A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux

Buy Now$5.00 USD or more

Crank Tanks is a tank artillery game for the Playdate handheld game console. Featuring destructible terrain with falling dirt, a wide variety of ridiculously powerful weapons, a score-chasing Survival mode, custom games, hotseat multiplayer, bots, and even flying tanks, this is easily the best (even if by virtue of being the only) such artillery game for the Playdate.

Crank Tanks features:

  • 21 different weapons with varied effects
  • 2 kinds of shields
  • Jump jets
  • Teleporters
  • Air-dropped supply crates
  • Local high scores
  • Lots of scrolling maps complete with minimap
  • Six AI difficulty levels
  • Snarky enemies
  • A cool little tutorial
  • State of the art 1-bit graphics
  • Parallax scrolling
  • And much more!

And just listen to what people are saying about it:

"Is this your new game? It's so tiny! How can you even see this?"  - The author's mother

"I'm being quoted to introduce something, but I have no idea what it is and certainly don’t endorse it."  - Randall Munroe, author of XKCD

Updated 4 days ago
Published 29 days ago
PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux
Rated 4.7 out of 5 stars
(3 total ratings)
Tagsartillery, bombs, ishoot, Playdate, scorched-earth, Tanks, terrain
Average sessionAbout a half-hour
MultiplayerLocal multiplayer
Player count1 - 8


Buy Now$5.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $5 USD. You will get access to the following files:

CrankTanks-1.0.2.pdx.zip 34 MB

Development log


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Hey there, I just wanted to note that the pdx seems to be device-only

MacOS simulator says : “dlopen(/Users/ninovanhooff/temp/CrankTanks.pdx/pdex.dylib, 0x0006): tried: ‘/Users/ninovanhooff/temp/CrankTanks.pdx/pdex.dylib’ (mach-o file, but is an incompatible architecture (have (arm64), need (x86_64h)))”

Sorry, I had originally written that it worked in the simulator before it included native code. Now that it does, I'm not sure it's practical for me to try to include a native binary for every platform. I have removed the claim that it works in the simulator, and naturally if you purchased it specifically to play in the simulator, please request a refund.

Thanks to joeorlando and udenfox for their bug reports! Both of these issues should be fixed in the current version.

The game has been a blast! Really fun and well executed.  Just wanted to let you know that immediately after losing a round in Survival, it has crashed my playdate. I think it happened twice? Just to note!

Oh no! Can you do me a favor and send the errorlog.txt and/or crashlog.txt from the root of your Playdate's disk to ethan@ethannicholas.com? I will fix this ASAP.


Nice game! Really like it, but for me it just stuck after I finished 1 battle in Survival mode. I'm on the game screen where I can scroll and nothing more. Nothing happening and all I can do is start the Survival from the beginnig.

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Sorry to hear that; that's definitely not something I've seen before. Did it present a dialog indicating the round was over? Had you won or lost?

I'll see if I can figure out how to reproduce it on my end. In the meantime, if it happens to you again, it would be very helpful if you could send me the contents of the Data/com.ethannicholas.cranktanks directory from your Playdate.

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I won the round and I had dialog about it. After that another round is loaded, but I'm stuck. How can I send it to You? I havent start a new save after that, so I actually have the save in that state

You can send it to ethan@ethannicholas.com.

If you don't know how to get the data, reboot your Playdate into data disk mode (under Settings / System), connect it to your computer via USB, and it will be under the Playdate's Data folder.



Thanks! This is an enormous help - I can see exactly what has gone wrong and should be able to get a fix out very soon.