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Ariolasoft UK Ltd
Arcade: Action
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Rachael Smith
Chris Bourne

I'd like to say tanks for the memory but I can't remember if I've seen this in the arcades or not. It's not the sort of game I'd give my ROM 'ell for, but even if wandering round labyrinthine streets isn't totally a-maze-ing there could be enough nasty shocks to scare the panz off you.

A tank game written by those wacky persons The RamJam Corporation, best known for Valkyrie 17, would hardly be expected to clone Tank Battle. No namby pamby 3D graphics or planet surface shoot 'em ups for RamJam. Instead a bird's eye view of the holiday island of Panzadrome where happy little two tracks go to blast the scenery, each other... and just about everything else.

Gunning for a good time you take your Panza out for a spin but compared with the beach bullies you're a mere pansy - a veritable C5 of a vehicle. Still, the island is well equipped with garages just waiting to re-equip you with mortars, mines, mend your shields and replenish your Polycrete, a building material made from dead parrots and used to repair road damage.

Actually procuring the Polycrete is your first aim because until then any enemies you wreck in narrow streets leave uncrossable craters. Run into one at either end of the alley and you're a sitting panther for the dreaded red tanks whose mortars'll make you just another brick in the wall. Never mined (yes, you'll need to collect those too, to leave your own calling cards) if you get to grow up into a big tank you too can hurl shells long range instead of only packing a punch in the clinches. Meanwhile your scanner warns you of impending encounters with the exploding cow pats.

That's not to mention the automatic gun towers, so I won't. After all, if you knew about them it may put you off mapping Panzadrome, and until you've done that and found your first garage your game of hide and seek through the narrow streets is distinctly nervy. It's a novel variation on maze games with some simple but neat graphics and lots of destroy.