Publisher: Lunar Workshop
Developer: Lunar Workshop
System requirements: Windows XP/Vista/Win 7, 1.5 GHz or faster CPU, 1 GB RAM, 128 MB graphics card
ESRB rating: Not rated
Release date: Available now
In my book, there are two kinds of night owls in the world: those who stay up playing games, and the others who are wide awake, dreaming about the games we enjoy. Lunar Workshop is the latter of these two, always crafting and constantly trying to improve their product, Digitanks. I didn’t get much time to play it after my review was published, maybe here and there at best to pass the time or to procrastinate from looking at MMOs. The first big addition, dubbed The Artillery Update, was recently released, and I was ready to blow some enemy tanks to digital hell.
This is a complete overhaul from the previous build of Digitanks, with new maps added for both modes of play. The new version’s not just a mildly textured plane with a hill here or there; Lunar has added trees, lava and other areas to hinder your course and force you to plot your destination more carefully. You no longer begin with your base’s CPU in a set spot on a map, building from that point on. You move it like one of your units until you choose a strategically proper spot for it to be placed. You still start with your Rogue tank unit to scout for enemies near and far, but opposing players aren’t the only ones you’re seeking. Hiding in the new terrain are turrets firing on you and robotic bugs scouring the land in hopes of causing destruction.
The Artillery Update so far has stood up to its name. Each tank has new weapons and features you can use in unique ways to dispatch an opponent’s forces or squash an enemy structure. Added to the arsenal of the Resistor model, on top of its original cannon, is a weapon primarily used for taking out Rogue tanks and another to destroy trees. The Digitank, depending on your mode of play (either Artillery mode or Strategy mode), has many new weapons as well. Last but not least, you can now gain the ability through the grid to build an Artillery unit that’s a lot like a Howitzer but with a hell of a kick to it, giving you a choice in your flavor of long-range devastation, be it a WAN Bomb, Devastator blast or Plasma charge.
I was immediately pleased after double clicking the Digitanks icon; the loading screen from the past version is gone. I’m glad the quirky screen is missing, but it wasn’t a terrible fault to the game’s charm. Another pleasantry I found while browsing the game’s website: a poll concerning what features could be added; one of the winners was the ability to ram opposing tanks. This is a lot of fun, as most of the time when you do this, the opposing tank makes a sad emoticon (I might’ve giggled). I also have no aspirations of being a lumberjack in real life, but I definitely enjoyed mowing down as many trees as possible looking for turrets or other hidden forces. The new terrain is worth praising; in most games, movement wouldn’t be lessened if traveling through woods, or you wouldn’t take damage from driving in lava. Here you do, and it’s just perfect; I actually had to use strategy in a strategy game. Lastly, there’s no more choosing how much power your cannon uses; you have multiple forms of ammo to select, all showing how much of your energy they require. From bombs to ammunition, they got you covered this time around.
I was mostly using the Digitanks icon to launch the game, but there’s also one that opens it in full-screen mode. I gave that a shot a couple of times, and each time the program froze up. I’m not exactly 100-percent sure if it’s an error with Windows 7 or my graphics card, but if you choose regular Digitanks and change the settings from windowed to full-screen mode, it works fine. Another glitch I found was in the Uphill board: the program locks up when your opponents are making their moves (it happened to me four times, so it’s worth mentioning). I was a little frustrated, as it was my 20th turn one time, but the fix could be included in an upcoming patch. One final nuisance for me was I could be stuck in windowed mode when I ALT-TAB to skip a bad song on my playlist. I figured out I could fix this by hitting the ESC key to bring up the menu.
All in all, I’m extremely impressed. This is not the same Digitanks I played and loved; it has evolved with this update. It’s more of a strategy game than it was before, changing from a move here-shoot game into a make-a-move-carefully-or-get-blown-up affair. If you took a look at the original demo, I would recommend checking it out again; it’s still free and worth it if you’re into strategy games. For me, this update did the game a world of good play-wise, and I’d love to get into some multiplayer sometime.