If Battlezone and, say, Risk had a baby, it'd look a lot like Glitch Tank. Michael Brough's aggressively retro game turns your iPad into an 8-bit theater of sci-fi warfare.
Whether it's you vs. another human or fighting against an AI opponent, the basic mechanics are the same. Each player gets doled out three cards that let you perform specific actions, like moving or turning, shooting a laser or creating a drone tank. The screen gets more chaotic the deeper you get into the game, with clone tanks, mines and error code making for tripped-out visuals.
There's a unique sort of strategy that crops up while playing Glitch Tank. Sometimes, you'll just blow through movement cards just to wait for an attack option. But doing that can put you in a strategically compromised position. On the other hand, getting an action card that lets you go on the offensive can be frustrating because you'll need to decide whether to hold onto it while you try to get into a location where you can use it.
Glitch Tank also sports chiptune sound design that will ignite the nostalgia engines of anyone who grew up on the Atari 2600. But it operates on the kind of clever, up-to-date blueprint that really shows how far games have come since the wood-grained box launched a revolution across the world.
Glitch Tank [$1.99, iTunes]