Jan. 24, 2001
FAT MESSIAH GAMES TO RELEASE REVISED VERSION OF GAMESMITHS' ROBOTANKS
Arrange your cards in a simple program for your squad of tanks and prepare to blow up your enemies, but be careful you don't blow yourself up by accident.
Fat Messiah Games will soon roll out the second edition of Robotanks, originally released in 1992 by Gamesmiths, Inc. "It's a simulated computer tank combat game," said game designer Jeff Siadek. "You program the tanks and they follow your instructions. But if you screw up the program they might wind up doing something nasty."
Neal Sofge, FMG's Super Genius, describes Robotanks as being an ever-evolving puzzle you're trying to solve. "You have to figure out how to make the tanks do what you want them to do with the cards that you have," he said. "You have to remember what the robots were programmed to do and keep track of what's going on, if not you'll shoot your own tanks by mistake or worse."
Siadek said that the original rules suffered from significant errata because the cards were printed before they had finished playtesting. Sofge intends for the rules in the new version of Robotanks to more closely match the cards and reduce confusion during play. According to Siadek, "Neal is just going back to a more purist interpretation of the original rules."
Siadek, 36, of Los Angeles, said Robotanks is one of his favorites among those that he has designed and developed. "Little did I know that at almost the exact same time, Richard Garfield was developing RoboRally for Wizards of the Coast," said Siadek. "Though there's parallels between the two games, they're very different." Sofge points out that "Robotanks has more strategy and less slapstick. There are no environmental hazards other than your opponents, and you have four tanks which keep looping your orders until you reprogram them."
While Robotanks doesn't quite fit into the rest of the FMG line, Sofge said it's a target of opportunity and that the company has the resources to re-release the game now. "It's just a good game and we can get it out there again so people can play it," he said. "So that's what we're going to do."
Robotanks is designed for two to four players; the retail price will be $14.95. The game is expected to ship in April 2001.
Fat Messiah Games, based in Los Angeles, Calif., has been producing unique fantasy and science fiction adventure games since 1991. FMG products feature tactical richness, innovative mechanics, and high playability.