Zulu Assault Arrowhead Interactive / Monkey Byte Development LLC 1999

Thirty-five years have passed since Namco released the Tank Battalion game, which later became a cult hit of its time. And to this day, the number of projects that honestly continue or openly copy the idea of ​​“Tanchiki” is not going to succumb even to rough estimates. In the rich variety of plots, visual and technical solutions, the invariable essence of the “Tanks” of 1980 - cunning maneuvers and furious skirmishes of caterpillar monsters forged in the hellish forge of two world wars - continues to wander from game to game. One of those turned out to be this arcade game and doomed to modest fame in a narrow circle. However, crammed with many interesting details, the game steadily keeps apart from the rest and until today attracts with easy gameplay. After a stingy briefing without the slightest hint of any meaningful plot, a group of pilots will immediately land near a column of "parked" equipment. One of the outstanding features of Zulu Assault- the free movement of the pilot player outside the vehicle with the UZI at the ready in search of a more powerful unit - it becomes a real panacea, especially closer to the end of the game. Of course, a pilot walking on foot is an excellent target, but if a player gets to a helicopter or, say, combat mech, the mission can already be considered in absentia to be successfully completed. A strictly vertical review typical of Battle City and the lack of feedback from the command staff is not the warmest meeting. However, already in the first shootout, which ensued between the detachment of "ours" and the "theirs" turrets, all the need for additional instruction disappears by itself. The game’s heat is added by energetic techno-style soundtrack, which can only be said that “now they don’t compose such a thing”. In addition to the already mentioned turrets, air defense systems and machine-gun bunkers, there are wheeled "carts", and all kinds of tanks, and aviation, both civilian and military, as well as bellows - robotic equipment of the future. And this whole brigade merrily threshes from machine guns, firing with large-caliber guns, throws rockets and burns with napalm; in such an environment, any natural obstacle, whether it be a bush or a tree, should be used as temporary shelter. The allies are controlled by a simple algorithm responsible for the enemy’s behavior: without shining witty decisions, it at the same time allows you, simply cutting circles around the target, to smash down lone scouts and small enemy units. But the infantry behaves a little more reasonably and rushes scattered at the sight of a rapidly approaching armored car. The overwhelming mass of red dots on the conditional minimap (activated and scaled with the “R” key) speaks for itself - you can hardly do without fire support from your brothers in arms. However, there is little sense from the comrades-in-arms: they either frantically rush into battle and quickly die under obstructive fire, or with a slack keep aloof while the player puffs alone, clearing the combat zone. Nevertheless, the benefits of idle fellow soldiers are much greater, since in the event of a player’s death the mission does not end with the notorious Game Over, but continues on behalf of another fighter. This is where bonuses of “repair”, “reflection”, “invulnerability” are useful, as well as ammunition for energy and anti-aircraft weapons, which appear in large quantities on the ashes of destroyed units and real estate adversary. When the player’s car turns out to be the only green island surrounded by the enemy’s steel monsters, and the tank’s capacity scale freezes in a second from its complete destruction, attentiveness, dexterity and a share of patience are the only things that can prevent the mission from tiring replay.
Full Demo 3MB (uploaded by MyAbandonware)

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