Game Insight has made a fun free-to-play iPad tank battler in Tank Domination that makes for a great balance between ‘core’ gameplay and a casual, pick-up-and-play experience.
This is a tank warfare game where everyone has one life and the general goal is simple: either capture the enemy base, or wipe them all out. Players can outfit their tank of choice with a selection of shells with different damage properties such as explosive and armor-piercing. This isn’t just a point-and-shoot game, as where the shells hit the enemy are key to taking them out. Positioning among the tanks becomes quite important. Along with shells, players can equip power-ups and support items to help gain the upper hand and repair some damage.
The tank controls require a lot of practice to get the handle of. It’s a challenge to turn and to go in a particular direction as telling where the front and back of the tank are in the heat of battle is difficult. Because the rear is less-armored, this is rather important! The aiming takes some time to get used to, but learning that the look controls are different from the aiming reticule is key. It all makes sense eventually. Practice is quite rewarded.
The matches are set up to be very quick, with most matches last just several minutes. As well, when a player dies they can leave immediately, with that tank unavailable until the match ends. This makes knocking out an opponent even more satisfying. However, it’s possible to have multiple tanks in one’s garage, so it would be nigh-impossible to not have a tank ready for action. Really, the whole game does a solid job at giving players plenty to do, and making sure that there’s not much waiting around.
Interestingly, the game seems to try to pair up similar tank levels with each other. Starting tank models will largely take on similar models, with later tanks that can be bought taking on others. Thus, for some of the battles that encourage more variety, this will require really committing to the game in both time and money.
And really, this setup feels like a fair system — those who want to get new tanks and take place in large battles with varied armies will be the ones who should financially support the game. Those who want to just jump in and blow some stuff up periodically don’t necessarily have to put in a big financial investment and don’t have to deal with much waiting. Plus, $3.99 for 56000 credits will buy lots of repairs, shell refills, and multiple starting tanks. The quality of the game is well worth that at least that.
Really, I had a great time with Tank Domination. It’s a free-to-play game that doesn’t forget the ‘game’ part of the equation: it takes practice but can be rewarding when victory does come. And it’s easy to jump in at a moment’s notice, but enables players to play for hours on end if they so choose.