Desert Thunder is an arcade-style action tank game for the PC. Ripped from today’s headlines, the storyline immerses players into the heat of a desert-based military conflict. Players will tear through desert, urban and industrial settings in their experimental battle engine, the Abrams M1A6 Advanced tank that’s loaded with awe-inspiring...
User reviews:
Mostly Negative (77 reviews) - 35% of the 77 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 19, 2003

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About This Game

Desert Thunder is an arcade-style action tank game for the PC. Ripped from today’s headlines, the storyline immerses players into the heat of a desert-based military conflict. Players will tear through desert, urban and industrial settings in their experimental battle engine, the Abrams M1A6 Advanced tank that’s loaded with awe-inspiring devastating weapons and armored to near indestructibility. You are the commander of a top secret M1A6 experimental tank division in the Armor Task Force. Your mission was to lead the northern front of Operation Desert Thunder, a secret military operation to overthrow a terrorist faction that has taken control of a peaceful Middle Eastern country. Your mission has been compromised, your small battalion devastated. Left with no alternative, you must complete your mission to reach the capital city and rendezvous with allied forces.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
    • Processor: Pentium III/750 MHz
    • Memory: 128 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 32 MB DirectX 8 compatible video accelerator
    • OS: Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
    • Processor: PIII/1.4 GHz
    • Memory: 256 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 64 MB DirectX 8 compatible video accelerator
Customer reviews
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Mostly Negative (77 reviews)
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32 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 24
Easy and simple game, you only loose if controls mess up for you or game crash. I have to give thumb down because price is too high for this bug game!
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
203 of 227 people (89%) found this review helpful
157 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: June 11, 2014
Touched a tree, it exploded. Touched a rock, it exploded. Touched a person, he did not explode. Game needs to be more consistent with its explosions.
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151 of 188 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 20, 2014
The controls are horribly laggy, especially if you're trying to use a mouse. There's no option to invert the mouse, by the way, and the top end resolution on the game well below what a modern monitor can use. All in all, it feels (and looks) like a PS2-era game. It certainly isn't worth more than a dollar, tops, although some modding could help.
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22 of 27 people (81%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 28, 2014
The only interesting thing in this game is the hotdog trucks. I blew them up. I may not have the right to speak since I haven't completed the game fully yet but i have 2 hours into the game with 3 more levels to go. Jeez thats a 3 hour game. But the length of the game is good considering you will not want to play any more after the first hour. The fun moments are there when you blow stuff up with some new tank shells/bullets but besides that and a couple of new enemies this game lacks gameplay variety. One tank and 8 boring levels with some fun moments to be had. 2 of those levels are 20 minute survival missions that rot your brain cells with the same respawning enemies for 20 minutes. Its short 3 hours and a boring 3 hours. Its a good thing I got this game for free. "10/10 Its ok. Needs more hotdog trucks." For more on Desert Thunder stay tuned on IGN.
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67 of 109 people (61%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 22, 2014
It is ♥♥♥♥ and short
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18 of 23 people (78%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
4.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 29, 2014
Budget tank game from 11 years ago. Get what you expect. 5/10.
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26 of 38 people (68%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 15, 2014
Only 8 missions, and I took 8 minutes on the first - do the math. Realism? Look elsewhere; straight arcade action. AI - not particularly smart. UT2003 under the hood, and yet no multiplayer. I feel like throwing up... barf... guess I did. Bargain bin material. Fetish for explosions? Get it.
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17 of 22 people (77%) found this review helpful
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: April 14, 2015
This is a very simple and arcade like tank game. Think of a modern version of BattleZone from the 80's.

Easy to learn and pretty easy to win. There are some spots where you cannot just charge in, but that's a good thing. The bad thing are the soldiers. They are a little too powerful, arguably harder to kill than the tanks at times since they are tiny and can hit as hard as the tanks do.

I got this in a bundle, and as usual for my reviews, that is the price point for my recommending it. It's $10 at full price and that is way too high. Get it for $1-2 or less.

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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 26, 2015
In Desert Thunder you control an experimental tank and are asked to single-handedly liberate a country from a terrorist threat: you do so by basically blowing up everything as you move through levels.
The result is sadly a very arcadey game with dull gameplay, awkward controls and little variety.


-can be mildly fun for the first minutes

-considering its age the game had a decent amount of destructible objects

-shells have bullet drop

-the voice acting isn't too bad


-extremely repetitive gameplay gets dull fast

-forgettable soundtrack

-barebones, cliched story

-the tank controls awkwardly

-problematic camera

-poor AI

-meager enemy variety

-quite a bit of clipping

Desert Thunder is a one-trick pony with a pretty lousy trick: it asks you to stay interested for the two hours it takes to beat it by simply throwing wave after wave of enemies and hoping you'll be happy with all the resulting explosions. Don't expect any tactics, deep gameplay or interesting missions: what you see in the first minutes is all you get: now, this'd be good for some if the gameplay was at least decent but sadly it has a plethora of problems.

For starters the tank controls very badly as it slides around, has no traction, an huge turning circle and will stop abruptly if you hit a small slope or a wooden sign: its turret also can't rotate 360 degrees making it difficult to properly engage enemies behind you. The awkward controls are paired with sections where you need to zigzag between mines or ostacles (sometimes under fire) and this gets annoying fast. The camera also moves jerkily whenever you hit something of a different height and this can get either confusing or downright nausea inducing.

Pair the aforementioned problems with a lack of enemy variety- all sporting a braindead AI- and extremely repetitive missions and you'll easily see how Desert Thunder is a dull, forgettable experience that you can safely skip.
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13 of 17 people (76%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: May 25, 2015
Possibly the most terrible tank driver game I've yet played. And yet, it's weirdly enchanting in its terribleness.

So the weird thing about it is the fact that it kind of works well, but at the same time, really doesn't. The graphical quality is reminiscent of the Playstation era, and the control handling is fraught with override problems. The handling is made worse by mines that you can't shoot, but that you can see clearly, hill climbing that somehow works sometimes and not others on much less steep hills, troops that shoot a neverending barrage of rockets at you, but are ridiculously difficult to hit, enemy tank AI that oftentimes just plain doesn't work at all, and resolution choices that don't work with 16:9 displays. Sufficed to say, this game is kind of terrible. Something kept me playing it through two levels, but that's time I'd really like to get back somehow.
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Recently Posted
0.1 hrs
Posted: October 8
The mouse gets spasms in game. Gameplay ways it's boring, graphically meh.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.5 hrs
Posted: September 18
Driving into mines thinking you're invincible but you died before you relise there was a health bar simulator 2016

360/420 would accidentally kill myself again
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mongoloid Mike
0.2 hrs
Posted: September 5
Complete garbage
Helpful? Yes No Funny
MrSpooctre 🎃
11.6 hrs
Posted: September 2
Desert Thunder

First Of All What The F*** Is This?

Spectre's Stats Corner (As Of 02/09/16)
All Time Peak (Of Players): 10
Released: 19 November 2003
L/D Ratio: 33%/67%
Amount Of Ppl Who Own: 107,790


o Destructable Enviroment (Good For a 2003 Game)
o Fun For The First Few Minutes
o Voice Acting Is Pretty Good
o Has Hotdog Trucks (For Some Reason!?!)


o Repetitive Gameplay
o AI Has No Idea What Its Doing
o Quite A Bit Of Clipping
o Feels Like a Mobile Port
o Handles Like a Mobile Port
o Lack Of Tank Variety

Accidently Reviewed
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Steam Group: AccidentlyReviewed
Reviewer: MrSpectre
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.3 hrs
Posted: August 30
it ripped off ut2004 sounds

why couldn't it rip off any of the good stuff in ut2004

like, say, fun
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.7 hrs
Posted: August 3
Thought it was a challenge aiming at little troopers with "sniper" rockets that move faster than the enemy tanks do... once in a while let my guard down enough to be hit by an actual enemy tank. Didn't know how to clear mines, so just carefully drove to avoid them, but some cases I just decided to get hit by one rather than try to squeeze between 2-3.

Decided to go as far as I can, as fast as I can, playing it sort of like a light/cheap MechWarrior style game. it wasn't until mission 3, where I had to survive for 20 minutes, that I finally became frustrated. The airstrikes that do 50% of your tanks hp came every 2-3 minutes... didn't want to have to keep starting over and rage-deleted the game then.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Donald Trump
3.1 hrs
Posted: July 21
Desert Thunder Review - Rating: 3.2/10

General Impression
Desert Thunder has potential for being a decent game, but due to a lot of issues, I simply can’t recommend it. The graphics and the textures are decent, hence for 2003 they are pretty nice. The atmosphere is OK as well, probably a bit too large for some users, but I like large environments. You have to move your tank across an unspecified way (wherever you want), to reach the final destination. Throughout the way, you will find soldiers, tanks, mines, rocket launchers, etc. The audio is decent, hence the music is pretty bad. The gameplay is boring, all you have to do is literally to fire in the enemies and to shoot in the tanks… also, did I tell you that a small plank can stop your entire tank? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯… also, why in the love of Jesus would a tower drop literally from the first shot? This game is completely unrealistic. The story is boring… in the end it says that you won the battle and overall its dull. The user interface is well-optimized, with no bugs and a decent design. However, the menu is very poorly fitted up. There should be more options. The controls are not that great either. The engines… are not the best part…. Why? Well, the artificial intelligence is pretty damn bad. Then, the game itself feels a little buggy. The mechanics are also unrealistic, why wouldn’t an M4A1 move to 360 degrees, like in reality? The camera of the mechanics are also clunky. Overall, this game is nowhere to a pretty nice game, which is a short game, outdated from many points of view, and has a low variability of things. The price tag is nowhere close to 9.99$.

Positive Points
  • Decent graphics and textures
  • Combined environments
  • Many destructible things
  • Relatively nice audio
  • A relatively nice voice acting
  • Some decent engines
  • Some decent mechanics

Neutral Points
  • A multiplayer and a CO-OP feature would be amazing feature
  • Steam achievements and trading cards would improve the game
  • A more complex menu would improve the user interface a lot

Negative Points
  • All you have to do is to drive the tank and shoot other tanks
  • It is way too short for the price tag, being the main reason I am not going to recommend it
  • The game feels a little buggy to be honest
  • Everything gets destroyed too easy
  • The picking of the bonus item feels kind of weird
  • The tank controls a bit awkwardly
  • The music is not that good
  • The artificial intelligence is nowhere close to perfect
  • Low enemy variability
  • A pretty problematic camera
  • A dull story
  • The turret doesn’t even rotate at 360 degrees
  • The entire tank stops even if you hit a small plank, really?
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.9 hrs
Posted: July 12
Product received for free
this game is most likely the worst ♥♥♥♥ing game you can get on steam, no where near worth $10 not even $0.99 why is it bad you might ask? well....

the visuals are very outdated

the gameplay is BORING as all hell (drive here shoot that, drive here shoot this, rense and repeat)

missions are very repetitive (again drive here shoot there, drive there shoot here)

the tank doesn't even look like a tank, looks like a box with tracks that don't even work right

difficulty is all over the place and not balanced at all, some areas are easy and some are just annoying (in the same mission most of the time)

the resolution doesn't even support a modern monitor

lets just put it this way, i got the game FREE and i feel robbed.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
0.5 hrs
Posted: July 9
Product received for free
It's just like Battlefield 1 with tank only mode!
Also this game proves that the earth isn't a sphere, it's flat. I fell off the edge of the world.

10/10 Would fall again.
Helpful? Yes No Funny