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10.24.2000: Squonkamatic - Q2 SP: "Tanker"
The name "Tanker" conjured up an image of a huge murky boat of death ... instead we get this.

Author: Warren Wyszomirski
Reviewed By: Squonkamatic

Game Mode Supported: SP
Overuse of Colored Lighting: Nope.

Spelling Errors in Text File: Yes. 

Pain Level: Removing your pubic hair with duct tape.

Download Here (40k)



WOW -- that's game level design for ya ... I wonder what the missing texture looks like.

AT A GLANCE: There is a funny little Quake 2 SP level called "Small Arena" that proves that a stupid 1-2 room map can actually be an engaging undertaking. One is presented with a series of ever more difficult monsters to kill inside of this big box with just enough ammo and health provided, and it is so ingeniously done that one feels a genuine sense of accomplishment after "beating it", even though one really hasn't done anything except shoot monsters inside of a big box.

"Tanker" is by comparison a great example of a stupid, unplayable, regrettable "1 roomer" that brought to mind the frustration of trying to have sex with a cold, rainy wind blowing on my back. Kudos to alert reader Gossieaux for pointing me in the direction of the author's aptly named website, SmileyGames, where other such monstrosities await your drive (my favorite is their Quake 1 "Van Down By The River" map, true classic of inept Q1 level design that I remember laughing at from the old days).

DESCRIPTION: This one's a winner!! I like seeing map authors spending time with their info text and providing interested players with a window into their madness... but this time I think we get to see a bit too much:

This is a short single player map, with 1 enemie. Guess which one? The Tank! 1 Secret area with the weapon of choice for killing a Tank, a Rocket Launcher! Only expert players apply to this level. No cheating!

Don't worry, I won't cheat. As a matter of fact, I'll never even play the map ever again unless someone puts a gun to my head and commands me to play or die. Even more info text fun awaits us as Warren states:

All the new custome textures and graphics featured in Tanker are all created by Warren Wyszomirski.

Ahh yes, that would be the missing textures noted in the load routine. But the topper are the following statements:

Known Bugs : Only problem with the map is that there are 12 tanks in lines, so this is an extremely hard map, and only expert players should play. Build Time : Haha. Only about an 30 mins. Its a really short map. Its just a conversion of Zomblor for Quake II.

Yes, it took him longer to write the info text than it did to make the level, a true sign of some mindless fuck getting his hands on QuArK. Sad. And I wonder what "expert players" he is referring to. Anyone competent enough at Quake to even crouch and shoot at the same time will quickly delete this waste of space and go clean their bathroom for kicks instead.

THE MAP: We start off inside of a box looking at a spout of water texture draining into a large bathtub carved into the floor of an even bigger box. Lined up on either side of the bathtub are an even dozen Tank monsters (hence the name of the map) facing out... and nothing else. The only thing to do is to tiptoe forward and hop into the bathtub, upon which the Tanks all come to life with this massive croaking sound magnified by 12 times. At the bottom of the pool are five rocket packs, and swimming through the hardly secretive bunghole stuck in the wall leads to a little "cave room" with three or four more packs plus the Rocket Launcher itself.
Putting on on Blue Oyster Cult's "Godzilla" and watching these guys stomp around was highly entertaining. Other than that, fuck this level.

And that is it. No health, no armor, no faggy power shields or invulnerability or even a stinking Quad. It's you, sixty rockets, a bucket of neon blue water and twelve Tanks. I figure that's exactly five rockets per Tank monster, which may be just enough to kill them all provided you: a) can manage to hit each Tank selectively with each of its five allotted rockets while you bob round in the tank, and b) not miss ever. But the problem is that as soon as you swim back into the main box/room they all mow you down with their Machine Guns before you can start targeting the individual Tanks. Remember if you miss any of them even once you won't clear the map and there is NO HEALTH, so every round you take from them counts. I managed to make it out of the pool once before being reduced to a pile of pulp, but fuck the idea of even being able to play the map - there is no fucking point to it, there is no way to beat it, there isn't even a goddamn exit that I can see to get the fuck out of it. I am angered that someone has the nerve to release such a map when I can't even get my hands on an editor (thanks Mr. Jobs) and have to use Tex-Edit Plus and guess blindly where the shit is going.

GAMEPLAY: Ridiculous. Bobbing in a bathtub while a dozen Tanks shred you and then pound on the floor. Repeat until brain dead. Fuck that.

FUN FACTOR: After being killed and sitting there watching the Tanks stomp around and pound on the floor, I was hit by the sudden inspiration to crank up Blue Oyster Cult's classic "Godzilla" and howl with laughter as they did their little dance. Whether or not that can be thought of as "fun" is probably related to how much Windex you have snorted.

THE BOTTOM LINE: If you can beat this map I honestly don't want to fucking hear about it; I've gotten too much mail from people congratulating me on my "creative" use of punctuation to read about your stupid game. And yet I know that there are those of you that will play this map and find it engaging and will want to share your enthusiasm. My only word of advice is that you seek help now and leave me the hell alone.

- Squonkamatic for the People!!

Category: Rating:
Aesthetics: - 6
Gameplay: - 10
Item placement: - 6
Layout: - 9
Detail: - 10
TOTAL: - 41

Individual ratings go from 0 (bearable) to -10 (painfully terrible). Total score goes from 0 (ok) to -50 (the worst piece of shit you'll ever play).

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