Review: Tank! Tank! Tank! [Wii U]

Every console launch has its fair share of sub-par games and Tank! Tank! Tank! is one of the Wii U’s. It’s hardly surprising that an arcade conversion wouldn’t be easily translated onto a home console in 2012 so we shouldn’t be too surprised that Namco Bandai’s arena combat tank-em-up is more filler than killer.

There’s just not that much to do. The gameplay quickly becomes tedious, the single player story is stretched beyond snapping point and the enemies and arenas are far too similar to each other to keep us engaged. As a £10/€15/$15 downloadable from the eShop, this might have been worth a punt but as a boxed game with retailers – even at its discounted price of around £30 – it’s not worth the cost for how little content there is.

[drop]It is easy to pick up and play though, something which should stand it in good stead for those who bought it to play with groups of friends when they pop around. It also shows off some of the Wii U console’s unique attributes but both of those tasks are handled much more adroitly by Nintendo’s mini game collection, Nintendo Land.

The most interesting mode is My Kong, a game type that sees the GamePad user playing as a giant mechanical monkey with their photo for its face while the other players attack with tanks controlled using the decidedly less exciting controllers compatible with the Wii U. This mode, as with most multiplayer party modes in games, has some potential for post-pub hilarity but it’s flimsy and quickly becomes as monotonous as everything else in the game.

The story mode sees you take a tank, accompanied by a partner (either AI or a local buddy), up against various robotic enemies in progressively difficult – and boring – levels. It might be oversized waves of robotic spiders or bees, it might be giant three headed dragon or a mechanical building. They’re short levels, usually with a time limit of about three minutes, and they’re all basically the same.

One of the biggest problems that Tank! Tank! Tank! faces (aside from the ridiculous nomenclature) is the fact that it is so simple. You drive around with a control stick or D-Pad, you shoot with the buttons. All of the buttons shoot. There’s no manual aiming, all you have to do is vaguely point in the direction of some enemies and the game takes care of the aiming for you. You move around the level shooting until enough things have blown up and then you win. You can set the steering to tilt-control with the GamePad but that just makes things even less precise and slower so it’s more a ten-second-gimmick than a viable control scheme.

[drop2]There are ammo drops which will change your weapon type and sometimes enemies are largely immune to your default so you’ll need to drive over these special weapons while moving and shooting your way to the end of the time limit. Bored yet?

Well, the egregious tedium of the story mode doesn’t stop there. In order to unlock better tanks, you’ll need to complete levels. Each level gives you a new medal for each tank you use to complete it. You need a certain number of medals to unlock progressive levels. So you’ll need to re-do missions in different tanks in order to unlock later levels. That wouldn’t be too much of a chore if the new tanks were different enough – or if they unlocked for your AI or co-op buddy, who is always restricted to the basic tank. Unfortunately, the new tanks aren’t different enough from each other to keep mission repeats feeling fresh.

There’s really not much else to it. This is a game that was obviously intended to be played in short burst of multiplayer fun and as such, the story mode feels superfluous. If you’re going into this as a solo player, look elsewhere. If you want something for those group gameplay sessions, this is hugely overpriced for the amount of content – and enjoyment – you’ll get.

What’s good:

  • It’s easy to jump straight into the action.

What’s bad:

  • Stretched story mode.
  • Repetitive and tedious, oversimplified gameplay.
  • Not nearly enough variety in enemies and arenas.
  • Hugely overpriced for the amount of content you get.

Tank! Tank! Tank! works well enough and it does the things it sets out to do. Unfortunately, that’s not nearly enough to make a game that’s worthy of a space on your shelf at this price and it’s probably not even enough to warrant a potential post-Christmas bargain either.

It’s a game that takes tanks and giant robots and it makes them boring: that should tell you all you need to know.

Score: 3/10


  1. THAT’s a Wii U title? Jebus.

    Apart from the photos, it looks decidedly last gen. Maybe even PS1-ish.

    • It has a bright, cartoony style but yeah, it doesn’t look great. Shame really because other “cartoony” styled games I’ve seen on the Wii U look fantastic.

      • Yeah, i know graphics are rarely a decider for me (as gameplay can always supersede, making a greater overall package), but i was genuinely quite shocked upon laying my peepers upon those shots.

        I may be being a bit too judgemental from nothing more than a handful of screen shots, but the fact that this is a full price title (or thereabouts) disturbs me.

      • They clearly forgot to texture those tanks…

    • Surprised they’ve let this one out so close to console release when they should be trying to attract possible ship jumpers.
      It does look like something that’d be bought from the back catalogue Wee shop like an N64 downloaded game Rom for 64p!

  2. Tank! Tank! Tank! Is that a comment on Wii U sales ? ;) I do say that as someone who’d like a vita :)

  3. This is completely unrelated, but its ona review so I thought I would mention it.

    I notice you guys never reviewed Black Ops 2, nor have you reviewed Hitman: Absolution. I understand that you guys are independent and it would be hard to get review after review out, especially in this cramped period of game releases, I’m just curious as to whether you will ever go back to them or anything?

    • Black Ops 2, yes. Hitman? Not sure.

  4. blacks ops review in 4 words
    broken piece of sh**t!

    hitman review in 5 words and 4 numbers!
    bargain now its 24.99 buy it

    • Where is Hitman for that price? Link please bruv.

      Also Black Ops 2 is class, best CoD since CoD4. It’s not broken for me at all :/

  5. sorry mate its crept back up to 29.99 .
    but over the weekend it was 24.99 @ game amazon and shopto.
    shop to on hotuk

    • Its still worth buying ifs £29.99, different anyway.

      • For one horrible second, i thought you were talking about ‘Tank! Tank! Tank!’ there!

        I was about to ask if you actually read the review above! :P

  6. Was planning on picking this up this weekend given its cheap price. Glad I spotted this review before doing so. lol

  7. aaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggghhhhhhhh, always with the giant bloody spiders. >_<

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