Game Over Online ~ Tank Racer

GameOver Game Reviews - Tank Racer (c) Grolier Interactive, Reviewed by - ^Mort^

Game & Publisher Tank Racer (c) Grolier Interactive
System Requirements Pentium 100, 16 MB RAM, 4x CD-ROM
Overall Rating 31%
Date Published Wednesday, March 24th, 1999 at 03:29 PM

Divider Left By: ^Mort^ Divider Right

TankRacer is yet another lame attempt at making a racing game fun for the whole family. There is nothing to this game besides driving and shooting tanks that are invulnerable to your every attack. I will never understand why the industry pumps these games out like they do. Why don’t gaming companies just take their time and make good games that people will come away from with amazement and awe?

TankRacer deserves a place on a shelf somewhere because, frankly, it is not worth spending a dime on. For one, the game is too straight forward, but some might like the fact that the only differences throughout the game are different sounds and textures. The versatility of TankRacer is slim. The animals that you run over do not even bleed let alone explode or even look real because they are cardboard figures. The only animal that has some real life to it, are the bird's that fly away when you are about to run them over. Graphics in TankRacer are about equal to any other game out right now. This is the only thing that would make people actually buy this thing because of the 3DFX graphics that have hypnotized them into buying only things that look and act the same in every aspect. I truly hope that you do not fall into this category. The same sound effects are used too much throughout the game. The crunching of a car, the wind, the lighthouse foghorns, all are used over and over again without any variance.

Front ends are really important in a game and this one fails in every aspect. When you first turn on the game, there is a rendered picture of a tank and then it takes you to a very rudimentary, Atari-like interface. You have to use the enter key to get from one screen to another and it pulls you every which way to different screens. If you decide to go back, you have to use the backspace button. Setting up the controls can be a tedious task. As you prepare to play the game, TankRacer shows you a choice of only four tanks. These tanks are all rated for acceleration, handling, grip, top speed, etc. You must decide what you really want throughout your career as a tank driver. I found the tank with the best top speed to be the best, because there are plenty of power ups spread throughout the track to enhance speed.

Here are a few of the power ups:
Lightning bolt (speed burst)
Shield (its only purpose is to protect against enemy weapons which can throw you off course since your tank is invulnerable to any real damage)
UFO (a rainbow comes out from the rear of the tank that doesn’t do anything special)
Homing missiles (self explanatory)

Controls often take away from a game and TankRacer is no exception to that rule. Not only is setting up the control a major task but if you were to just use the keyboard; you would be in for a world of torture. Not only is it hard to corner in any tank with the keyboard but it is not easy to shoot and drive at the same time. AI in this game is run and gun. They are rather easy to track down and knock around a bit but they are out to win the race. The AI in the first few levels is easy but as you progress, it does get a little tougher. There are no difficulty levels, which cuts down on the replay value of the game.

"Fun", that word does not even come to mind when I think of TankRacer. This might be fun for all those die hard tank fanatics who like to just drive tanks for hours on end, but this is not me. I can definitely say that I will not be playing this game a month, a week, or even a day from now other than to show my friends how easy it is to put a bad game on the market. Fun is fun and crap is crap and this game is not fun so that just leaves one option; crap.

My overall impression of this game is that gaming companies should really ask themselves a few questions before they release a game. Is the public actually going to buy this product? If not, should we think about changing a few things in the game to make it original? That is what this game is lacking in every aspect. I am sorry to have to do a review like this that does not have many positive points, but people deserve to hear my honest opinion. Please ask Grolier Interactive why they decided to put this game out. The only reason I see a purpose for it is that I need an extra coaster in my house and this CD would be a prime candidate for one or maybe a Frisbee. One can never tell what mood I might be in when a game like this crosses my desk. Thank you for bearing with me through this review and please keep your rants, raves, etc. coming in. I was impressed with the e-mails from all of the devoted fans of Diablo II. I really appreciated every letter and if I did make you mad with that last preview please understand that I did it that way for a reason; to grab your attention.


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