Tank: A Collection of Assorted Tanks

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Wildcard Stream Vol. 56 - Tanks For Your Support

A pleasant fantasy adventure spoiled at the last second by some game breaking bugs

Authored By: Dr. Dos
Published: Sep 14, 2023
Part of Series: Wildcard Streams
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♦ Livestream of 2 ZZT worlds. ♦

♦ Stream Contents ♦
• (0:00) "Tank: A Collection of Assorted Tanks" by Dragon250 (1999) [https://museumofzzt.com/file/view/tank/]
• (18:28) "Tankia: The Sword of Lightning" by Gatekeeper, Joshua Smith, Ruthann Smith, Scott Gross (1999) [https://museumofzzt.com/file/view/towndemo99/]

Some Tanks for your support this Subtember (tm tm tm Twitch). But really just an excuse to finally check out the latter game of the set.

First though, "Tank". It's a few ZZT-tank weapons that use controls similar to shooter engines in games like Dogfight and Space Fighter: Mercenary. Except that's all there is to it. You get a menu, some tanks with great names, and then you can steer around and shoot some bullets, perhaps a few missiles, before heading back to the menu. No game is attached to any of these, leaving it as just a proof of concept that could be used in a a more tank focused combat game. Most of the rooms don't even have any targets to shoot!

All the same I bet child me would have loved a game built around this, or grabbed them to try and make my own with them.

The real star though is "Tankia: The Sword of Lightning", a collaborative work that makes for a pretty lengthy fantasy adventure. The tyrant Kearinth is messing things up for the kingdom, and it's up to Tankia to take back the stolen sword of lightning to destroy him and return peace to the kingdom. This requires a long walk to the castle, conquering caves, mountain passes, and forests as you stop at various towns to get information and restock on supplies. Progress is gated with itemized locks, lakes require boots to walk across the water, large boulders need to be picked up with powerful gauntlets, that sort of thing.

It's definitely the work of a younger team (they thank a 7th grade classroom in the credits), yet it's pretty playable and fun. It takes quite some time before the design gets a little too shoddy in places, with the only real issue early on being the number of shots bosses take (you have to wait after shooting for damage to register) and the lack of feedback when you hit them. Definitely make sure to spend as much money as you can though, the ammo gets a little too tight by the end and it can be a long walk back to town!

Of course, it does end with some game breaking bugs. A boss fails to drop a key when you're 95% done, and then after a few mis-aligned board edges that are wide enough to work around, the player ends up unable to enter the final boss room entirely! Still, not a bad pick.

Also we got to learn the secrets of the gay cinema when exploring the list of boards...

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♦ Originally streamed on September 10th, 2023 ♦

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