3D tank battle games date back to Atari Battlezone in 1980 and that original game was a classic. Iron Force for the iPad, iPhone and Android devices is even more exciting. If you like this type of game it is definitely one to add to your collection.

Iron Force from Chillingo looks superb on the iPad with its retina graphics and it takes just seconds to enter a battle. It takes place in one of several locations and you start in a desert, but as you progress and get better at the game, new locations become available.

They are all have the same format though and you are placed in a small space enclosed by walls, such as a desert camp, a city centre and so on. There are several buildings in the battle arena, but there is no way out.

You and about half a dozen other players all start together and battle for just a few minutes. The aim is straightforward and you must find the others and blast them to bits with your gun, while they are doing the same to you. If you get blown up, you reappear after a 10 second wait and continue the battle.

Iron Force for iPad

Points are awards for kills and a pile of cash or some other useful object is left in place of the destroyed tank, which you can run over to collect, if you get there before someone else’s tank. You can steal other players’ rewards.

The battle ends after a couple of minutes and there is a table that ranks the players by score and kills.

Although a battle is short, it is fast and there isn’t a second to spare. If you keep still then you are an easy target for someone else, so you have to drive around the area trying to keep out of other people’s sight while trying to get them in your own sights and blast them. A zoom button is a telescopic view and it enables you to target distant tanks.

Iron Force tank battle

Supplies arrive by parachute and there is a health pack, which is handy if you have taken a few hits. There are landmines that you can pick up and drop, perhaps if someone is chasing you. Nitro boosts the power of the tank’s engine for a few seconds, which is handy for getting away from someone. Extra powerful ammunition can be picked up and these deal more damage.

You can play only while there is fuel in the tank and each battle consumes a little fuel. If you constantly enter one battle after another the fuel will run out and you must wait for the tank to be refuelled. This is automatic and it gradually fills over time. It is a way of making you take a rest, or perhaps giving others a rest from the expert tank commanders.

Diamonds and cash are the rewards for kills in battles (you can buy them with real money too), and once you have earned some you can head for the armoury and buy upgrades for your tank. There turrets and barrels that provide increased firepower, armour that reduces the damage from being hit, engines that are more powerful and faster, and better tracks.

Iron Force for iPad

A small upgrade might take a minute, but bigger upgrades take several hours. While you are waiting for an upgrade to complete, you can enter a few more battles, then return to the armoury when it is ready to fit to your tank.

Bigger and better tanks are available in the garage, but they are much more expensive than upgrades. You need to take part in more battles and gain kills to afford them, or buy them with real money.

A statistics screen shows your level, total battles, shot accuracy, deaths, kills, shots fired, distance driven and so on. You can view other people’s statistics too.

There are legions you can join and you can battle as part of the legion or on your own. Events, battles, take place and you can join in. You can view your legion members and check out their statistics, and there is a legion chat panel that can be opened at the side of the screen. There is also global chat for everyone.

Iron Force app

Progress without paying anything is slow, but possible. If you are impatient and want to progress faster there are in-app purchases to buy upgrades, tanks and speed ups. You can buy your way to a superior position if you choose to. That is typical of games these days and it is your choice whether you play for free or pay.

Remember that a small purchase rewards the developers for creating a great game, so it is a good idea to at least buy something.

Iron Force is very entertaining and although the battles are all very similar, a group of tanks in a small arena battling each other, it is challenging. You will get shot to pieces at first, but with a bit of cash for upgrades and some practice, you will get better.

Iron Force tanks

Tactics are important too, like hiding in alleyways, sneaking around corners, shooting on the move, accurate targeting and so on. Occasionally there are tank bots and they trundle around doing little, but mostly you are battling real people from around the world and they have a range of abilities.

I played the game on an iPad, but it is also available for the iPhone and Android phones and tablets. The graphics are excellent and the sound effects are appropriate with booms, bangs and explosions.

Iron Force is recommended for anyone that likes quick tank battles.

Title: Iron Force 
Price: Free~
Developer: Chillingo
Size: 75 MB
Version: 1.9.2
Verdict: Exciting and entertaining 3D tank battles.