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For me Hexage is one of those developers that harkens back to the early days of the App Store and really the beginnings of iPhone gaming. I have spent many collective hours playing the likes of Totemo, Radiant, Radiant Defense, EVAC, Reaper… the list goes on. So I was delighted to see another new game from Hexage launch this week called Flying Tank, and even more delighted that this is yet another seriously good game from this developer.

This is a horizontal scrolling shooter that takes place in a post-apocalyptic setting where aliens have arrived on Earth and humanity decided to greet them peacefully. The massive aliens just kind of hung out in the sky doing their own thing, and humans just kind of kept doing their own thing as well. Slowly though, the aliens began consuming the planet’s resources and taking over, and since the humans lived alongside them for so long they weren’t really well-equipped to fight them off.

Their solution was to just… nuke the whole planet, basically. And let me tell you, that did NOT go as planned. The aliens still ruled supreme, humanity was almost completely wiped out in the process, and those humans who did survive have splintered off into various factions. You, with your fleet of flying tanks, are sort of a hired goon that blasts away aliens and humans alike across 24 different missions as you try to help reclaim Earth from the aliens.

Controllers are supported in Flying Tank, and the game plays just great with them, but this is also a game that was designed incredibly well for the touchscreen. Default controls have your ship–er, tank–following your finger, but relative touch is available in the options and it’s my preference. You fire your main gun by tapping the screen or holding down to rapid-fire, launch your special weapon with a swipe to the right, and drop a bomb by swiping down. Yes, there are ground enemies in addition to airborne ones. You also have another special ability, typically a shield, mapped to an upward swipe.

The result is an incredibly capable killing machine with complex weapons and defense abilities all mapped to easy to use tap and swipe gestures. It’s so much more fun having full control of your arsenal and being able to make strategic decisions on when and where to fire off your weapons or deploy a special ability, compared to lots of made-for-mobile shooters where your ship just auto-shoots and you just kind of guide it through the game. For lack of a better term this feels like a “real” shooter and not something dumbed down for the sake of the touchscreen.

The combat is a blast and there is no shortage of stuff to customize and upgrade your fleet of flying tanks with, and there are SO MANY awesome and unique weapons and enemies it really stands apart from other shooters. There is a ton of stuff to do in this game, but I’m also finding myself really enjoying the story side of things. Best of all is that Flying Tank is free to download and try with 8 missions available, and if you get through those and like what you see there’s a couple of different options for unlocking the full game depending on if you like extra goodies or not. Personally, I love extra goodies, so I bought the deluxe unlock, but it’s nice there’s a cheaper option too. If you like shooters and premium mobile game experiences you can’t really go wrong with Flying Tank.

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