Tank Wars

Platform: MS-DOS
Genre: Strategy
Year: 1990
Developer: Kenny Morse
Size: Around 350 kilobytes, depending on the version.

The object of the game is to wipe out all of the other tanks so only you are left standing. This game is very customizable, letting you set anywhere from 2-10 players, with thousands of combinations of options to affect gameplay. Tank Wars is a famous classic that inspired the popular Windows title, Scorched Earth, and spawned a million clones.

Gameplay Options:
Crumbling Hills: Determines whether hills will collapse after ground has been blown out from underneath. The option ranges from 1%-100%, allowing you no crumble, or absolute gravity.
Rebounding Walls: Determines whether your shots will fly off the screen, or bounce off the walls. Options are yes, no, and random.
Visible Shot: Allows for visibility or invisibility of the shots, implemented to increase difficulty.
Shot Trace: Indicates the trail your shot takes and keeps it on the background, to easier determine how your next shot should be fired.
Background: Chooses the background colors and types for the game. Random is best.
Games Per Set: Default is 10, this option lets you play whatever number of games you want to play in a row, ranging from 1 to 99.
Tanks Fall Down: If ground is blown out from under a tank, this option will decide whether the tank hovers, or falls and takes damage.
Number of Players: Yes. Ranges from 2-10.
Explosions Kill: If a heavy explosion goes off near another tank, this option decides whether it will take damage as a result.
Computers Can Buy: Only wussies choose No. Decides if the computer will buy new weapons and defenses after allocating funds.
Palette Speed: This option decides how fast the background animation goes. Helps speed up the game, not that you should nead it. Wind: An important factor, this option decides how fast you want the winds in your game to be, which greatly affect your shot. Random winds is the default.

Computer Opponents:
For those who can't muster enough friends together to play the game, there are several computer opponents you may face:

Gameplay:
The object is to destroy your opponent by firing a shot at him. You must calculate the power and angle needed from your turret to accomplish this. Angles range from 1-90, and power rangers from 1-1000. The power will influence how forceful your shot is. While one may think 1000 is the best power to use, the player will clearly find out this is not true, when he needs to deal with players that are underneath him, rebounding walls, and high wind speeds.

After destroying everyone and being the last man standing, you will earn money that can be spent on improving your arsenal of weapons, or purchasing the all mighty energy shield. You then proceed to the next match, the tanks randomly placed again, and the battle resumes anew. At the end of all the rounds, a colorful list of scores is displayed for you to proudly boast with.

Controls:
Raising/Lowering Angle: The left and right arrows control the angle of your turret.
Raising/Lowering Power: Up and down will select the power of your shot.
Changing Direction of Turret: Press I to flip the direction your turret is pointing.
Firing: Press space when you have aligned your shot to fire.
Status Information: To display the information of any opponent, simply select the player's corresponding number.
Changing Weapon: Use TAB and SHIFT+TAB to cycle through your arsenal.
Guidance Systems: H or V will activate your horizontal and vertical guidance systems, provided you own them.

Equipment:
(excerpted from the game's manual)
Lead Ball: Useless, completely useless. It does no damage. It just flies. The only time it's ever useful is when you want to test if you can get a decent weapon far enough away from you so that you won't be caught in the blast. You start with 9999 of them.
Hand Grenade: This is a wimpy little bomb. It has a very small blast range. It can only kill a tank if it hits it directly. You start with 9999 of them.
Standard Incinerator: These are your normal weapons. They have a reasonable blast radius, and can kill fairly easily. You start with 5 for every round you will play.
Mark II Incinerator: Twice the size of Standard Incinerators.
Nukes: 20K and 5M Nukes explode the same as Incinerators, but with MUCH bigger blast radius. 5 Meg's have been known to take out up to 7 tanks in one explosion. Chain Reaction Inducers (CRI's): These start a chain reaction in the ground. Depending on the strength of the CRI it can do little damage, or can destroy almost all the ground on the screen. CRI's are identified with a number followed by a 'D' or 'ND'. The number determines how radioactive the reaction is. 'D's are much more 'fluent' than 'ND's. It's quite hard to explain, but you should be able to figure it out after using a few.
Sonic Blaster: These are only helpful in games when Crumble is set to a low percentage. When these hit the ground they emit a high pitched sonic whine, causing all loose ground to collapse. These are especially helpful after a CRI has been released and there are tanks hanging in midair on only a few pixels of ground. This will take those precious pixels out from under them and send them careening to their death.
Balls 'o' Dirt: These are fairly self explanatory. When they explode, instead of a big ball of fire, a big ball of dirt is created. I'll leave it up to you to determine what you'll want to use this for.
Explosive Dirt: When this hits, it spews dirt up into the air. It may just stay there, or it may fall back down depending on what you set crumble to.
Lasers: These work a little differently than the other weapons. Purchasing one of these gives you 1000 units of laser energy. The power value you select is how much of this energy you wish to use. If you have less than 100 units the laser cannot fire.
Guidance Systems: I'll leave it up to you to figure out how to use these. They're very powerful, effective, and easy to misuse.
Defense Systems: The two defense systems are fairly self explanatory. Buy them and they will save your life.

A fantastic, simple-yet-complicated, addictive game. It is freeware, so you can find it just about anywhere, and it will run on just about anything.

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