The original World of Tanks was released on PC (and later on Xbox 360), and has become pretty popular.
The game now has well over 60 million users, and the amount of revenue it generates exceeds that made by World of Warcraft. Not bad.
Now the game has come to mobiles and tablets in the shape of World of Tanks Blitz.
We figured a few people might be interested in the game, and decided to put Blitz through its paces over the course of seven days. How successful is the conversion from PC and consoles to touchscreens? Join me as I find out in the next week of play.
It's obvious that a lot of time and money has been spent on creating World of Tanks Blitz.
The game's presentation is strong. Hefty tanks roll across large arenas, cannons kachunk-thunk-BOOMing their payload into the armour of opposing vehicles.
All of this is accompanied by minor but nonetheless appreciated visual effects, and a clear and informative user interface.
World of Tanks Blitz is very much aiming for the experience provided by its PvP tank combat older brother.
Consequently the controls are complex yet approachable. It's essentially an online deathmatch in the guise of a "proper" simulation.
The left virtual stick controls both of your tank tracks simultaneously, allowing you to accelerate, reverse, and turn.
The right virtual stick controls your gun sights. You'll need to take into account the distance to your target and the speed at which they're travelling if you're going to prove a hotshot.
Your enemies are rarely stationary and your shells travel at a realistic velocity towards their target.
Combat is team-based, with seven players per side. You can form adhoc squads with your friends too.
Although there's a limited chat function during matches, you'll want to be communicating through Skype if you're really keen on dominating you opponents.
I'm certainly impressed with what I've seen so far. So much so that I can't wait to stop writing this first update and head back to the battlefield for some more.
Day 3: Never confuse a Pershing with a Dicker Max
I'm in deep with World of Tanks Blitz. My iPad has basically become a dedicated machine for playing the game.
The further you get into World of Tanks the more you start to appreciate its underlying subtleties.
Take my AT-1. It's slow and cumbersome, and can only fire in the direction it's facing because it doesn't have a moving turret.
You can try and use it in the same manner you would the lighter, more nimble MS-1. But zigzaging about the arena taking potshots will likely leave your tank a smouldering pile of scrap metal. At the very least you'll be ineffective.
So when I'm sat inside my AT-1 I choose a position I like, with a good view of the battle, and pick off anyone foolish enough to roll into my sight.
There are three tank classes, and an additional class reserved for the premium (i.e. paid) tanks. Each class has a different role to play in the battle, and figuring out what you should be doing is important.
Teamwork is essential. But while you can form Platoons with your friends to engage in sporadic multiplayer games, you can't form larger, more permanent clans. That's a disappointment, and I hope it's something Wargaming is working on for the near future.
There's a real feeling of ownership with each vehicle. That comes from the details on the different tanks, the amount of time you spend inside them, and the way you're always upgrading them and learning their intricacies.
When you earn enough experience to unlock the next tank and add it to your collection you'll want to take it out immediately to see how it differs from the rest of your armoury.
It's fair to say that things are looking very positive for World of Tanks Blitz as I head into my final few days with it.
Day 7: A1
Today is the day World of Tanks Blitz officially launches worldwide, and I find that I'm actually a little giddy at the thought of my buddies being able to join me in the game.
Social functionality is expanding slowly. I can now link my account with Facebook, and I assume that I'll eventually be able to pull pals in from there.
The few players that have added me as a friend will send little messages in the chat window every once in a while, and even if I'm not playing, I can pick them up when I next log in.
I feel I better understand the strategies for each map too. On the Mines stage, it's best not to rush towards the base immediately, but instead flank your opponents and pick off the stragglers.
Then when you're ready, charge for the base as a team and destroy anyone foolish enough to be out of cover.
When everything's going well, and you're thinking tactically and helping team mates out of binds, you build an unshakable camaraderie with the strangers on your team.
At the end of a bitter battle, when there's just you and two opponents left standing, World of Tanks Blitz is at its exhilarating best. This is a game that thrives on last minute heroics, and pulling victory from the jaws of defeat is a great feeling.
From the reliable and weighty physics to the impressive visuals, everything in World of Tanks Blitz feels polished and solid.
Throw in the sense of ownership each tank brings, the compulsive upgrade cycle, and the tactical nuance required at higher levels, and you're left with a tank battler that's hard to resist.How are you getting on with the game? You can tell us and the rest of the PG community about your experiences by leaving a comment in the box below. Click here to learn about our free-to-play review policy.
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