Gratuitous Tank Battles : Beta Review

Despite being a genre, the games found under the heading of Tower defense come in a varity of formats.

* Open plan style, where your towers also act as walls to block the flow of enemy “traffic”
* Lane style, where attackers stick to one of many lanes and defenses likewise
* Map with predetermined paths, may also have predefined locations for towers

Positech Games latest offering Gratuitous Tank Battles (GTB) falls into the later bracket but it also offers a unique blend of extras that certainly bring something new to the genre.

First up is the unit customisation, a central and popular feature in the previous title Gratuitous Space Battles. This has been enhanced by the addition of augmentation modules that bolster one of the attributes of the unit you are building.  I think it’s worth mentioning the rather impressive comparision pane that allows you to check that your picking the right module for your build. I think this certainly going to be hit with the Min-Max players that want to tweak their units to perfection.
A further enchancement to this system is that the individual layers of a unit you are creating are colour tintable. This is rather good when you need to quickly identify what units you already have on the battlefield.

Of course the best feature I saved until last, it’s the one that makes this more than just another tower defense game is that you get to be the attacker. Nothing is more fun than stomping all over the computers defensive set-up to a galorious victory, then defending the same region as the AI struggles to defeat your perfect deployment.

Additional features
The game has speed settings like GSB but with a new introduction of a frame by frame key, that allows you to watch your tanks being shot to bits in glorious slow-motion.

The game is in beta at the moment so anything may change before release, that said, it’s a highly polished game already and the small tweaks being made to the game at this stage would been seen as day one patches on other most others games.

If Tower Defense is a genre you enjoy, I would certainly put this forward as one for your wishlist.