YouTube link for mobile viewing

Tank Riders, you had such promise. You look beautiful, you run incredibly well, and you involve tanks. Tanks, I say! Made in the same vein as many a game before you, you offered an unprecedented level of eye candy and polish that truly made me proud to say you were on Android.

Then I tried to play you.

Man, on a tablet, those controls are rough. For starters, let's notice that the virtual joystick remains completely hidden until you decide to move it. Once you know it's there, there's no problem. The first time I tried to play, though, I was wildly moving my fingers across the screen, trying to get some sort of response. Finally, I landed on the joystick.

The virtual joystick is about as good (or bad) as any other one I've used. Move your finger, the tank moves. Because there's nothing physical, you run the risk of stretching your hand out too far, accidentally moving off of the joystick, and leaving yourself a sitting duck until you reorient your thumb. Pretty stock stuff.

The aiming, however, is atrocious. With your left hand permanently locked on the left side of the screen (you know, to control your tank), all your aiming has to be done with the right hand. If you only had to shoot to the right, that'd be fine. Sometimes you have to shoot to the left, though. That involves an awkward crossover (not unlike when you start beginning piano), covers up your screen with your arms, and generally ruins any fun you were previously having.

Maybe I'm inept. Perhaps I lack some sort of basic arm-crossing gene that renders me helpless in the wake of such a challenge, and that's why I was unsuccessful. Regardless, that one glaring issue was so large, it sullied the entire gameplay experience for me.

If you think you've got what I don't, Tank Riders is $1.99 in the Google Play Store. We've got download links after the break.

 

Reader comments

Tank Riders [Android Game Review]

7 Comments

I hope this doesn't sound critical Josh, but you're doing it wrong. Left thumb on the virtual stick, you got that part.

But your right hand isn't supposed to hold the right side of the device. Your right hand should be hovering above the screen, and you should be tapping on your targets with your right index finger.

This means you need to be able to hold your device in only your left hand.

Just trying to help. Give it a try. And let us know.

I still enjoy the game. I think I got it when it was on sale. I do find the tap to aim and fire annoying when you reach across the screen in any game, but I still prefer it to double direction pads because that is harder to accurately aim and means another thumb to keep in the right position.

An honest review. This is why I like this blog.
A different Android blog raved about this game. Having already played it, I was pretty confident that the reviewer had not...
Thanks for the real review!