Thanks to Ratalaika Games for the review code
Title: Attack of the Toy Tanks
Release Date: 06/25/2019
Toy Tanks is an action game from an overhead perspective, not unlike how older games such as Tank Force or Combat were. Visually, it looks OK, with each stage looking as if they’re staged scenes in a child’s bedroom, with some stages even taking place in the dark. The audio on the other hand, is a mixed bag, with horrific background music that I strongly encourage that you mute immediately. Why? Well, due to the usage of Kazoos and irritating instruments all around. Yeah, it fits the child-like nature of the game, but it just becomes a drill in the ears, so muting it and just leaving the sound effects on is highly recommended.
The main goal of each stage in Toy Tanks is to blast down every opposing enemy tank on the screen, all while avoiding their fire and any obstacles that may be littered around the room. The controls are immediately offputing from the very beginning, with a twin-stick style that doesn’t really feel all that good.
Moving up and down on the left stick moves your tank up and down, and moving left and right on the stick just spins it around, meaning you’ll have to mix up the directions if you want to go in any horizontal direction. Aiming is 360 degrees with the right stick, but not the actual movement. This is common in other games with tank controls, but most of those games at least feel fluid in their own way due to that style of play, but Toy Tanks does not. More often than not, the act of turning the tank just to high-tail it out of a tricky situation led me to my death, which in turn required me to just aim carefully and shoot right before an enemy saw me in their sights, since I knew there was next to no chance of possible escape.
There’s a Type B option where it disables the up and down movement on the left stick, with the L1/L2 buttons being used instead, but this feels equally as clunky, and not much better to get used to. So thus, I stuck with Type A & begrudgingly got used to it over the course of the game. It still really sucks, but I quickly found myself making my own situations to get out of a pinch, so I still had some fun due to the solid gameplay.
Which brings us to the fact that each stage has a time for you to meet. If you meet the time, then you’ll get a gold ranking for the stage. If you miss it, then you’ll get a silver or bronze ranking instead, and while you don’t really have to get the gold rankings for any reason, it still is a bit of encouragement for you to play better. Unfortunately, that also means the clunky controls can make some stages beyond infuriating to get a gold ranking on, so you’re better off just ignoring the rankings and going through the stages for fun.
Thankfully, you can hop around the sixty in any order you choose, meaning if you’re stumped on one stage you can just move onto another one and return to the troublesome stage later. Sometimes you’ll start with a powerup such as a wavy or bounce shot, while other times you’ll be able to find one during a stage, including the ever-so-helpful Time powerup that slows down everything on screen allowing for a precise shot.
There’s even a 2P versus mode, which is honestly where I had most of my fun. It’s local only, but when I had a friend over months ago to mess around with this game, it was just a series of laughs and goofy moments as we both messed around with the controls, picking maps that had some crazy hazards such as death lasers and just going to town. It’s not really a long-lasting experience, but it’s a fun addition that I do think they were smart for including here.
In conclusion, Toy Tanks is an OK arena action game. What kills most of the fun in this game are the strange controls, with nothing that’s really practical. Thus, Toy Tanks just feels a lot more clunky and complicated than a game like this has every right to be, but if you can somehow get over the crazy hurdle of this game’s control schemes, then you do have a decent, sixty-level experience to blast through, along with a goofy two player battle mode. So at the end of the day, Toy Tanks isn’t a bad game, just a very clunky one with some weird learning curves, leaving a middle of the road experience in its place.
I give Attack of the Toy Tanks a 5 out of 10.