Pocket Tanks Deluxe in Review – Fire in the Hole!

pocket_tanks_deluxe1Pocket Tanks is a game that has been around in some shape or form since 2001. It’s available for the Windows and OSX platforms. As stated in the iTunes page, “Almost 2 million downloads from download.com alone (PC version).” With such a large fan base, a leg up in terms of gameplay refinement, and the staying power of 8 years of experience, (I know I’m going to get some flak for this) I’m surprised at how much I felt Pocket Tanks was lacking.

pocket_tanks_deluxe6Now, before you disregard the rest of this review and start the hate mail, I did enjoy the game. I believe it is well made. I’m in no way shape or form saying it is a bad game. It’s just that in comparison with another popular artillery game, iShoot, Pocket Tanks seems more expensive and definitely has less options.

One of the biggest drawbacks to Pocket Tanks is in its lack of gameplay options. You can play 1 vs 1 with either the computer or a human opponent. The difficulty levels go from 1 to 10. With no online multiplayer support or anything other than a straight forward two person duel, there is a constraint on the variability of gameplay modes. The strategy is straightforward and requires less thinking than if there were multiple combatants.

pocket_tanks_deluxe3When you decide to play either the one or two player game, you are taken to a screen with three sections. In the middle is a list of all the available weapons for the round. It’s randomized each time you play. The first person chooses a weapon. The second person chooses theirs. This continues until all the weapons are chosen. There is an option to randomly distribute them between the two players.

When you start the round, you are taken to the battlefield. The terrain is randomized. This gives Pocket Tanks a bit more in the way of replayability. When it is your turn, you can move around by pressing the button on the far left. To change the angle and power of the shot, you touch those buttons. Changing these values is easy. You can increase and decrease them in increments of one or you can just slide the values which ever way you want. You select your weapon. Then, you press fire.

pocket_tanks_deluxe4Unlike other artillery games, in Pocket Tanks, once you use a weapon for the round, you do not have it anymore. This is how the game registers when a round is over; the players use up all their weapons. This influences you strategy. You must decide if you want to expend the more potent weapons with an unsure shot or move in closer to better your odds of a hit. Also, with significant defensive weapons such as the Mud Pie, Crazy Wall, and so forth, you can opt for a hit once and barricade yourself in strategy.

This is where the game really shines. Pocket Tanks Deluxe boasts 105 weapons. So far, many of them have distinct and unique features. My favorites so far are the Burning Rubber, Side Kick, and Magic Beans. Since there are so many weapons available, I found that spending time in the Target Practice arena was useful. In this arena, you have all the weapons available to use for however long you’d like. This is to familiarize yourself with them in order to effectively win against your opponent.

To win each round, you must sustain less damage than the opponent. Successfully attacking an opponent gives you points. On the flip side, if you damage yourself, you lose points. Once you are declared the winner, you are asked if you want to play again.

pocket_tanks_deluxe5While this game shows a lot of promise, there are so many ways in which it could improve. A leaderboard showing the top amounts of damage would be a good place to start. Adding more modes of play is a definite must. Also, the inclusion of at least a wifi multiplayer option would be welcomed.

Pocket Tanks is not a bad game. Yet, when compared to another popular title in the artillery genre, it soon loses its appeal. Check out the lite version of Pocket Tanks Deluxe, Pocket Tanks. It includes only 35 weapons, but is the same game.


App Summary
Title: Pocket Tanks Deluxe (v1.0) Developer: Blitwise Productions
Price: $4.99 App Size: 5.4 MB
  • Weapons Galore
  • Randomized Landscape
  • Good Control Mechanisms
  • Limited Gameplay Modes
  • No Wifi Muliplayer Support
  • No Leaderboard


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