Oh Panzer Panic, how I want to love you. There are elements of a truly great game here, but sadly there’s just too much holding it back.
In Panzer Panic, you control a fleet of three tanks, and the aim is to survive as long as possible. Enemy tanks attack in waves, and occasionally there are power-ups. And, uhm, that’s it.
Visually, Panzer Panic is highly endearing. The tanks look hand-drawn, and the playing area is a crumpled piece of graph paper. Tanks fire ink instead of missiles, resulting in a brilliant on-screen mess, with splodges of red and blue all over.
But there’s lots wrong with Panzer Panic. Where to begin?
The controls are a little iffy. A quick flick shoots ink; you move your tank by dragging it with your finger; using two fingers you can scroll around. Unfortunately, Panzer Panic occasionally confuses the three. All too often you’ll find your tank moving when what you really want is to spew forth blue ink.
The AI is somewhat questionable too. The red tanks tend to wait until they’re right on top of you before firing. But, at the same time, they’re smart enough to back off for repair if you get a few hits in.
Annoyingly, the screen doesn’t scroll automatically when you move around, but there’s not much incentive to explore anyway. Wandering away from the other tanks leaves them completely exposed, and besides - there’s nothing to see. Tactically, the best thing is to sit tight in the middle of the screen and fend off the enemy tanks.
Ok, one last gripe. In the later levels, when the number of enemy tanks increases, it’s stupidly hard to defend yourself. If, say, three red tanks attack at the same time, you’re pretty much done for.
Let’s end on a positive. The one player game is fairly limited, but there’s a semi-interesting two-player mode that can be played on the one device. It’s turn-based; each player has a limited amount of ink with which to move and fire.
- Looks great
- Two-player mode on one iPhone
- Fun while it lasts
- Iffy controls
- Samey one player game
- Quickly becomes too hard
Summary: Panzer Panic is initially endearing, largely thanks to the hand-drawn visuals, but extended play reveals a flawed and ultimately shallow experience.
Developer: Handy Games
Compatibility: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch and iPod. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
Price: 59p @ App Store