Bubble Tanks 3 Game

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About the Game

Hero Interactive released the newest installment to their Bubble Tanks series, Bubble Tanks 3 game in December 2010. The game is still based on the same basic premise as before: Shoot your way through enemy bubble tanks in your own bubble tank to ultimately end up dominating the entire Bubble universe. This game promises a lot of fun just like all the other Bubble Tanks games so far have done. Here are some of the main features:

Gameplay

To start with, there are no major changes in the actual gameplay. You start with the regular single-celled weak bubble tank, obliterate all your enemies and grow fat on the riches or bubbles that they leave behind once they die, literally. As you collect enough bubbles, your tank will grow to the next level where you can either select a pre-made tank choice or make your own tank altogether; and this editing capability is what makes Bubble Tank 3 so special. But more on this later.

The two key aspects of the gameplay are of course arena-style shooting-based combat and exploring different "bubblespheres". When you start the game, your playing radius is confined to one huge bubble, but when you escape this bubble you will automatically be carried to a separate bubble that is just as large. You move and explore by using the 'WASD' keys and you point and shoot by clicking on the left mouse button. The mini-map in the top-left corner of the screen keeps track of all your movements. As for collecting all of the remains of your dead enemies, you can either navigate over to the purple-colored leftover bubbles or just destroy every tank in the sphere to have them all come magically, or, if you prefer the scientific explanation, magnetically towards you.

Plenty of Upgrade Options to Satisfy the Most Bubble Hungry Gamer

As for the editing aspect of the game, the choice of upgrades is simply immense as well as immensely exciting too. As soon as you collect the number of bubbles required to go to the next level, the game shows up with a couple of gun upgrades as well as some pre-determined options that you can choose from. There are enough choices in this game to make you scratch your scalp raw as you think about what to get next. These choices are made even harder because you only have a limited number of gun points with which you can apply your upgrades, and although the gun points available increase after each level, so does the cost of the upgrades, so you just end up having an even greater loss in the "skin left on your head" department. Obviously because leaving you with gouges in your head at different points wouldn't be good, the game has three separate types of upgrades with there being a choice of primary weapons, secondary weapons and passive upgrades, meaning that you would be forced to remove your own scalp almost entirely if you played the game long enough.

The only negative point about this entire editing feature (apart from some minor bugs) is that you no longer get the satisfaction of seeing your bubble tank swell up in real-time as in the earlier versions because you end up with an already swollen tank when you start the next level instead of seeing it grow before your eyes. However, with the game being this engrossing, you're hardly likely to notice anything amiss. This also has the added effect of allowing you to notice yourself swelling due to the number of hours you will spend on playing the game, so it's not all bad.

Enemy Editing Software - Create The Perfect Bubble Specimen!

Next up you also have the enemy editing software, which you can access through the menu. This allows you to create your own versions of enemy tanks, which you can then upload to the game so that your creation can terrorize other people as well. Obviously this is contingent upon you being able to build a capable enemy tank, but what this does is allow the makers to keep changing and refreshing the game by adding in new types of tanks that the players themselves make. It is almost the perfect system to ensure that a game lasts for a long period of time without requiring much real work from the developers themselves. Apart from the periodic enemy tank additions, Hero Interactive also regularly add free upgrades as well as some that can sadly only be accessed through payment, but it's nothing that will break the game and the free updates more than make up for it.

Essentially, this game is a combination of the editing part of Bubble Tanks Arenas and the gameplay aspect of Bubble Tanks 1 and 2. It is an excellent combination that would be highly recommended if only the game didn't also seem to combine the loading times of the previous games and multiply them by five or something. This game lags a lot. A lot. It becomes progressively slower and slower because there might be a memory leak somewhere, although if you're really lucky a simple refresh will solve all issues. For the rest of us, the experience of this game is likely to be severely diluted by the slowness of the game and it might even come to be defined by it. If the issues get fixed this game is right up there with the best of them though.

Graphics and Audio

The graphics are nothing special, just polished yet simple with no unnecessary images in the background or anything like it. That probably does make them special in their own way though, as very few games manage to hold onto that equilibrium point between "got everything we needed, but who cares whether it looks good or not?" and "three more white mountains in the back are all we need!"

The audio is apparently very similar to the version that played in the two prequels to this game, but if you're one of the many who experienced lagging issues then you probably also had issues with garbled audio making you frantically search around for the mute button. Which, typically, doesn't seem to be there in the game.

Verdict

The playability of Bubble Tanks 3 is huge. You have constantly refreshing levels, a completely different game experience each time you play the game thanks to regular updates, and a hugely successful gameplay all combined in one terrific package. There really isn't a way to screw up that sort of a formula except of course if you also end up with a giant load of bugs in the game which make any actual progress painfully slow. All in all, if you're lucky enough to play this game when the bugs have been fixed, you have your daily fix of addictive bubble popping awesomeness right here.

If you finish Bubble Tanks 3 there are plenty of other Bubble games to play including Bubble Tanks TD, TD 2 and Bubble Tanks Arena. All three offer a variation on the normal three games and will come as a welcome break to the standard game play.