Words with friends was a huge hit and influenced a whole host of iOS games. Asynchronous puzzle games where you got to challenge your friends became a dime a dozen, and tons of developers tried to copy the formula. Some of the resulting games were great, while others sank deep into the mud of cheap cash grabs. BattleFriends in Tanks sounds like a more action packed take on the formula. Let's have a look and see if it will blow you away.

There are so many video games that sound absolutely great on paper, but choke on fresh oxygen and die when they're born. BattleFriends in Tanks feels like one of those titles. It does have a few redeeming factors that people may like, but I found it to be a bit lackluster in the fund department.

The graphics of BattleFriends in Tanks are quite good. Everything looks sharp, simple, and colorful. All the tanks and tiny planets look like they were torn from the doodles of an art student sitting bored in biology class. So, nothing wrong there.

The controls themselves are quite simple even though they may have multiple steps. BattleFriends in Tanks does a great job of explaining exactly what you need to do on each turn. You get to move your tank left or right around the world, but only as far as you have fuel for. Then you can select what type of projectile you'd like to shoot at your opponent, arm it, aim, and fire. Afterwards, you get a chance to type a simple message to the other person and will be rewarded a few bits of gold which you can use for upgrades or more fuel and ammo.

Now, this is where everything starts to go a bit awry. You essentially have to purchase any extra ammo or fuel with your winnings, and this is where a free game starts to make some money. You're offered the chance to purchase your way into stockpiles of gold through in-app purchases. Your alternative to forking over cash is quite a bit of grinding, which in an asynchronous game can take for ages. Not to mention, there are full screen pop-up ads that jump in to annoy you while you're contemplating paying 10 bucks for an upgraded tank, ammo, and fuel.

The asynchronous part of BattleFriends in Tanks is also a source of frustration. Who wants to fire ONE tank shell at a time? While it is a novel concept, it kills any sort of excitement you might have while playing. Just after you score a great hit on your opponent, you have to wait maybe hours for their next move. Any sort of momentum you can build during your turn is suddenly killed off. One way to solve this issue is play with a dozen people at the same time, but then you have the problem of remembering your strategy for each one, in levels that look vaguely the same all around.

BattleFriends in Tanks could have been a great title if only they dropped the asynchronous combat in favor of real time. It would be much more exciting to have to dodge enemy attacks and be able to fire a couple volleys back at them. It would keep the excitement up and be a lot more fun. Also, it would make grinding a bit more feasible and those upgrades a bit more attainable.

BattleFriends in Tanks is an interesting concept, but doesn't quite live up to the game it could be. It encourages you to invite your friends to play, but we all know that bombarding buddies with game invitations is a sure way to lose friends and alienate gamers. Take a pass on BattleFriends in Tanks and aim your finger at something a bit more exciting in the App Store.

 

Store BattleFriends in Tanks for iPhone & iPad | By Tequila Games | Price: Free | Version: 1.0 | 43.3 MB | Rating 9+

6.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating