''Scorched Earth'' is a popular shareware ArtilleryGame, originally written by Wendell Hicken using Borland C++ and Turbo Assembler, in which tanks do turn-based battle in [[SideView two-dimensional]] terrain, with each player adjusting the angle and power of his or her tank's turret cannon before each shot.

Things get interesting with up to ten players, a wide variety of AI levels and an even wider assortment of power-ups players can purchase between rounds, including [[HealingPotion batteries]], DeflectorShields, warheads that can [[GeoEffects destroy the ground beneath your enemies (or create new ground on top of them, burying them alive)]], [[KillItWithFire napalm]], and conventional explosives of various sizes and stability. (Love that Funky Bomb!)

The spiritual predecessor of games like ''VideoGame/{{Worms}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Gunbound}}'', Scorch (as it is known to fans) is the self-proclaimed "Mother of All Games", with a very simple presentation that is nevertheless addictive.

''[[http://www.scorched3d.co.uk/ Scorched3D]]'' is the free [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin three-dimensional]] FanSequel available for all widespread operating systems and is even included in Gentoo and Debian/Ubuntu Linux repositories.


!!''Scorched Earth'' contains examples of the following tropes:

* ArtificialBrilliance: The magnetic shield always deflects shots upward. The AI is capable of lobbing a shot to come down near the ground next to your tank close enough that the shield pulls it upward...directly into your tank.
* ArtilleryGame: At its core you still have to guess a shooting angle and velocity on each shot, but the wide variety of powerups and game settings really mixes it up. Individual battles can also play out in either "sequential" (player 1 aim/fire, player 2 aim/fire), "synchronous" (all players take their turns aiming, then everyone shoots at the same time), and "simultaneous" (real-time) modes.
* CriticalFailure: Except for the "Heavy Shield", there's a small chance that a given shield will fail to absorb or deflect an incoming shot, allowing its user to get killed by the incoming attack.
* DeathFromAbove: The "Vertical guidance system" causes a projectile to drop ''straight down'' onto its designated target area, even accounting for wind. Combined with a MIRV or "Death's Head"... well, ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill. And then there are random meteorites and lightning strikes, though they're typically not as lethal.
* DeflectorShields: There are two varieties. The purple Deflector Shield deflects shots that impact it at an angle, while the yellow magnetic deflector repels shots upward before they hit.
* FamousLastWords: The game chooses one at random from a text file that users are free to edit.
* GameBreakingBug: Depending on which version of the game and which OS the user plays. For example, one bug caused the "battery" item to ''deplete'' HP instead of restoring it, forcing many an AI to retreat and self-destruct after taking any amount of damage.
* GeoEffects: Most explosions destroy terrain by default, but there is a decent variety of dirt-''producing'' weapons (Dirt Balls and charges) that can be used to bury opponents; and a good variety of non-damaging dirt-clearing weapons, which can be used to dig oneself out of trouble without killing themselves in the process.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: If you're not careful, you could off yourself with your own weapons. ''Especially'' if you're using the Death's Head, any form of the Sandhog, or the Funky Bomb.
** Played straight with the AI set to Moron mode. [[ArtificialStupidity It doesn't care whatever trajectory it's pointing at. Even if it means killing itself with its own weapons next to a slope of dirt.]]
* KillItWithFire: Napalm and Hot Napalm.
* MyRulesAreNotYourRules: The AI generally plays fair, but has access to a triple-turret tank that the player does not.
* NotTheFallThatKillsYou: If gravity is on, you had better purchase a few parachutes in case someone blasts the terrain out from under you.
* OneHitKO: Though a direct hit from just about any weapon will destroy an unshielded tank, a direct hit from a Sandhog or concentrated Napalm can destroy a tank even through heavy shielding.
* PreAssKickingOneLiner[=/=]PreMortemOneLiner: There is also a file containing taunts the tanks can make before firing.
* SelectiveGravity: The player can control whether or not loose terrain falls to the ground during gameplay, which changes the usefulness of dirt-producing weapons (like the Dirt Cloud especially). There's also a gravity charge weapon that makes any and all dirt fall to the ground if it hasn't done so already.
* ShoutOut: Many of the One Liners, in both PreAsskickingOneLiner and FamousLastWords:
** "This screen ain't big enough for the both of us!"
** [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons "Eat my shorts!"]]
** [[Film/DirtyHarry "Make my day."]]
** [[Literature/MobyDick "From Hell's heart I stab at thee..."]]
** [[Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay "Hasta la vista, Baby!" and "I'll be back..."]]
** [[Film/ApocalypseNow "I love the smell of napalm in the morning."]]
** [[Music/TheDoors "This is the end, my only friend..."]]
* SplashDamage: Almost every weapon (even the default Baby Missile) is powerful enough to kill an unshielded tank with a direct hit; you generally only take damage from a near miss. Note that the game provides a setting allowing you to scale damage radiuses to various sizes, depending on the amount of destruction you want.
* TakingYouWithMe: Some of the ways to die can result in this. Even if you weren't planning on it, going out with a bang like a Funky Bomb and taking out four opponents is very satisfying.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: Some of the weapons are ''extremely'' devastating: The aptly-named "Death's Head", for example, can simultaneously destroy most of the terrain on the field ''and'' all players in one use, including the person who fired it. Note that because even the Baby Missile (the free, default weapon) can kill with an unshielded tank with a single direct hit, so all the more powerful weapons are essentially just shield breakers and various types of overkill.
* TropeMaker: For Turn-Based Artillery Shooters (with ''VideoGame/{{Worms}}'' as the TropeCodifier)
* UnpredictableResults: The Funky Bomb. It can nail multiple opponents or miss everything, do no damage with a direct hit or wipe out a target with a full Heavy Shield. Ditto with the various forms of the Sandhog, except that if it does connect, it's an Insta-Kill.
** When a tank dies, it may explode in a number of random ways: It could just fizzle and pop, or it could take out a whole mountain (and anyone nearby) with a [[SphereOfDestruction nuke-sized explosion]], or it could spray Funky Bomb explosions everywhere.
* UnstableEquilibrium: Players that do well and get more kills are awarded more money to buy better equipment. Being able to buy better equipment (especially shields) in turn makes a player much harder to kill and thus easier to kill other players. A player that loses will have to be damn creative with the weaker weapons to catch up (but if they were that good, they probably wouldn't be losing in the first place).
* VideogameCrueltyPotential: There's nothing like covering an opponent with dirt, waiting while he painstakingly digs himself a tunnel to the surface, and then filling that tunnel with napalm.
** It's entirely possible (though rare) to fire a high-powered shot ''through'' an enemy's shield without destroying them. With napalm, this means you basically cook them from inside their own shield.