Since 3DO's current existence seems tied up in war games such as BattleTanx and Army Men, it is no surprise that both games would end up on Nintendo's Game Boy Color. Whereas Army Men delivered mission-style gameplay and strategy elements, 3DO's BattleTanx takes a more straightforward approach. Indeed, if you're the type of person into vicarious violence and copious amounts of destruction, BattleTanx may interest you.
Make no mistake: BattleTanx's gameplay isn't the most complex in the world. The A button pushes your 20-ton behemoth forward, while B launches whatever weapon you happen to be packing at the time. With the exception of having to aim your cannon, destruction is a one-button affair. Navigate mazelike courses, blow up a few obstructions, and make it to the checkpoint - that's the game in a nutshell. Whether you choose to go through San Francisco, Washington DC, Las Vegas, or Los Angeles, traversing the game's 15 levels isn't exactly a difficult endeavor. Even casual gamers will have no problem beating this game on its hardest difficulty within the first day.
Graphically speaking, BattleTanx is about as visually diverse as a still-life painting. Explosions are minimal, the buildings are repetitious, and enemy tanks lack variety. In fact, there are only five tanks throughout the entire game, and you'll witness them all within the first two levels. Still, the graphics get the job done, and there's no trace of slowdown, dropout, or other detrimental nuances inherent to 8-bit gaming. BattleTanx's sound comes across similarly - minimal but effective. The music is fitting without being repetitive, while explosions are adequate and firing effects passable. Unlike Army Men, which featured digitized voice snippets and a variety of sound effects, BattleTanx is strictly a Spartan affair when it comes to multimedia features.
Regardless of the game's average presentation, it's the lack of a link-cable feature coupled with utterly simple single-player missions that ultimately proves to be BattleTanx's undoing. Though it's fun while it lasts, once the game is over, it's pretty much over. Other than to experience occasional fits of destruction, there's really no reason to replay the game once you've beaten it.