Worms and other artillery turn based games.

It started as Scorched Earth 1 and 2 in MSDOS game. A developer named Wendell Hicken wayback 1991 it only fits in you floppy disk 633Kb.

You can search the net and this game still available, but im not sure if it is playable with your modern computer, this is a 386 and 486 computer era.

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