Developer: Codemasters
Price: Free
Version: 1.0.4
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

What makes things go “boom” better than a tank? The simple answer to that question is nothing; nothing makes things go “boom” better. That is probably why these hulking beasts specialize in turning military installations into craters. Channeling this penchant for destruction, Codemasters recently unleashed their newest free-to-play offering, Boom! Tanks, onto an unsuspecting iOS audience. So can it demolish a wait at the DMV as effectively as an M1 Abrams?

IMG_0504At the risk of disappointing the military purists in the audience, it is best to establish early on that Boom! Tanks is about as far from a simulation as possible without delving into cartoon territory. The actual core game itself is nothing more than a series of quick-time sequences, repeated in twenty five to thirty second doses. Tanks only act as a convenient artistic backdrop for these mundane actions.

But let’s not dwell what the game isn’t, and instead focus more on what it actually is. From moment one, it inundates the player with messages touting new ways to spend money. Not in-game currency, but honest to goodness greenbacks. The gameplay elements amount to very little more than a handful of on-screen interactions, followed by another screen showing ways to lose more cash. It doesn’t matter how compelling the game is from match-to-match, because ultimately things end up feeling more like “Shopping: The Game.”

IMG_0490This is not to say that the game is beyond repair, but it would take some significant work. Limiting the obnoxious number of pop-ups would be a start, followed by finding a way to prolong each mission. Perhaps multiple tank encounters per operation might help justify the significant time investment spent waiting for gas tanks to respawn. Despite being a glorified mini-game when in battle, it is undeniably fun. I just wish there was more action to go around.

Those looking for a way to burn a few minutes here and there would probably find plenty to enjoy in Boom! Tanks. That said, folks looking for an experience that they can sink their teeth into over an extended single gaming session should probably look elsewhere. Under the scrutiny of time invested, the title’s luster begins to tarnish significantly. Make sure not to let this tank cause too much damage to the wallet.


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