Can your tank beat your opponent's?
Tank Beat is a real time strategy game that centers around controlling a single unit and giving orders to other tanks. It was developed by MileStone Inc., a Japanese developer who also developed Radio Allergy, and much like its predecessor, this title is being brought to North America by O3 Entertainment.
Like most strategy games, Tank Beat is divided into distinct stages or missions. Mission objectives vary between several different concepts, like protect the object, defeat an enemy, or reach a location. These objectives are tied together with a story that is driven by 2D cut scenes. The two screens of the DS are used for different views of the action during missions. The bottom screen is a top down schematic, radar-like view of the battle. The top screen is a 3D view through a camera that is positioned just behind the player's tank, giving a third-person perspective.
There are two control modes that can be switched between at will during a mission. In the movement mode, the player can draw paths on the bottom screen for their tank to follow. This allows for relatively long movements to be decided on in advance, freeing up the player to switch to the attack control mode. While using this option, the stylus can be placed on the screen, and if the spot is within range, the tank will begin firing. The shots will continue for as long as the stylus is pushed down on that location at a frequency based on the type of weapon being fired. Weapons with high delays between shots do more damage than weapons with shorter delays. There are also times in the game where ally tanks will take part in the battles. These tanks can be given three different commands. The first tells them to stay where they are and attack enemies that come into range. The second tells them to seek out enemies and attack them. The third allows the player to input specific movements for the ally tank to follow.
Besides the story mode, there is also a skirmish mode that allows for practice missions to be run on several different maps, more of which are unlocked as progress is made in the story mode. There is also a battle mode that allows for local wireless multi-card multiplayer and online multiplayer over the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
Tank Beat ships to North American retailers today, May 24, 2007. Expect an NWR review in the near future.