The simplistic nature of Tank! Tank! Tank! hoped to captivate audiences at the launch of the Nintendo Wii U with a party game for the whole family. Instead, this three-year-old arcade game should have stayed in the arcades – where games are better played in short bursts. While playing with friends may be slightly more enjoyable than the ho-hum single-player experience, the lack of depth and content keeps Tank! Tank! Tank! from being satisfying over prolonged sessions.
Taking control of a tank pitted against wave after wave of massive mechanical creatures, while protecting the city from utter destruction. Featuring fully destructible environments, the city will most likely be destroyed regardless – at least when I play it does. Firing a few rounds at robotic spiders climbing up the sides of a towering building, expect to see the entire thing tumble to the ground. The types of enemies may vary (bees, centipedes, spiders etc.), but the mission structure never changes. Boss battles are added to the mix every few missions, but the goal stays the same – kill everything before the timer runs out.
Controls are simple, allowing you to move and shoot – that’s it. The automatic aiming allows you to focus on moving your tank around, but can be the source of frustration. It’s more than adequate for the most part, but when facing groups of enemies the reticle tends to jump around – usually not to the one you want.
Playing through the campaign by yourself – which I highly advise against – the AI takes control of the tank that accompanies you during the missions. It doesn’t provide much in the way of support, so playing with a friend tends to be a better option. Power-ups in the form of miniguns, flamethrowers, missile launchers and the like are automatically equipped as you run into them, even if they are weaker than the one currently equipped. Remember, this is an arcade game at heart, so don’t expect any inventory menus.
Completing missions will earn you a medal for the tank used, while completing the same mission with a different tank will yield another medal. New missions become unlocked as you earn medals, but after a few missions your progression will come to a hard stop, requiring you to replay older missions with different tanks. New tanks don’t feel that different from one another, making the already repetitive missions even less desirable to replay multiple times.
Allowing up to four players to play in cooperative or competitive game modes, the local multiplayer fares better than the single-player campaign. Out of the four game modes, My Kong stands out as the most enjoyable. The player with the GamePad controls a giant robot gorilla – think Mecha King Kong, while the remaining players use Wii remotes and are placed inside tanks with the goal to destroy the player with the GamePad. Using the camera on the Wii U GamePad, each player can take a photo of their face and use it as their avatar. If you are in control of the gorilla, the photo will be placed across the gorilla’s face. I must admit, it’s satisfying firing tank shells at a 100-foot tall gorilla with your friends face pasted on it – I sure hope it’s your friends face.
Tank! Tank! Tank! does have one thing going for it, its easy for anyone to pick up and play. While providing short bursts of multiplayer enjoyment, the lack of content keeps it from being a must-have title. After a few hours with friends, you will set it aside for something else with more substance. Fighting in a tank against robotic evil creatures should be every gamer’s wet dream, but instead the game runs out of steam relatively fast.
Note: The Tank! Tank! Tank! review was written based on the Wii U version of the game provided by the publisher.