One of the best Macintosh games ever made, Bolo delivers fierce tank combat for up to sixteen players. WinBolo is an excellent and faithful Windows port of the same. The great gameplay is intact and even enhanced with excellent AI players, and it's even compatible with LinBolo, the Linux version.
Here's a brief summary: WinBolo is a top-down tank battle game set on an island where the objective is to capture all the bases on the map. The game's high point is the wonderful combination of realism, strategy, reflexes, and above all, teamwork. You can lay mines, hide behind trees (which you can harvest!), capture pillboxes that provide automatic cover fire, and form alliances with other players. You can even pick up and relocate the pillboxes. To add to the game's complexity, tanks enter the game with limited shells and mines, so the first thing to do is to find a refuelling base to provide logistical support. Exploding mines will also set off any adjacent ones – so a long line of mines will all go off together in a chain reaction. If you don't want this to happen, you must lay mines in a checker-board pattern. Craters adjacent to the sea or a river will flood with water, so setting off a long line of mines leading to the sea will have the effect of creating an artificial river. Using this method, you can create a moat around your fortress. As well as slowing tanks down, water also damages any shells and mines carried by the tank, so any tank caught in your moat will soon be helpless. Roads and bridges, on the other hand, provide a mobility bonus. The complexity of WinBolo is nothing short of amazing, especially considering that the user interface is quite easy to learn (after memorizing a few keys).
What makes WinBolo a truly classic (and unique) network game is the outstanding range of multiplayer options. For example, pillboxes will shoot at any tank other than yours, so to tell it not to shoot your friends, you must declare a formal alliance. This requires another player's consent, of course, and you must break an existing alliance to join a new one. Members of an alliance can also see each other's mines (only those lain after the alliance was formed, though). Soon after you learn the ropes and join a sixteen-player game, you will be drawn into the hectic, fantastically dynamic world of WinBolo. Before long, you will realize that it's 2 AM and that your phone company will have another happy month ;)
If you like tank combat games or even action games in general, WinBolo is a must-have. Although you can download the game for free, be sure to register it game to show how much you appreciate it – for $25, you will be supporting the shareware community as well as encouraging WinBolo author John Morrison to continue his excellent work. A must-have!
Reviewed by: Underdogs