Hey! You got your Dig-Dug in my tank game!
Did you ever see that gigantic machine that digs out gigantic, tunnel-shaped holes in the Earth? It’s got that gnarly cone on the front of it that looks like it will just eat your soul if you were to get within 100 feet of it. Imagine if that thing had tank treads, moved pretty quick and had guns on it. Do I have your attention yet? I’m guessing I do, but please, temper your excitement. The game I’m about to tell you about doesn’t really live up to that fantastic imagery.
Tunnelers is an online multiplayer-only action game where the players control tanks that have big ‘ol drills on the front of them that can burrow through land in the middle of the maps. You have your primary and secondary weapons and two slots for power ups that you can trigger when the time is right. Movement is mapped to WASD, aim freely with the mouse, and activate your power ups with Q or E. Three modes are available: Free For All, Team Deathmatch and Capture The Flag. As you play and do well, you’ll unlock better tanks and secondary weapons and …that’s.about it.
Which brings us to the main problem with Tunnelers: there’s not much to do, and what is there isn’t terribly unique or engaging. The whole catch behind this game is the ability to drill through portions of the maps, which is fine, but doesn’t necessarily add anything to the gameplay. Some of the maps don’t even have any area that you can drill! The game runs pretty well and looks fine enough, but it’s crying out for controller support. You’re essentially playing a twin stick shooter with a keyboard and mouse, and those don’t work very well. Your tank is stuck with only eight directions for movement, which feels somewhat primitive for modern games.
The other big problem is that there is almost no one playing this thing right now. It’s either that or whoever is playing isn’t around when I’m trying to get a game going. Multiplayer-only games kind of rely on other people being around to play with, and since there’s no bot option, the game absolutely needs to give players a reason to check it out. With it being free-to-play (with a “premium” account option for monies) there isn’t much excuse for people to not jump in.
I can’t say that I really enjoyed my time with Tunnelers. There are definitely better free-to-play options out there that are much more interesting, fun, and populated games. The thing that the developers think sets their game apart isn’t interesting or well-implemented, leaving just a shell of a multiplayer shooter with almost no variety. Of course, the great thing is that the game can grow and become something a little more fun – but they’d be wise to do that sooner than later.