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Immerse yourself in a vector graphics warzone, obliterating everything around you until your own inevitable demise!

Price: $0.99/79p
Size: 54.5 MB
Version: 3.0.1
Developer: Acmee GmbH

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In the early days of arcade gaming, it was all about the experience. There wasn’t time to mess about with complex storylines — instead, you were dumped into a deadly arena, and had to very quickly figure out how to not die before your three lives (and shiny silver coin) were spent. One of the earliest arcade classics was Battlezone, a 3D wireframe tank game that pitted you against an endless array of enemies. It was great.

Surrounded by death. You’d best deal some out, then.

Surrounded by death. You’d best deal some out, then.

Fast-forward to 2010, when Vector Tanks arrived for iPhone. It looked and played quite similarly to Battlezone, but with the addition of power-ups. Most notably, a ‘nuke’, when fired, took out a huge chunk of the playfield, including your own tank if you happened to be nearby when it exploded. Then came Vector Tanks EXTREME!, which was to Battlezone what a Japanese bullet-hell shooter is to Space Invaders. Everything was ramped up to 11; instead of mooching about picking off tanks, you were engaged in a relentless and desperate battle for survival.

Then lawyers came and ruined everything, even if EXTREME! was no longer really heavily related to Battlezone anyway.

You'll need a missile to take down that chopper.

You’ll need a missile to take down that chopper.

But all of this no longer matters, because Panzerkampf 3 is here, essentially taking EXTREME! and ramping it up to, um, 12; it’s even better than any of the aforementioned titles. The basics are still the same: you’re dumped in an endless land of wireframe shapes, and tanks beam in to take you out. In the original mode, things start quite sedately, but you’re soon fending off choppers and roaming robots armed with lasers, and trying very hard to not run over one of the many mines that litter the desolate landscape.

Level up! More tanks! More explosions!

Level up! More tanks! More explosions!

In Rage mode, the Vector Tanks line comes to its natural conclusion. Your tank is stripped of shields and you instead play against the clock, racking up points during those rare seconds where your tank isn’t in pieces. It’s exhilarating, frenetic, focused and exciting blasting action. Everything feels perfectly balanced, too, from the refined controls that are reminiscent of a racing game (tap to shoot, tilt to turn, and use ‘forward’ or ‘reverse’ gear to move) to the dazzling visuals and pumping soundtrack.

Rage mode, a.k.a. instant death mode.

Rage mode, a.k.a. instant death mode.

Naturally, this game is not big on subtlety, and, like many arcade titles of old, Panzerkampf 3 can become repetitive. But if you’ve a hankering for some old-school thrills, there’s little better on the iPhone. We just hope lawyers don’t wreck everything again.


Review: Panzerkampf 3 is an endless high-octane blast-fest
Dazzling visuals, perfect controls, and more shooting action than you can shake a stick at. It’s a blast!
  • Looks and sounds great
  • Excellent tilt controls
  • Several starting levels
  • Can get repetitive
4.5Overall Score