As far as sales pitches go, T-17 Tanky walks a fine, charming line between brutal honesty and comedy. The trailer bills it as a ‘High fidelity made up tank simulation! Ballistics! Locational damage! Melons! My first game! Immersive universe for up to 1 players! Everything looks like a polygon! Airplanes? Game of a year!’. And all that is completely true. And that’s exactly why you should be paying attention right now.
As you can see from the delightful teaser trailer above. T-17 Tanky is an odd bird, about even odder birds. Cute, round ones that hate evil rats and love watermelon, and seemingly are quite adept in the art of driving modern armored vehicles. The birds currently get an arsenal based around modern American hardware, while the rats get a variety of cold war-knockoff Russian army surplus, trading toughness and technology for numbers and tenacity.
Currently available in alpha-funded preorder form over at 8-Bit Funding, this bizarre hybrid of cartoon whimsy and gritty armored warfare simulation hopes to raise $1000 capital in order to develop into a game of persistent campaign-based land and air warfare with cute cartoon animals. If you put down $10 now, you’re promised access to development builds along the way, as well as the final product (which is estimated to be priced at around $30 when complete). I reckon I might just do that after playing a few rounds of the current pre-alpha test build.
While not a brutally realistic real high-end simulation, the sacrifices made in the name of accessibility feel logical. While the developer recommends a gamepad, you can play the game straight away with just your WSAD keys (throttle and steering), mouse to aim, LMB to fire, RMB to zoom, MMB to turn on rangefinder-aided elevation assistance, and your mousewheel to cycle weapon and ammo types. Despite the initial simplicity, armor is simulated quite well, with shells deflecting if they don’t have the power to penetrate, and systems damage taking its toll on vehicles over the course of a battle. There’s no campaign right now, although you can stage your own battles across several maps using all the vehicles in the current build, so there’s a fair amount of playtime to be found even in the current version.
It’s an unusual, fun and accessible take on the military simulation genre, and well worth a look. Try out the demo, and see whether it tickles your fancy. For a ‘My first game’ project, it’s already addictive, solid fun.