Game Reviews

Boom! Tanks

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| Boom! Tanks
Boom! Tanks
| Boom! Tanks

This is a freemium game review, in which we give our impressions immediately after booting a game up, again after three days, and finally after seven days. That's what the strange sub-headings are all about. Click on the link to jump straight to day three or day seven.

Owning a tank might just be the best thing that could ever happen to me.

I mean, I'd never need to worry about getting stuck in traffic, and people wouldn't dream about cutting me up at an intersection. Oh, and I've heard they're pretty darn roomy.

But they're also rather expensive. Codemasters's Boom! Tanks, by contrast, isn't. In fact, it's free.

Purchasing a tank, upgrading it, taking on all challengers: Boom! Tanks looks pitched at the armchair general who wants to ride about all day in his heavily armoured killing machine.

Is it any good? A fine question. And one I'll be answering for you during the next seven days of play. If you want to come along with me for the ride, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments box at the foot of the page.

First impressions

Visually speaking, Boom! Tanks is rather splendid. It's powered by a smooth-running 3D engine that remains silky smooth even when kicking up dust around the highly detailed tank you're commanding.

With a decent set of headphones on, the explosion sounds are deep and full of bass. Even the menu clicks and swooshes have solid production values.

In summary, the presentation here is of a high quality, and the world of war is depicted in a realistic way (no swerving into fantasy realms).

I've purchased my first tank already - the FV214 Conquerer - and improved some of its technology to be more effective in the field. I can customise its paint scheme and camouflage, too, which gives me a surprisingly strong sense of ownership.

So far, the main game itself is very straightforward. You roll onto the battlefield automatically, so all you need to do is hold your finger on the screen to aim your cannon. You then hover it over the enemy tank. Once it's locked on, you can fire your weapon.

The amount of damage you deal is based on how close to the centre you stop the swing-o-meter's needle. If you're in a tank with a Charge Shot, it's dependent on how long you wait until you fire. It's simple enough, and extremely satisfying when you see an opponent go up in flames.

My only concern at the moment is that this base play changes - at least a little - in the coming week of play.

Day 3: Legions of Boom

Your success in Boom! Tanks seems to be dependent on three things.

The first is how accurately you can stop the swing-o-meter of the cannon when you're in firing mode. The second is how often you can ensure it hits that sweet spot, causing massive damage as often as possible. The third is how powerful your tank is.

If 'timing-based play-meets-vehicle customisation across a campaign with multiple events and a variety of colourful factions' sounds familiar, it's because it absolutely is.

This is CSR Racing... in tanks.

On Day 3 of this review, then, I find myself completing as many assignments as I possibly can. Why? To purchase upgrades for my tank so that I can continue the story mode against a series of more powerful opponents.

Border Defence; Daily Assignments; Seek and Destroy - while these three Boom! Tanks modes may have different names, they all ultimately involve your perfecting button timings and using your acquired funds for an unending cycle of vehicle improvement.

Day 7: Temple of Boom

I'm now a fair way into the second campaign for Boom! Tanks, and I'm still enjoying the game's play, earn, improve loop. Ultimately, though, I know that I'm performing a simple action over and over so that I can inch forward.

The Energy system in place here means I have to take a break every 15 minutes or so. For me, though, that's fine, as that's how I want to play the game: in short bursts.

The one, fairly sizable, negative about Boom! Tanks, however, is the paucity of co-op and sharing options. Apart from sharing a photo of your tank with your pals, there's no way to show off your battalion.

I want to be able to team up with my mates and take on the world in our awesome-looking vehicles of destruction. For now, though, all I can do is send them a picture of my Centurion Mk13 via Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail. And that's just weird.

Still, in Boom! Tanks you'll find the next step forward in the CSR Racing gameplay model. It's an admittedly tiny step forward, but the customisation options, excellent presentation, and the compulsion to complete every mission are as strong here as they are in Boss Alien's celebrated racer.

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.

Boom! Tanks

The main gameplay can be a little tiring over long periods of play, but Boom! Tanks is otherwise a compulsive game of simple tank combat
Peter Willington
Peter Willington
Die hard Suda 51 fan and professed Cherry Coke addict, freelancer Peter Willington was initially set for a career in showbiz, training for half a decade to walk the boards. Realising that there's no money in acting, he decided instead to make his fortune in writing about video games. Peter never learns from his mistakes.