Nov 21, 2014
Despite its name, Tank Invaders: Shmup Evolved is neither a shmup, nor is it particularly evolved. It’s still pretty good though. The story and characters put McBane to shame with their corniness. The player becomes a missile commander for allied forces that are fighting against the Terror – as in, an organization that literally calls itself Terror. They employ lunatics and fanatics to their side, lacking but a swastika and the actual Devil as their commander to complete the image of a perfect enemy for the forces of democracy and everything that is good. Anyway, the player has to endure endless waves of enemies as they try to destroy the thingy that the player is trying to protect (what is that that we’re trying to protect, by the way?) by shooting a barrage of missiles onto advancing enemies.
The gameplay of Tank Invaders: Shmup Evolved isn’t anything new, but it’s executed in a pleasant way, so the repetition isn’t too tiresome, and the difficulty can be played around for quite a while. The enemies come from the top and the player needs to tap onto them to order a missile hit. The missiles take half a second to drop, so the player has to aim a bit in advance, although that’s not a big factor in the game’s difficulty. Mostly, it’s about reaction time, as the enemies grow in numbers, and their speed starts increasing. Besides the missiles, the player has expendable nukes, a bunch of power-ups that, when picked up, make the missiles stronger of faster for a while, and a special “On fire” mode that’s activated when the player hits a number of targets in succession, without missing once.
The enemies differ quite a lot, and I’d say, they’re the most interesting part of Tank Invaders: Shmup Evolved. There are tanks, aircrafts, missile silos and various bosses. The boss encounter is a challenging test of the player’s skills, although, strangely, it isn’t the most likely place to get defeated. When the player’s base health bar is completely erased by enemy shots, the enemies getting through the player’s defenses, or the player hitting the allied vehicles, the game is over, and the player gets money based on how long he lasted and whether he completed any of the three special missions. Then he can spend the money to resupply his nukes or upgrade some part of his armory, before going on the line again.
Tank Invaders: Shmup Evolved is fun, and it’s the most that matters. Sure, it’s free-to-play, and has its limits, but it’s not punishing the player for not paying, and the ads aren’t shoved in the face – you can actually get bonus gold by watching a 30-second video ad. Regardless, it’s a fun game with cool graphics and corny dialogues for anyone who likes explosions with a bit of tactics on the side.