Ratalaika Games are back with yet another easy-G experience, and by that, I mean that if you’re looking to mop up a simple thousand points to add to your Gamerscore, Attack of the Toy Tanks wont let you down. Though, will you be let down if you’re just seeking a new, slightly competitive action romp? Not entirely. Whilst Attack of the Toy Tanks is hardly the most compelling game of its kind, it certainly has some value going for it. There’s no story, mind, and instead, a collection of levels that has you mindlessly blasting your opposition.
Attack of the Toy Tanks houses a similar framework to Atari’s Combat game, being that you’ll take on the role of a tank, will be placed on a range of single-screen levels, and will blast away at enemy tanks that prowl each level in search of you. The concept couldn’t be any simpler if it tried, for better and for worse. Booting up the game takes you to a clean and concise menu interface, in which you’re presented with a small handful of options; Start Game, Multiplayer, Statistics, and Settings. Truth be told, they’re all fairly self explanatory.
When in the settings, you’re able to toy around with a few filters that will adjust audio and control schemes. Though, in all honesty, the default settings are well set. Should you want to browse your accolades, you can do that over in the statistics tab; a place that charts your overall progress ranging kills and completion. Now, if you’re coming into Attack of the Toy Tanks specifically for its multiplayer component, you’ll be glad to know that the game sports quite a lot of variation on this front. Well, at least as far as level selection goes, that is.
The game is local multiplayer only, being that you and a friend can take to the fields of play across a host of different maps as you battle it out for supremacy. The crux of play remains the same; nab as many kills as you can before the timer hits zero. The game’s performance in this mode remains on point, making it an ideal choice for those of you that are looking for some light hearted couch competition on a rainy evening. The main event is equally as straightforward, and arguably the place you’ll be spending most of your time throughout.
To the game’s credit, it does a good job at feeding you into the fields of play. It helps, of course, that the whole ordeal is easy to handle thanks to some intuitive control mapping. You’ll rotate the direction of your tank using the left stick, and will accelerate with LB, and reverse with LT. Outside of that, it’s a simple case of aiming with the right stick, and blasting your weaponry with the A button. The aim of each level is to destroy all tanks, and once you do so, you’ll be awarded a medal (gold, silver, and bronze) based on your performance.
The kicker, however, is that you can only sustain a single blow, and believe me, the enemy can be relentlessly precise. Several times I found myself throwing my controller in disbelief due to some crazy accuracy on my opponent’s part. Whilst I wont wholly hold this against the game, it can be somewhat disconcerting to deal with when you’re trying to chase down gold medals. Nevertheless, that’s the aim of play. The game’s sixty levels are fashioned on household themes; most of which tend to resemble that of a children’s playing room.
Unfortunately, this tends to make the proceedings fairly repetitive before long, given the fact that the game makes a nasty habit of recycling its assets over and over. On the flip-side, however, the game makes good attempts at keeping things fresh through implementing level mechanics. This revolves around set pieces within each level that will gun for you, such as toys that focus-fire laser-beams at you whenever you pop into their line of sight. I wish that I could say that this alone was enough to keep repetition at bay, but sadly, I cant.
You see, whilst the game often tries to keep things grounded in this regard, most of these mechanics follow the same format; a toy that shoots at you, laser-based barriers that randomly move round the map, and so forth. It would have been nice to have seen more effort spared for these aspects of play, because in truth, the game would have been much more interesting and tense for it. Either way folks, that’s that. You’ll select a level, dive on in, and blast away at whatever stands between you and your difficult-to-earn medals.
The game starts out quite easy, throwing a few variations of enemy tanks at you throughout the first ten or so levels. Though, before long, the game’s true difficulty makes itself known. You’ll come up against tanks that fire mines, tanks that fire three missiles at once, tanks that fire bouncy missiles that ricochet from platforms, and more besides. You do get to enjoy a few of these variations yourself, but only on specific levels. I much would have preferred a system that allows us to unlock and use these at will, but beggars cant be choosers, right?
The same rules that apply to you, apply to your enemies; one shot kill. Regardless as to how big, or how plentiful the enemy’s forces are, it takes just a single strike to wipe them out. This makes things, when grouped with the ability to restart a match at the flick of a button, fast and fluid. There’s roughly two hours worth of play to be had here, in which you’ll mop up all of the achievements in half that time. I’ll commend the game for this, it’s certainly fun in short bursts. Though, that being said, I cant see this game standing the tests of time.
I grew bored fairly quickly due to the game’s aforementioned asset recycling, and due to the fact that there’s not much depth to the gameplay. Sure, it’s fun, but the fun doesn’t last all that long. Perhaps I shouldn’t be too hard on the game for this when taking its generous price tag into account. Still, when all is said and done, Attack of the Toy Tanks will serve you well if you’re just here for a modern take on the previously alluded to Combat. Bottom line? It handles well, it performs well, and it achieves much of what it set out to accomplish.
In regards to the game’s visual and audio design, Attack of the Toy Tanks just about gets a thumbs up for both. Whilst the game sports some vibrant designs, there’s not much detail present. Furthermore, the lighting appears to be somewhat off. This isn’t a deal breaker by any means because the game certainly looks the part, but, it could have looked much, much better. I’ll say the same for the audio presentation, being that it forks out little more than generic cues from start to finish; serviceable, yes, but hardly anywhere near high quality.
Attack of the Toy Tanks would have been a great modern take on Atari’s Combat if it housed more depth, more variation, and a better core structure. Sadly, as it stands, and due to the somewhat lack of all three, it’s merely a serviceable action game that becomes far too repetitive, far too quickly. If you’ve a penchant for this sort of experience, I recommend giving it a go, but if you’re seeking something more weighted, look elsewhere.
This game was tested and reviewed on Xbox One. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version.Want to keep up to date with the latest Xt reviews, Xt opinions and Xt content? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.