Tank Universal review

  • Large-scale battles
  • Variety of AI allies and enemies
  • Satisfying trajectory-based warfare
  • Over-sensitive controls
  • Nonsense plot
  • Noticeable bugs

Though you wouldn’t guess it from the title, screenshots or, indeed, actual game, in Tank Universal you play a wrinkled old man with failing health called George. George has been to the ‘doctors’ and been advised that the best cure for his illness is a strict course of tanks, missiles and explosions, taken through a VR headset. George totters home, sticks the helmet on, and that’s the premise of the game.

So now you’re in a futuristic Tron-like world, walking around in first person, admiring the basic-but-colourful visuals, wondering where all the tanks are. Eventually you end up getting involved in some sort of nonsense plot about aliens and robots attacking each other and endless boxes of ludicrous dialogue to skip through with the space bar. Eventually, you find the tanks and roll through 20 levels of large-scale capture the flag-type battles, that play like ’80s classic Battlezone. There are upgrades for the tank, a variety of AI allies and enemies, on-foot sections and a flimsy story. While the handling of the vehicles is oversensitive and occasionally frustrating, the trajectory-based missile warfare is actually very satisfying.

Tank Universal is a small-scale indie game. It has no multiplayer or online mode and there are a good few graphical, audio and control glitches. But there is a solid, immersive and occasionally fun game here, with plenty of retro appeal, and for around a fiver through Steam, it’s worth a look.

Oct 6, 2008

More Info

Release date: Aug 21 2008 - PC (US)
Oct 21 2008 - PC (UK)
Available Platforms: PC
Genre: Shooter
Developed by: Dialogue Design

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