Pocket Tanks is a game with simple graphics and turn-based game play which looks like it might have come from 10 years ago. There's no amazing hardware accelerated graphics, no realistic sound, no realtime gameplay. Despite this, the game is very addictive, and involves a lot of strategy and skill to play well.
Basically, it is a variation on the old artillery game where two players shoot at each other by entering the elevation of the gun and the strength of the charge. Each time you hit the opposition you get points (depending on the nature of the weapon). Usually there is a mountain of some sort between the players just to make things more challenging.
The difference with Pocket Tanks is the extra weapons (30 in the basic version, 60 in the deluxe version), the ability to move, and various other tricks such as burying the opposition in mud.
Above you can see a tank being bombarded with various weapons. Left is an attack from a tommy gun which fires a whole bunch of shells across in a narrow arc. In the middle is colour bomb. This explodes above the enemy and drops a lot of coloured bombs on them. Finally is flash blast which explodes and disorients the enemy tank.
On the left, above, you can see a fire bolt about to drop on a tank and "cook" it. Next is an attack from a laser battery which sweeps around the tank, digging away at the ground as well. Finally is the result of the dastardly attack of a mud pie. This buries the enemy tank in mud!
Before the shooting starts each side gets to choose their weapons from a selection. The players take turns and the weapon you choose usually depends on the opposition's choice. For example, if my opposition chooses mud pie, I might choose well digger so I can dig my way out. Or I might choose a direct attack weapon like laser and a mobility type "weapon" like jump jets so I can get close enough to use it. There's a lot of strategy in outwitting your opponent at this point, before the shooting even starts.
When the game is under way there are a lot of strategies available as well. Firing your best weapon, such as cannonball, to do maximum damage, then burying the enemy in a mud pie so he can't shoot back often works. Another cunning trick is to hit the opposition with a crater maker or something so he is at the bottom of a hole, then throw some napalm in to the hole - ouch!
Don't let the simple apparence of this game put you off. Playing against another player and employing all sorts of subtle strategies and bluffs is really fun, so give it a try!