Smilegate’s new mobile tank battle game Super Tank Blitz (Smilegate)
The beauty of Sumo is in its simplicity. Whoever pushes the opponent out of the ring wins.
Thanks to this simplicity, there’s no need to study or understand the sport. Spectators just know how the game works by instinct.
Smilegate’s 2D mobile tank battle game Super Tank Blitz works in a similar way. Whoever destroys the opponent’s tank first wins, either by firing artillery shells or pushing it off a cliff.
It is also highly ingenious, as Super Tank Blitz allows users to assemble their own tanks with different parts with a great degree of creativity, a rare element in the tsunami of pay-to-win role-playing games that are flooding the Korean game industry at the moment. The game was launched on July 23 in 142 countries.
However, the simplicity of the rules is no excuse for a lack of details that would have let the game shine.
Assembling a tank (Super Tank Blitz Screenshot)
After playing more than 300 tank battles, it was clear what this game was missing.
Super Tank Blitz lacked the kind of detailed functionality that users want in a legitimate tank battle game -- especially Korean men, who know a thing or two about actual tanks thanks to mandatory military service.
In the game, for instance, users can pick armor of different shapes and sizes and put the pieces together to make the body of a tank. However, users can’t customize the thickness or raw materials of those pieces of armor.
The same goes for other parts. Users can upgrade the range of shells, but not the weight, shape or function of those shells. Users can attach boosters to speed up their tanks, but can’t select which engines will power their tanks. Users can paint their tanks with monotone colors, but not with camouflage patterns. The list is endless.
By overlooking such details, Smilegate may be missing out on a lot of opportunities to monetize what is essentially an enticing game.
It could have been a much more lucrative game if all options, ranging from fuel to engines, were left on the table to let users from 142 countries choose and pay for.
But Smilegate says this approach counters the very concept of the game.
“If we dive into details such as horsepower of engines, for instance, it might make the game more difficult and get in the way of users from having fun by simply assembling their own tanks and fighting battles with them,” a Smilegate official said.
“Of course, it would have been nice if we allowed users to buy purchasing packs until they get items they want, which is what other Korean game companies are doing, but that is not our focus.”
One-on-one battle (Super Tank Blitz Screenshot)
By Kim Byung-wook (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Time to Play is a review of new game releases. Kim Byung-wook is a staff reporter at The Korea Herald and a hardcore Fifa Online 4 user with 456 friendly match wins. He has also played StarCraft 2 Zerg and once ranked diamond. He is currently a captain in the first-person shooter game Sudden Attack and the owner of a level 184 Soul Master in role-playing game MapleStory, Kim still plays Football Manager 2017. -- Ed.