Back when graphics were simpler, games had a mystique similar to that of books. Your mind had to fill in the blanks and paint across the pixels’ corners. The visuals and sounds of most modern games leave little to the imagination. While this is definitely an improvement for the most part, it’s nice to see some indie or quirky games embracing the mysterious visuals of days past.
Vector Tanks is an iPhone/Touch game that makes no secret of its similarities to the arcade classic Battlezone. For those whose never played Battlezone, it was a 3D arcade tank game released in 1980 utilizing simple vector graphics that created a stark and simple yet mysterious and beautiful sci-fi atmosphere. The 3D graphics and twin-stick tank-style controls made for quite an enveloping and realistic experience, especially for a game made in 1980. I was born in 1984 and, despite other games being more advanced by the time I played Battlezone, there was something about it that just captured me. I loved it. The developers were even asked by the US Army to create a simulator for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Battlezone has received a few sequels since its creation, most of which were excellent, though they were quite different from the original.
Overall, Vector Tanks is quite good (especially for the price of only $2.99 USD). They should fix it up slightly, add a bit more, and approach Atari for the rights to the Battlezone name. It’s a pure arcade experience and one of the best 3D games on the platform. If they add multiplayer and/or missions it might just move into “killer app” territory as well.