When two skilled game developers get together and collaborate, something good is bound to come out of it. The first of those two is John Cooney (a.k.a. jmtb02), Head of Game Development for Armor Games. He's the man behind classics like Achievement Unlocked, the Dark Cut series, TBA and so many more. In one of his recent projects, he's teamed up with talented programmer Joey Betz to create Fox Fyre, a stylish bunker warfare game with an old-school vibe, heralding back to classics like Scorched Earth and Death Tank. If you're not familiar with those titles, think of the Worms series, which marked a sort of evolution of the genre. Fans of jmtb02 will probably remember his self-professed love for all things retro, and Betz is no stranger to the action and strategy genres (Crush the Castle, Monkey Metric), making this a great team-up. If there is one thing that Fox Fyre offers above all else, it's some good old retro-bunker-smashing action (with a few new and unique weapons to obliterate the terrain in the process).
A quick primer to bunker warfare: You control a tank, bunker or soldier/worm/pirate, depending on the game. In Fox Fyre, it's a bunker. The enemy controls one opposing bunker (or more), and you both take turns lobbing shells at each other until one of you is nothing more than a smoking crater in the ground. Sound simple? Hardly! First of all, most bunker warfare games (including Fox Fyre) feature destructible terrain. This complicates the mix to no end, since the enemy can burrow in to avoid shots from certain angles, or rise up on a hill to get a better vantage point to fire from. The good news is that you can do the same, creating a dynamic environment around you that will either help or hurt you. In most bunker warfare games, turns are taken one after another. But in Fox Fyre the action is in real-time, with a unique "cooldown" system akin to what you might see in an action-RPG. All of your abilities work on timers; once you fire, you have to wait until the weapon's cooldown is up, which is like waiting for it to recharge. Different weapons have different cooldowns, so you'll need to juggle your shots and plan ahead.
The game begins with one or more enemy bunkers positioned along the terrain. You're given the chance to choose where to set yours, which gives you a huge advantage if you're strategic about it. Just click the mouse to set your turret, and the battle begins. You'll immediately be able to start firing at your enemy, and vice-versa. Destroying enemy bunkers (and doing it as quickly as possible) will earn you cash, which you can spend on a cornucopia of upgrades. There are a dozen different weapons to buy, plus eight "defensive" weapons; all of which can be upgraded a number of times. Your bunker has five weapon slots (including your free starter weapon), so you can use to swap out offensive and defensive weapons between each level. But it doesn't end there; you can buy two more bunkers as the game progresses, giving you the option of using almost all the weapons and defenses in a single battle, if that's your strategy.
And if you like strategy, or just arcade-style shooters and bunker warfare in general, you'll have a field day with all the weapons in Fox Fyre. Aside from your obligatory machine-guns, mortar shells, cluster bombs and thermonuclear air strikes, there are plenty of wacky environment-warping weapons like diggers and fillers. There are even air-warping mechanics, something I've never seen in a bunker warfare game. You can switch between weapons by clicking the icons at the bottom of the screen, or just hit the hotkeys  to  assigned to each one. Same deal switching between bunkers, or use [Q], [W] and [E].
Analysis: Sure, we've seen bunker warfare in Flash before. But the collaboration between Betz and Cooney wasn't lost in Fox Fyre, and it's obvious from the first shot you fire. The graphics and UI have a stylized polish that mixes old with new, retro with contemporary. Lots of little details—like the reverberating terrain as bullets strike it, or the paradoxically soothing color gradients and ambient soundtrack—are what give this game its personality. And the gameplay is solid.
Bunker Warfare vets might dominate this game a little too easily, which will annoy some, and elate others. Beyond that, its flaws are limited. The graphics and physics rendering may prove taxing on older machines, but the coding seems to be pretty well optimized for most setups. On the other hand, if you've got a screamer (that's what we used to call "l33t" PC's back in the day, kids) you might want to indulge yourself and enable the game's "fullscreen" option. But for the life of me, I couldn't enable this feature myself, no matter how many times I clicked the button at the bottom. It seems that Armor Games' launcher/pre-loader just won't give you access to that feature. That might have to be chalked up as another flaw, but you'll be hard-pressed to find many more, making this one of the more impressive bunker-warfare Flash games to be released in some time.