Bubble Tanks Arena Game

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Tanks to the Double in Bubble Tanks Arena

Prior to the release of Bubble Tanks 3, Hero Interactive released Bubble Tanks Arenas in June 2010. This game was originally released so that the developers could check out some of the features they planned to put in Bubble Tanks 3 in a proper game environment, but they eventually designated it as a derivative of the Bubble Tanks series itself. Therefore, the game is supposed to be just as enjoyable as the rest of the games in this series so far. Here are some of the primary features of this new game:


First things first, the premise of bubble arena is the same as earlier. You still start off with a single bubble tank that you use to kill other similar bubble tanks using your bubble-sized bullets so that you can collect the bubbles that they leave behind to regain life force as well as evolve into bigger-sized bubble tanks. And if that wasn't enough to give all the bubbles in any fizzy drink a run for their money in the "who or what is bubblier?" competition, the entire action takes place in a bubble-like sphere such that you have to wipe out all of the enemy bubble tanks in one before you move on to the next one.

The controls remain the same too. You navigate your own bubble tank using the 'WASD' keys and fire using your cursor and the left mouse button. If you aren't entirely comfortable with those controls then you can always go to the settings menu to change the keyboard settings according to your preferences. The actual combat aspect remains unchanged too, with the same "run rings around your enemies by running in circles around them" mantra working just as well and in fact better than ever before for this game.

The difference lies in the editing scenarios that this game presents. Almost everything can be edited, including your own tank, the enemies' tanks and even the arenas in which you play the game. Complete functionality of all these options needs to be unlocked though, which is done automatically as you progress through the game. You get bubble points and gun points per level which you are allowed to spend on the upgrades that become available through the game, and objects like new gun types keep unlocking all the time to keep you rooted to the bubble arena game.

Any new stuff that you design can be uploaded to the game provided it is good enough, so, if for instance you make a badass enemy tank and upload it to the game, chances are your tank will be slaughtering some other hapless player a little way down the road. With the developers also pledging to add new arenas to the game regularly, the gameplay experience will rarely be the same as the game keeps getting updated regularly with new user-created as well as developer content to ramp up the challenge provided by the game.

That is where the bubble arena game falters, however. This game doesn't provide much of a challenge to anyone who's played any of the Bubble Tanks games before, and even for first-timers it isn't too hard to master the game. Since there aren't any particularly hard levels, instead of a walkthrough for one of them a simple strategy would suffice to get past the levels easily. And the strategy is this: You can get to pretty much wherever you want to go with a single-celled tank with a good single gun and some shields. All you need to do is keep skimming the edges of the bubble and fire randomly into the center while dodging enemy bullets. Dodging the enemy shots is as hard as dodging a turtle which is crawling at full pelt towards you (that is, not hard at all) and if you fire enough shots into the center you will eventually get all of your enemies. Using only a single gun will ensure that you're always fast enough to dodge as well as strafe around opponents easily. When you do come up against what seem to be vampires after around level 17, acquiring the Spread-5 cannon will be useful as they can make mincemeat out of the suckers (literally). If you're fast enough with the strafing you likely won't even lose any lives until very late on in the game, it's that easy.

The fact that in bubble arena you can't move to another bubble unless you finish the current one severely limits this game compared to the free-form character of the other games in this series. Plus, the upgrades are way stronger than the level of the opponents while the already available tank choices tend to be very weak. As regards the creativity-in-editing aspect, as mentioned above, the lighter tanks will get you through most situations, so you never have a reason to go beyond the basic small tanks as long as they have a powerful gun.

Graphics and Audio

Red and gold makes for a royal color combination indeed. While the actual graphics remain much the same as earlier games, the coloring makes the game look really classy and more importantly, some of the tanks look very good indeed. Different colors for your bullets, the enemy's bullets and the life bubbles is a very nice touch too.

The audio is quite beautiful. It is non-intrusive and serene with some beats added in when the editing screen shows up to make the music even better. Thanks to the lack of disturbance from the in-game music you won't have to worry about muting or anything. This is quite a blessing because the last thing you need when you spend 10 minutes on a trivial level just because the game won't allow you to escape is a jarring music track that's attempting to be catchy. The developers certainly got this part of the game perfectly.


It would be best to look upon this game as a great sign of things to come from Hero Interactive instead of looking at it as a stand-alone. As a stand-alone, this game needs a lot of fixing despite all the potential and innovations, with the difficulty level being the biggest of those issues. If you focus on the potential alone though, the picture is much brighter. Mixing in all of these aspects with a game like Bubble Tanks 2 could be one of the best things to happen to flash-based gaming in a long time. All in all, this game certainly has its issues, but if you fancy yourself as a designer, bubble arena won't disappoint you.