If you've ever thought to yourself that it would pretty neat if World of Tanks came to mobiles and tablets, then it's safe to say you'd be in good company with the combined publishing might of Chillingo and Cool Fish Games. Iron Force is, to all intents and purposes, World of Tanks gone mobile.
For those new to both of these games, the combat is relatively simple. You take charge of a slow but powerful tank, head into one of a number of battlefields, and aim to take down your opponents before they can do the same to you. You can choose to take part in team-based combat or a tense free-for-all, and whoever emerges from battle with the most kills and the fewest deaths takes home the majority of the currency spoils.
Controls work reasonably well on touchscreens, although by their nature these are unwieldy vehicles to potter around each map in. Pushing hard backwards or forwards with the virtual joystick, while adding directional input, gets you moving around, while lighter use of the virtual joystick causes the turret alone to scroll around the screen so you can take in your next would-be target. Get those enemies in your sights and you begin the process of slowly whittling their health down, while avoiding fire from elsewhere. Overall the control system works, but it will take no small amount of practice to master.
In terms of monetizing this free to play game, it's safe to say that the developers have adopted the microtransaction model with a fair amount of gusto. There are permanent upgrades to be made using earned currency and IAP crystals, patterns and decals that provide only a temporary boost to your offensive and defensive capabilities, not to mention new and more powerful tanks. Even the fuel to play the game costs cash, unless you're prepared to wait out a timer. So while your early games are a genuine barrel of laughs, it's hard to shake that pay-to-win feeling in the long run.
That's not to say there isn't a lot to like about Iron Force. Traditional shooter fans will likely find the pace of gameplay a little too slow for their liking at first, but once you settle into the rhythm of things you'll understand that this is a very enjoyable game of cautious cat-and-mouse. It's just a shame those in-app purchases put such a dent in the game's otherwise very solid armor.
What's Hot:A solid tank battle game full of surprisingly tense strategy.
What's Not:Too heavy on the in-app purchases.