Derived from a 2009 Namco arcade title, Tank! Tank! Tank! retains the simple gameplay of its ancestor and is one of the most approachable Wii U launch games. Each mission - there are nearly 40 and each can be played either solo or co-op with a friend, with one on the GamePad and one on the TV - charges you with destroying a certain type of robotic monster before the timer runs out.
There are two main types of battles. Swarm engagements drop you into endless hordes of monster attackers and sets a required kill count. More enjoyable are boss encounters, in which you face one or two enormous Godzilla-like monsters and simply have to beat them in time.
That may already sound simple enough, but it's the control system that really highlights how basic Tank! Tank! Tank!'s gameplay is. You move your vehicle with the analogue stick and fire with any button you want. That's it.
While this one-stick, one-button control style is faithful to the arcade game, many will feel this makes things limited and repetitive. Things can be mixed up a little with the weapon pick-ups (each tank has two unique special weapons it can use for a limited number of shots) but that's about as far as the level of strategy goes - shoot everything, don't get hit and you'll do fine.
Tanks For The Memories
Repetition is something you're going to have to embrace wholeheartedly if you want to see everything Tank! Tank! Tank! has to offer. Every time you finish a mission with a different tank you get a medal, and with a total of 20 tanks eventually unlockable, you'll need to finish all 40 or so stages 20 times each in order to finish the game completely.
Some may find the idea of finishing each level 20 times to unlock every tank a bit of a grind, but the missions are short enough to make this manageable. On top of this, each tanks is unique enough to make it feel different every time. It reminds us a bit of Wii's Ghost Squad - another arcade gem that trades on endless replays. That said, we recognise not every gamer will accept this level of repetition without question.
The missions are only half of Tank! Tank! Tank!'s repertoire, however. The multiplayer mode is its big selling point, especially the ace My Kong mode, in which three other players try to destroy a giant mechanical gorilla with the face of the GamePad player on it. An ape that can fart flames? If that's not one of the greatest ideas in the history of gaming then, frankly, we're not sure what is.
Tank! Tank! Tank! is an unabashed, shameless tribute to fun. It doesn't care if its controls only consist of one stick and one button, or that it looks a bit rubbish or if the action's repetitive, because anyone who accepts its cheesy B-movie style will be perfectly happy to play each level 20 times over. It's also ideal for younger children because it's simple to learn and full of action and silliness. What other Wii U game lets you use the GamePad camera to take a photo of your face and use digital masks to turn yourself into a snowman or a one-eyed army general? None of them.
Would we spend £50 on it? Not on your life. But once it drops to a reasonable price (we've seen it going for as cheap as £20) then Tank! Tank! Tank! is well worth a go if you crave the days of simple, quick-fix arcade gaming.