- Tanktics (1976 on Mainframe, 1977 on KIM-1, 1978 on Commodore PET/CBM...)
Tanktics is a game in which you are required to design and create tanks which can then be used to defend your base. To carry this assignment out you must gather resources which can then be dropped into a crazy machine called the Part-o-Matic. This machine also acts as your base. This game seems to be aimed at more casual or younger gamers, as the graphics are very simple and, when complete, you can give your tanks just two commands: move and shoot.
Credits (Windows version)
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Average score: 56% (based on 6 ratings)
Average score: 2.9 out of 5 (based on 3 ratings with 1 reviews)
The customization aspect of Tanktics is the bread-and-butter of gameplay, and gives incredible replay value. Depending on your strategy you can do anything from win with a Zerg rush of small tanks to command a few tanks packing six cannons each. Tanks can be disassembled right down to the wheel bases (at the loss of earned experience), either to save on travel time or avoid an enemy force.
Although the lack of a save feature is a point of contention I personally feel it is a net positive. It negates "victory through savescumming" and forces a player to actually think ahead before charging headlong at the enemy or carelessly slapping together a tank from random parts. Take a shortcut through that mud puddle and your tank will drive like grandma until you clean its wheels off. Blindly charge through a large sand patch and you'll find quicksand puddles the hard way.
There are a number of undocumented facets of gameplay that the player can discover which are massively important to victory, which also encourages critical thinking. The moment that you discover how to land hits with well-timed "force fire" shots is the moment you really turn the tables on your opponent.
Maps are wildly varied in terrain and item/base/enemy placement. In addition the "build list" of parts you get to assemble tanks is never the same. The strategy that worked last level may well fail miserably in the current one, and what won you this battle may not win the next. You might get frustrated on some of the nastier maps - but never bored.
The music, unfortunately, is the weak point as it is limited to a few catchy win/lose tunes and basic background ambiance. A dynamic score that reacted to battle conditions would have REALLY boosted gameplay.
Although the game is already heavy on micromanagement, the ability to individually enable/disable and fire the weapons on an individual tank on-command would have been a massive help in a number of situations. This is because the targeting AI on friendly tanks is at times hopelessly inaccurate, especially at longer ranges or when shooting from the side. Area-effect weapons can be more hazardous to your own forces than the opponent, and cannot be disabled without disabling the entire tank.
Finally, a couple of the weapons available to the player are completely useless except as material for recycling or bait, with the grand prize going to the Autocannon in the Future Era. If such uselessness was a deliberate choice it was a poor one, and if not, the designers failed something that should have been very obvious.
The Bottom Line
Tanktics is definitely an odd bird. On the surface it looks like a dumbed-down kiddie version of Command and Conquer. But under the simple graphics and gameplay lurks a strategy puzzler that is murderously difficult. If you give it to your children don't be surprised if they complain they keep losing, then you lose too when you try to show them how easy it is.
Beating this game all the way to the cruelly-hard final battle in the Future Era is an achievement to be proud of - but you will very much have to earn it.
Windows · by DarkStar2018 (11) · 2019
- MobyGames ID: 11093
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Contributors to this Entry
Game added by James Walter.
Game added November 20th, 2003. Last modified February 22nd, 2023.