ZX Spectrum Tank Trax
Yet another budget spectrum game that was released by Mastertronic for £1.99. It had originally been released by Amoeba Software at £5.95 - no way was it ever worth that.
This arcade game was a very simple turn based affair designed for two players - you couldn't play against the computer. I ended up playing against myself some of the time back in 1985... but to be fair a little bit of fun could be squeezed out of this game.
I suppose this was a strategy arcade game which had you with your tank against an opponent, also with a tank. There were options to choose such as altering wind speeds and you could also choose to battle it out in mountains or foothills.
Finally you could choose to duel in the daytime or at night - where both thanks were 'hidden' from view. Mind you, you could actually tell where the tanks were sitting if you looked carefully.
But first I've got to mention the menu music which was a little bizarre to say the least. Listen to that beeper sing!
Anyway to defeat your opponent you had to elevate your gun barrel and choose the velocity of the shot you wanted to fire. Unfortunately both tanks were static, so all you could do was point your gun up or down and choose the strength of your shot. If the tanks had been moveable it would have added a lot more to the game.
Anyway, there was also wind speed to take into account (which could be variable if you wanted) and those pesky mountains which were usually in your way. Once you took your shot it either hit your opponent or blasted part of the landscape away. Then you had to wait whilst the other guy took a shot. The game went tit for tat like this until someone landed a direct hit.
A direct hit treated you to a loverrrly rendition of 'the last post' in true beeper style. Which you couldn't stop. And had to listen to every time you played. Which became annoying after about three listens.
As usual for a classic game of the era you could enter your name in the high score table - but it seems that the better you were the less score you got! Check this out as I score a direct hit with my first shot and at night...
All in all this retro game is a reasonable amount of fun for two players. It's got loads of retro charm and it's simplicity makes it seem a little bit better than it really is.
Not quite crap yet definately not good, this offering is a nice way for a couple of friends to waste half an hour. Give it a go to remember what Spectrum software was like in the early days.
We recommend getting hold of the real hardware - but if not then download a ZX Spectrum emulator and download Tank Trax for the ZX Spectrum. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
GENRE: Arcade Game (Arcade Strategy I suppose)
RELEASE DATE: 1983
RELEASED BY: Amoeba Software / Mastertronic
DEVELOPER(S): C Steel, B Baker
PRICE: £5.95 then re-released by Mastertronic at £1.99 - UK
Arcade Games, Classic Games and ZX Spectrum Games