War of the Human Tanks is a tactics RPG brought to us by Fruitbat Factory. The premise is very straightforward. Two kingdoms are at war. The weapon of choice? Cute female humanoid soldiers crafted for war – the human tanks.
Human tanks come in all shapes and sizes and they perform different functions like a real army unit. You have scouts, commanders, long-range attackers etc. What different units can do varies, but if the commander is down the game is over. The battle system plays out on a chessboard like battlefield with hexagonal tiles lining up on the battlefield. You can either use a scout unit to check and report on enemies’ locations or you can just choose a tile to attack and hope for the best. The system is not overly complicated but sometimes is a bit slow, as you need to repeat the process frequently. Also the requirement to wait till your unit is connected to your command screen further slows down the gameplay. Later you have to build units on the spot as the battle continues, which adds a bit of tension but the continued requirement of connection establishment does not help to speed things up and provide a particularly fluid gameplay.
The game employs cutesy anime style aesthetics, which is a very nice touch. Character designs are very likeable. If you like anime style characters you will like the ones in this game. As for scene backgrounds they are watercolour style paintings. However, it seems that they are simply Photoshop versions of real pictures.
The story plays out in dialogue-box cut scenes in between battles, but they are very long. As an RPG player, the click and read cut scenes are too numerous to keep the pace of the game going. The dialogue is funny, and sometimes witty, but there are only so many dialogue sequences you can click through in one sitting. The issue is that battles are not particularly fast paced, as a general rule for tactics RPGS, so you do need to have faster pace for the story, or activities between battles, to keep things interesting. The story is not uninteresting and there are quite a number of colourful and interesting characters for you to fall in love with. However, certain themes were repeated again and again, which takes away from the interest factor.
War of the Human Tanks does look promising, and it certainly delivered interesting elements at this particular stage. However, there are certain aspects of the game that needs polishing in order to keep players’ interests in the game, and pacing is a major factor at this point. September 14th isn’t too distant now and I certainly look forward to seeing the final code and how it has progressed!