TankCraft Steam Pile Review
TankCraft only costs a single dollar on the Steam Store but, if anything, this should instead be recognized as a telling sign for the game’s tacky production quality. Snowdon Game’s fifth title, originally released for mobile, boasts a strong premise (who doesn’t want to build their own tank in a video game?), but it’s the follow-through of that premise where the game quickly falls flat.
The first thing I did upon booting up TankCraft was to briefly look over the in-game “Craftpedia”, which provides detailed, statistical information for each of the crafting components that a player can use when building their tank. The sheer amount of data presented here – with an itemized list of figures for a component’s storage capacity, engine power and more – suggested that I was in for a crafting system which boasted both depth and nuance, but the reality was quite different.
Not only does the crafting grid accentuate the game’s ugly, low-res visuals, but the written tutorial (found in a separate menu) does a poor job of explaining how you might go about building a decent tank. Instead, you’re left to haplessly throw components on the board and try to figure out how everything works in the face of an obtuse user interface. In the end, I just went into battle with the prebuilt tank models, so it’s a good thing that Snowdon Game’s decided to put them in.
One might think that the battles themselves might offer a more structurally sound form of entertainment, but this feature fails to hold up in a similar fashion. Each tank’s traversal style is highly dependent on the type of vehicle you’ve built, but none I used felt all that intuitive or responsive to control. What’s more, the AI opponents exhibit demonstrably little intelligence or strategy in their actions, which only serves to highlight the aching lack of a multiplayer feature.
Both visually and mechanically, then, TankCraft represents a pretty unwelcoming experience. Neither the crafting nor combat mechanics are in any way exciting or fulfilling, and the poor controls suggest that it might have been the best for everyone if this port had just remained on mobile devices.