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World of Tanks Blitz

For: iPhone   Also on: Android, iPad

Day 7: A1

Product: World of Tanks Blitz | Publisher: Wargaming | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Strategy | Players: 1-14 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0.1
World of Tanks Blitz iPhone, thumbnail 1
The original World of Tanks was released on PC (and later on Xbox 360), and has become pretty popular.

The game now has well over 60 million users, and the amount of revenue it generates exceeds that made by World of Warcraft. Not bad.

Now the game has come to mobiles and tablets in the shape of World of Tanks Blitz.

We figured a few people might be interested in the game, and decided to put Blitz through its paces over the course of seven days. How successful is the conversion from PC and consoles to touchscreens? Join me as I find out in the next week of play.

First impressions

It's obvious that a lot of time and money has been spent on creating World of Tanks Blitz.

The game's presentation is strong. Hefty tanks roll across large arenas, cannons kachunk-thunk-BOOMing their payload into the armour of opposing vehicles.

All of this is accompanied by minor but nonetheless appreciated visual effects, and a clear and informative user interface.

World of Tanks Blitz is very much aiming for the experience provided by its PvP tank combat older brother.

Consequently the controls are complex yet approachable. It's essentially an online deathmatch in the guise of a "proper" simulation.

The left virtual stick controls both of your tank tracks simultaneously, allowing you to accelerate, reverse, and turn.

The right virtual stick controls your gun sights. You'll need to take into account the distance to your target and the speed at which they're travelling if you're going to prove a hotshot.

IAPs explained
There are multiple types of purchases you can make, with several different currencies in play at all times.

Gold is the only one you can buy with real money, and costs £3.99 / $5.99 for 1400. Gold is used to purchase a Premium Account for a specific number of days, and doing so confers a +50% XP and Credits bonus per battle. 1 day is 250 Gold.

You can also purchase Premium Tanks with Gold. The most expensive at the moment is 2100 Gold, but there were more tanks in the soft launch that cost a lot more, and I imagine they'll come later down the line.

Among its other uses, Gold can be exchanged for Credits. You can use these to buy the normal tanks, ammunition, upgrades, and so on. Credits are earned through normal play though, as is Experience.

Experience is earned by tank, not by profile, so Experience you earn in one tank can only be used to research upgrades for that vehicle.

That is unless you want to convert that Experience to Free Experience, which can be used on any tank in the game, though that will cost you some Gold.

When you deploy a tank into combat, that tank remains on the battlefield until the battle is over, but you always have enough tanks to jump out early and go join another game, if you so desire.

The number of tanks you can have at any one time is limited though, and is defined by how many Tank Slots you have. Again, these can be purchased with Gold.

Aside from buying Gold, there are the usual bundles available too. Combinations of tanks, Slots, Gold, and Premium Accounts can be acquired at a discount price when purchased together.

Though this 'IAPs explained' box is quite large, don't let that put you off, as the free-to-play stuff is all quite reasonable. I've not once felt like I had to make a payment to continue enjoying the game, and since the gameplay is excellent, you won't mind grinding for currency.

There isn't an energy system either, so you can play for as long as you like.

Rest assured: this is free-to-play done well.
Your enemies are rarely stationary and your shells travel at a realistic velocity towards their target.

Combat is team-based, with seven players per side. You can form adhoc squads with your friends too.

Although there's a limited chat function during matches, you'll want to be communicating through Skype if you're really keen on dominating you opponents.

I'm certainly impressed with what I've seen so far. So much so that I can't wait to stop writing this first update and head back to the battlefield for some more.

Day 3: Never confuse a Pershing with a Dicker Max

I'm in deep with World of Tanks Blitz. My iPad has basically become a dedicated machine for playing the game.

The further you get into World of Tanks the more you start to appreciate its underlying subtleties.

Take my AT-1. It's slow and cumbersome, and can only fire in the direction it's facing because it doesn't have a moving turret.

You can try and use it in the same manner you would the lighter, more nimble MS-1. But zigzaging about the arena taking potshots will likely leave your tank a smouldering pile of scrap metal. At the very least you'll be ineffective.

So when I'm sat inside my AT-1 I choose a position I like, with a good view of the battle, and pick off anyone foolish enough to roll into my sight.

There are three tank classes, and an additional class reserved for the premium (i.e. paid) tanks. Each class has a different role to play in the battle, and figuring out what you should be doing is important.

Teamwork is essential. But while you can form Platoons with your friends to engage in sporadic multiplayer games, you can't form larger, more permanent clans. That's a disappointment, and I hope it's something Wargaming is working on for the near future.

There's a real feeling of ownership with each vehicle. That comes from the details on the different tanks, the amount of time you spend inside them, and the way you're always upgrading them and learning their intricacies.

When you earn enough experience to unlock the next tank and add it to your collection you'll want to take it out immediately to see how it differs from the rest of your armoury.

It's fair to say that things are looking very positive for World of Tanks Blitz as I head into my final few days with it.

Day 7: A1

Today is the day World of Tanks Blitz officially launches worldwide, and I find that I'm actually a little giddy at the thought of my buddies being able to join me in the game.

Social functionality is expanding slowly. I can now link my account with Facebook, and I assume that I'll eventually be able to pull pals in from there.

The few players that have added me as a friend will send little messages in the chat window every once in a while, and even if I'm not playing, I can pick them up when I next log in.

I feel I better understand the strategies for each map too. On the Mines stage, it's best not to rush towards the base immediately, but instead flank your opponents and pick off the stragglers.

Then when you're ready, charge for the base as a team and destroy anyone foolish enough to be out of cover.

When everything's going well, and you're thinking tactically and helping team mates out of binds, you build an unshakable camaraderie with the strangers on your team.

At the end of a bitter battle, when there's just you and two opponents left standing, World of Tanks Blitz is at its exhilarating best. This is a game that thrives on last minute heroics, and pulling victory from the jaws of defeat is a great feeling.

From the reliable and weighty physics to the impressive visuals, everything in World of Tanks Blitz feels polished and solid.

Throw in the sense of ownership each tank brings, the compulsive upgrade cycle, and the tactical nuance required at higher levels, and you're left with a tank battler that's hard to resist.

How are you getting on with the game? You can tell us and the rest of the PG community about your experiences by leaving a comment in the box below. Click here to learn about our free-to-play review policy.
World of Tanks Blitz
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 3 July 2014
World of Tanks Blitz offers some of the very best multiplayer you'll find for your mobile or tablet
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