Computer Gamer

Tank Commander

Publisher: Amsoft
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

Published in Computer Gamer #14

Tank Commander

Tank Commander is a pseudo 3D tank battle game set in an unspecified combat zone, that is full of enemy armour. Your job is to rescue your agents, who are scattered around the play area.

The game operates in three modes - map mode will allow you to see the play area at a glance all the enemy that you have had contact with are visible, and the agent that you are currently after will show up as well.

Tactical mode shows you your immediate area and is the mode that you use to travel around in. Enemy tanks appear and fire at you and the terrain is shown in fine detail. The terrain is important because it is this that dictates the speed of travel. Roads are very fast, with grass, trees, water, etc, slowing you down.

Tank Commander

Travel across the map is on a screen-by-screen basis. Getting to the edge of one screen flips you to the next. This is where the disk only aspect of the game comes in as all the screns and the map are loaded in from disk - this means that no holds are barred on the graphics and they look quite impressive.

When you get close to an enemy or press fire you go into battle mode, this loads in from disk a 3D representation of the square that you went into battle from. Unfortunately this depicts the scene from the middle of the square, rather than from where your tank actually is - so if you go into battle mode in some water, you can still see the water as if you were on the bank.

When in battle mode, you can rotate your tank and change the elevation of the gun to hit targets that are further away. These tanks are other armoured targets also fire back at you depleting your armour.

Tank Commander

After your agent has been picked up it is time to find another one, and another, and another (Where do you put all these people That's what I want to know!). Slowly your rating increase from cadet to private and upwards.

Somehow I felt disappointed with this game, it has the potential for being very good, but certain little touches were left out - such as the lack of sound. Even a background rumbling noise could be made to sound good.

The graphics are reasonable, but the inaccuracy of the battle mode screens detracts from this slightly. The graphics of the enemy could have been improved slightly, they look a little cartoony at the moment.

The disk accessing is wasted, most of the game could have been implemented on tape, or with a single disk load. As it stands, the constant disk whirring is an annoyance.

As I indicated before, this game is fun to play to begin with, though gets a bit boring after a while. It could have been a very good game...