Since I was a nipper, I've always enjoyed pitting my gaming skills against those around me, whether it was beating my mates playing Kikstart 2 or IK+ on my C64, thrashing my college friends at Skidmarks on my Amiga 1200, thrashing my sisters playing Mario Kart 64 on my N64 or, my personal favourite, whipping the kids while playing Crash Team Racing on my PlayStation. I was therefore very happy the other day when our esteemed leader (you should see what this said before it was edited! J =-) asked me to review Tanks 3000 from Protovision! A game for up to four simultaneous players (using the 4 Player Interface also from Protovision), the aim is simple - destroy all the other players! You control a tank which you must guide around the various landscapes in an attempt to annihilate your fellow war mongers, while collecting various power-ups and avoiding mines. Last tank standing wins, period.
The in-game graphics are colourful, albeit simple and functional. These are supported by additional bitmap logos, intros and interlude graphics that are vibrant, cartoony and well drawn. The music and effects, while being nothing Earth-shattering, provide interest and compliment the action well. The game plays slickly and instantly hooks you. Your tank is easy to control and there is some nice programming that aids playability. For example, when moving diagonally, if you encounter some diagonal scenery or objects, the game moves you around the outer edge automatically instead of forcing a stop and making you adjust your joystick direction. A little detail I know, but one I though worth mentioning as it shows real attention by the programmer to the otherwise simplistic game design.
With such simple game design, you're probably wondering about the lastability of the game, should you decide to fork out the cash for it. Well, Tanks 3000 perhaps has the most options I have ever encountered in a Commodore 64 game; you can change practically every aspect to modify the dynamics of how the game looks, sounds and plays. There are also little touches that other games don't offer, such as the ability to guide your rockets to their target around the scenery, after being fired from your tank. To be honest, however, Tanks 3000 isn't about graphics or sound or options or programming or anything else. It's about entertainment and friends. I can understand Protovision's claim that this game has become a huge hit at scene parties!
An idea for you - instead of inviting your mates back from the pub on a Friday night to watch a DVD (or some dubious channel on satellite) and have a curry, invite them back for a blast on Tanks 3000! In fact, why not just avoid the pub altogether and invite your mates around for a few beers, a curry and a mega games session on your C64 playing Tanks 3000! With any luck one of your friends can knock together the four player interface for you (the instructions are free on the Protovision website) if you are too skint to buy one, after buying the game, supplying the beer and cooking the curry. And of course, if you are sad enough to have no friends, not even the very necessary one for this game, avoid Tanks 3000 completely. There's no point otherwise, you numpty!