Bubble tanks, bubble tanks, oh bubble-bubble tanks, bubble-tanks! Ba-dum-bum-bum. Bubble Tanks Arenas, that is, by Hero Interactive. Bubble Tanks 3 is still on the horizon, but in the meantime you can test out the new concepts in this surprisingly in-depth arena shooter that lets you edit everything from your ship to the arenas to the enemies themselves as you unlock more and more options. I can't say if it's sweeter than an apple pie, and I haven't seen a shaky rockin' dance yet, but it is pretty darned neat.
So the concept is thus; arenas are stages consisting of various bubbles, each one containing enemies that you have to defeat before you can proceed to the next. The default movement is [WASD] with mouse to aim and shoot, but those of you with different keyboards or tastes will be happy to know the game's movement is fully configurable from the settings menu. Swim around inside bubbles, taking down enemies, and picking up the blue bubbles they drop upon destruction to heal yourself. Once you have cleared all the bubbles in an arena, you're scored and granted various points and parts, which you can use in the actual meat-and-potatoes of the game, the editing screen. Accessed between arenas, the various editing screens allow you to not only upgrade your tank with a surprising amount of customisation, but also make your own enemies and arenas to upload for other
hapless victims worthy contenders to duke it out in.
For the most part, the combat itself is not terribly challenging; much like any shooter that relies on AI enemies, circle-strafing most opponents will get you pretty far. What you get is something that feels a bit more like 2008's Spore than previous titles in the series. Hero Interactive has promised that they will "constantly" be making new arenas for you to play, which I personally like to imagine as a bunch of feverish designers chained to their desks, toiling for your entertainment. The user created content has already expanded into a vast and fathomless ocean, so you and your tank can be happily swimming and shooting for quite some time. Or at least until Bubble Tanks 3 arrives to devour all your spare time.
Play the entire Bubble Tanks series...