Version Reviewed: 1.0.21
Device Reviewed On: iPad 3
Replay Value Rating:
Wormhole Games has earned the right to brag with Tank Nation’s striking graphics and appealing armored warfare take on the popular "artillery" genre.
Nations in a post-apocalyptic world have agreed to suspend traditional tactics of war and instead battle it out mano a mano, or in this case tank a tank as tank commanders blow each other up in turn-based combat. Controls are simple: pull back to aim and fire, or drag a finger to drive the tank forward or backward. Players strategically customize their tanks and plan their moves in order to conserve energy and limit damage.
Tank Nation is an appealing game, but it's not ideal for those short on patience or cash. Just as the player has gotten the hang of (and is addicted to) blowing up the enemy, the level difficulty escalates while the levels of fuel and gems drop. In typical freemium fashion, gameplay is stymied without making in-app purchases. The way around breaking the bank for the tanks is to wait it out. It costs fuel to go into battle, so no fuel = no play, and every ten minutes one fuel can is earned. Of course, players unwilling to sit on their hands for 10-20 minutes may purchase fuel with gems.
Need something to do while waiting those agonizing, pleasure-delaying minutes for fuel to re-generate? Reaching level 3 unlocks the player-vs-player ability for battle against other commanders in the arena, although it does cost tickets to join a match. Players start with five tickets, which are earned back by the hour (more waiting). Winning battles in the arena earns tokens that can be used to activate the part maker, and to collect medals for establishing commander gravitas.
As players level up, they earn the ability to create a garage full of tanks that allows for specialized war strategies. Build a fire mortar tank, acid hammer tank, metal mortar tank, and more. Weapons are specialized per nation, so it becomes important to choose the right tank for the right battle.
The individual customization options, long-term playability, and intuitive controls make for a game that can appeal to just about anyone. Players shouldn’t be surprised to find themselves investing serious hours in this game. Although the in-battle recharge time can be frustrating, and the fuel replenishing wait time is a hair-pulling exercise in patience, this game definitely has addictive powers. Players will find themselves irked at the prevalence of in-app purchase requests, however dedicated gamers will just view it as another challenge and persevere. And PS: Rumor has it that live Tank Nation events may be in the cards, so I suggest players hone their skills before the big-league battles begin.