Trax

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North American box art.

Trax is a scrolling tank shooter developed and published by HAL Laboratory for the Game Boy on 1991-01-08 in Japan, and published by Electro Brain in the USA and UK later that year. It has a single-player story mode and a multiplayer competitive mode.

Personal

I never played this game when it was popular. Instead, I saw it on a list of the best Game Boy games and played it in an emulator. I found the game to be quite enjoyable, and feel it had real potential, but it ends far too soon. I've never played it in multi-player mode, so perhaps I'm missing out in that regard.

I do not own the game, but I beat it on 2017-11-26.

Review

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4 5 5 5 3

Best Version: Game Boy

— This section contains spoilers! —

Good

  • Scrolling shooters are usually so frustratingly difficult, I don't bother with them, but this one was enjoyable the whole way through.
  • The game has decent graphics and sound for a Game Boy game. Nothing amazing, but above average for the low-quality hardware. Hirohiko Takayama's music is quite fitting for the genre.
  • The animation, especially for the bosses, is cute and fun.
  • Movement is nicely responsive.
  • The weapon power-ups vary in style, and none of them are bad.

Bad

  • Games that require turret rotation, but lack a rotating joystick, are always difficult to maneuver, but this one is made even worse because you can only turn your turret clockwise. I know this is a limitation of the Game Boy's two-button controls, and they try to justify it in the manual, but it makes the game less-playable. This would probably be better made on the GBA.
  • The game is far too easy. I beat it the very first time I played it.
  • It would have been nice to allow the weapons to be upgraded to multiple levels.

Ugly

  • The game is far too short. There are only 4 levels, so you can beat it an about 15 minutes. Had I paid money for this I would have felt ripped off.

Media

Box Art

Documentation

Videos

Longplay.

Titles

Language Native Transliteration Translation
English Trax
Japanese 突撃!ポンコツタンク Totsugeki! Poncotsu Tank Charge! Junk Tank

Links

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