App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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If you've ever dreamed of a game that mixes World of Tanks, Agar.io, and Minecraft together, TANKOUT has got your back. This tank game allows players to hop into other players' worlds to build new features and blast away anyone that tries to get in your way. There are a lot of good ideas in TANKOUT, but a lot of them feel like they're not as fleshed out as they could be.
Whenever you fire up TANKOUT, your first choice to make is whether you want to start with fresh world or hop into one that is currently being hosted by another player. Blank worlds come with a standard layout of a rectangular wall and some rubble, which you can then use your tank to destroy and start building new stuff. Controlling your tank is as simple as using a finger on the left side of the screen to steer your tank and tapping on the right side of the screen whenever you want to fire.
Destroying stuff earns you coins, and with these coins you can start building new things in the world. With a small number of coins, you can create some more rubble, build some new walls, or even build doors. After collecting quite a few more coins, you can create turrets, circuits, and even purchase the ability to lock your world so that others can't edit it.
Once you're done building out your world (or even before that), other players can join your game, which generally turns TANKOUT into a multiplayer shooter of sorts. Destroying other players causes five coins to drop on screen, so there's always a good amount of motivation for players to be hostile toward one another.
What can make these multiplayer matches so crazy though is that players can actually build stuff right in the middle of combat. This results in some players accidentally (or purposefully) walling themselves in, or creating quick cover that reflects enemy fire. When all of this is happening TANKOUT feels like some of the most chaotic multiplayer on mobile.
As much potential fun as TANKOUT has, a lot of it has a hard time being realized in practice. This is because all of TANKOUT's fun is dependent on the creativity of other players, and it seems like the vast majority of players are focused on maximizing their coins than they are on having fun.
As a result, a lot of the available worlds to join in TANKOUT have already been constructed and locked, and usually in a way that works to the advantage of the creator. Even in locked worlds that are cleverly and fairly built though, TANKOUT's simple shooting mechanics ring a little hollow when you're prevented from constructing anything.
The bottom line
TANKOUT presents a lot of ideas and concepts that have some huge potential, all while being packed into a nice and fair free-to-play package. It's just a shame that players can purchase the ability to prevent others from engaging with the building aspects of the game. I get that it acts as a sort of “anti-troll” feature, but when almost every level is locked down, it really makes TANKOUT feel like half the game is missing. Maybe in time, a more elegant solution will be put in place to make TANKOUT fair and fun for everyone, but right now, it sort of misses the mark.