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Inside Macintosh Shareware - June 2005

by Marcus Albers, 06/22/05

I find it amazing how many games take me back to my childhood. A large part of my childhood was spent, as was many a young boy's, playing with small tanks and soldiers. Tiny battles and wars taking place in the backyard, in the bedroom, behind the couch, it didn't matter. As long as there was somewhere to set up the factions and set them onto each other, there was room for war.

I was intrigued when I ran across Russian developer Exclusive Games, LLC's Tank-o-Box. Tank-o-Box is a heavy armor battle game that takes place in, of all placed, a box on a child's table top. Think MicroMachines combined with the classic Atari Combat tank game, and you've got an idea about the scale and intent of Tank-o-Box.

You start by parachuting into the box. Your mission is to defeat the wave of armored vehicles that will be sent your way. The enemy is dispatched fairly easily in the beginning, but as the game progresses, the enemies become stronger and smarter. You will also be faced with other enemy devices in the later stages of the game, such as radar stations that make it easier for the enemy to spot you, and pill boxes that you must take out. Along with decimation the enemy, many levels require you to protect a building or base, adding to the intensity of the battles. Always keep in mind that your ammunition is just as destructive to the base as is the enemies'.

Of course, they wouldn't throw you out into such increasing danger without some firepower on your side. You'll start the game traveling at a respectable speed with a single shot, but you will have to opportunity to upgrade your speed and guns, as well as picking up other bonuses, such as air strikes and Enemy Freeze. All of this will allow you to survive for a while.

If it gets to be too hard, you can always call on the services of a friend and take on the swarms of tanks in cooperative mode. This is particularly fun, because you can strategize between yourselves, and surround the unsuspecting enemy minions.

If you find that the arcade mode is a cakewalk and want to know where the "real" action is, select the Extra mode. You know that something must be up when you see that you have 99 lives. At first, things seem O.K. Tanks keep coming, but you're doing a good job at dispatching them. After a couple of deaths, though, the constant stream of enemy armor becomes overwhelming, until the box is chock-a-block full of enemy tanks and you can barely see to shoot straight. The idea here is, obviously, to try and survive the constant onslaught as long as possible. It's quite a blast, no pun intended.

The 3D graphics for the game are very well done. The scale of the game is nicely captured by adding little details like scattered pencils around the box. The battlefield and vehicles are also nicely detailed, and move along very smoothly. The fact that this game supports a window mode makes it very easy to use as a quick fix when you just need to blow something up.

I have no problems recommending spending the $20 for the full version of this game, but if you want to try it first, head over to Exclusive Games' website to check it out. You won't be sorry.

2005 © Review is copyright by Inside Mac Games


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2004-2005 © Exclusive Games, LLC. For commercial requests please contact sales@tank-o-box.com