32k cassette.... 1/2 players....
For those of you who are
too long in the tooth or slow on the trigger for conventional shoot-em-ups
and cannot get into war games such as Eastern Front, this may be the
answer. Tank Commander is a great mixture of strategy and action. You
will find yourself in command of a lone tank that must venture forth
from its base in the foothills of the western mountains onto a coastal
plain defended by computer controlled enemy forces. You are given a
birds-eye view of the action which takes place over a terrain consisting
of about ten smooth scrolling screens. The terrain includes ranges of
low hills, forests, swamps, rivers and roads as well as civilian housing
and various military installations. Each mission is different and may
require you to rescue a secret agent or go forth and destroy enemy
tanks, fuel dumps or command posts. You start with a limited supply of
fuel and ammunition which have to be replenished periodically by
returning to base.
Your tank is joystick
controlled and may take a little bit of getting used to. Forward and
backward movement of the handle causes the tank to move forward or
reverse, whilst left and right cause the vehicle to turn on the spot
Left or right movement whilst pressing the trigger rotates the gun
turret and releasing the trigger fires a shell.
Your tank can travel over
any terrain except the hills and rivers. The latter may only be crossed
via road bridges. A realistic feature here is that your vehicle's
maximum speed varies with the type of terrain being traversed with
maximum speed being attained only on the roads Beware of minefields when
travelling across open county and keep an eagle eye out for enemy tanks.
These are fairly fast moving and can attack in groups as well as
individually;. Although fairly fast movers, enemy tanks are slow to fire
at least on the lower skill levels, and are not too difficult to out
manoeuvre and destroy.
A more serious threat are
fixed gun emplacements usually located near to the enemy command posts.
Not only are they difficult to spot,
but their guns have a greater range than your own. Use the small ranges
of hills as cover when trying to get close enough to destroy these gun
emplacements but, beware, the occasional shell may find its way through.
The most dangerous weapon possessed by the enemy is a rocket-firing
aircraft Your tank cannot shoot down this aircraft and must try to dodge
the missiles. All is not lost however, a warning tone sounds immediately
prior to an enemy attack and, providing your reflexes are fast enough,
you can press SELECT to call up your own fighter plane. Movement and
firing of your aircraft while it is on the screen is controlled with the
same joystick Your own airstrikes will help drain your fuel and
When located, and in
range, enemy targets can be shelled and blown up from any angle.
Explosions produce realistic sound and visual effects. Avoid hitting
civilian houses since this reduces your points total. At the end of a
successful mission you are awarded bonus points and a new mission,
harder than the last and with a different landscape. You start each
mission with five lives.
The game has a couple of
very useful features. Pressing OPTION at any time during play reveals a
map of the complete battlezone and pressing the Space Bar will pause the
game. Although generally good, the instructions do not point out that
you must press the ESC key to resume play (at least you have to on an
800XL). Loading instructions do not mention that both the OPTION and
START must be pressed when switching on XL models during a boot load.
Tank Commander can be played by 1 or 2
players and has 5 levels of difficulty. It is a game that combines
arcade action with a degree of strategy to produce an absorbing blend.
At a price of £8.95 it should become a firm favourite.