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Old 12-10-2008, 08:00 PM
Vincent Ferrari
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Default My Little Tank: Explosively Fun

Product Category: iPhone/iPod Touch Game
Developer: Astraware
Where to Buy: iTunes Store
Price: $4.99
System Requirements: iPhone / iPod Touch with Firmware 2.0 or later


  • Simple to learn;
  • Explosions are fun;
  • Graphics and sounds are both good.


  • A bit on the easy side;
  • Using any controls but tapping the screen can be extremely frustrating.

My Little Tank is a fun pick-up and play tank shooter.  While it may err on the easy side, it's still a heck of a lot of fun and a great time waster.
There Once Was a Tank...
In My Little Tank, you play the operator of a little tank.  Your job is to protect your base and / or destroy other enemy tanks in the area.  Along the way, you pick up power-ups that enhance your firepower or replenish your life meter.  Missions range from destroying enemy tanks to protecting bases and cities.

Figure 1: My Little Tank in action.

Along the bottom of the screen are meters for your energy and the number of lives, and the score.  To Pause, you simply press the lower right corner of the screen.  At the top of the screen in the center is an indicator to tell you how many enemy tanks are still running around on the level you're on.

For me, the most fun in this game is just flat out blowing stuff up.  The explosions are always entertaining and seeing walls fall down and buildings blow up is entertaining and stress-relieving at the same time.

Figure 2:  Lots of blowing up stuff happens in the course of a game.

War Is Hell
It isn't all perfect, though.  One of the things you'll notice in whatever mode you choose to play in is that you don't control the firing of the tank; you simply steer it and it keeps shooting.  It forces you to maneuver oddly at times just to aim the tank.  Controls include Touch to Move, Swipe to Move, Tilt to Move, and a virtual D-pad.  As far as I can tell, the only acceptable way to control the tank is the Touch to Move method.  Swiping is okay, the D-Pad is okay (but you tend to miss the buttons while playing intently), and tilting to move is downright unplayable.  I don't blame this on Astraware in any way; a lot of companies are under the impression that the accelerometer is a good way to control a game and some people actually like it.  For me?  Not the control scheme I'd prefer.  No way, no how.

Figure 3: Game over!

The only other problem is the difficulty level.  There are times when I feel like I'm ripping through levels at a very fast pace.  While I can appreciate the appeal of a casual game, and it is fun to just go out and shoot shoot shoot, I would like a bit more of a challenge.  The open-field missions where you chase tanks around the playfield are very easy, but the ones where you defend an area or a base are a lot more fun because they're much harder.

Either way, though, neither of those negatives are a deal breaker for me, and I've spent an enormous amount of time blasting tanks!

When I first saw the name, I wasn't expecting much.  I was worried it would be kiddish and silly.  In the end, what I got was a first-class blast 'em up shooter with a lot of fun explosions.  The best part of this game is that it can be picked up and played in short bursts and doesn't really require an enormous time commitment to enjoy.  Frankly, at the tender age of 32, I'm not looking for another commitment; I'm perfectly happy with my Wife, cats, and job.  My Little Tank is a must-play if you're into shoot 'em ups and as long as you stay away from the accelerometer controls, you should be very happy with every aspect of it.

Vincent Ferrari is an Apple fan, videoblogger, blogger, writer, and all-around geek from the Bronx. He works in the IT Department of a cellular phone company that shall not be named, and lives in a very comfortable apartment with his lovely wife, two lovely cats, three Macs, two iPhones, and God-knows-how-many iPods of varying age.

Current Apple Stuff: 24" iMac, iPhone 4, AppleTV (original), 4gb Shuffle, 64gb iPad 2.
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