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Review: Panzer Panic

February 26, 2010 , Posted by App-reciation Reviews at 11:57 PM

Category: Games
Seller:
HandyGames
Price: $ 1.99
Requirements: iPhone or iPod touch, OS 3.1 or later
Version: 1.1

What's good: The aesthetic concept of two teams of hand drawn tanks, firing red and blue globules of ink at one another across graph paper, is utterly inspired and visually striking with every turn of the turret. The game feels resonant of both hazy maths classes spent avoiding doing any real work and, on a mechanical level, of seminal strategy shooter Cannon Fodder. Split into just single and multiplayer Panzer Panic isn't exactly what you'd call 'brimming' with content, but then it never claims to be such a title either and never feels like it's trying too hard to reach past its demographic, nor its platform.

The game runs silky smooth, boots incredibly quickly and utilises the touch screen to its fullest. With simple drags, flicks and multiple touch movements you'll be zipping about this inky world with the greatest of ease, taking strategic positions, fending off enemies and collecting crates containing power ups and extra tanks. You'll need all the assistance you can get though, the game ramps up the difficulty pretty quick, it's a very instant challenge for a very 'instant' kind of game. In two player, the title turns into a turn based strategy of sorts, with players given a certain amount of energy shared between movement and attack. This particular element is ok for a quick game on the bus, but nothing special.

Sonically PP is good, though sparse, and for us that's fine, we'd rather be listening to our own tracks and podcasts anyway. Likewise additional features are non-existant, there's no online high score tracking, no Twitter output, no multiplayer beyond local but none of that matters because the product doesn't need it. Handy Games know their job is to make a great game for an iPhone audience and we're pleased to say they have. At under two bucks it's a no brainer.

Suggestions for improvement: The game never quite takes the structure of the piece far enough. We desperately wanted scenarios other than surviving wave after wave of enemy tanks, as there's absolutely the potential for the developer to make a great, fully featured RTS out of this. In addition, the camera can be a little tight to the action at times making spotting the precise location of approaching Panzers difficult. Multiplayer defintely needs finer tweaking if it's to become anything other than a tacked on novelty.

Breakdown:
Graphics - 5/5 Creativity - 5/5 Gameplay - 3/5 Controls - 4/5
App-reciation - 4/5



This article was written by Peter Willington, a freelance video games critic from the UK. Apart from writing for App-reciation Reviews on a part-time basis, Peter is currently a contributing editor for MidlifeGamer.net and runs inretrospectpodcast.com.

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