Tank! Tank! Tank! Preview (Wii U)

Make no mistake. Tank! Tank! Tank! is an insane game that is the hallmark of many quirky Japanese game developers.

The game, based on an arcade title of the same name, has you driving around in a tank and blasting enemies. Obviously, the premise is pretty promising on paper.

During the demo at Namco Bandai’s godlike office building, where we were hilariously entertained by the game’s producer Kunito, what I found particularly interesting about the game was that Kunito could take a picture of his own face and plant it on the giant pink king kong mech.  It looks kind of silly, actually, but I suppose it’s meant for comedic value.

Additionally, while this may make me seem like a jerk, I would totally blast that mech because of the face Kunito  is making. I mean, come on! But more on this later.

With its daft, garish art style and super streamlined inputs, it’s obvious that Namco Bandai’s blaster is aiming for cheap and cheerful over deep and sophisticated. And that’s absolutely fine with me.

We had the chance to try out two different modes of the game. The first features a free-for-all type of deathmatch. It’s pretty straight-forward. Just blow your 3 other opponents to damn smithereens, with the winner chosen from the highest number of tank kills within the time limit. Hilarity ensues when you have to chase after power-ups that give you an assorted number of over-the-top weapon. I’ve seen a BFG equivalent, multi-rocket launcher and my personal favorite…a nuclear bomb!

Tank! Tank! Tank! is meant to be a wacky party game, and it worked for me. I wanted to punch the guy next to me for the nuke takedown.

Next, Kunito demonstrated to us the aforementioned Kong mode. Like ZombiU, Tank! Tank! Tank! will also let the player use their image within the game. For instance, you can take an in-game photo to use as your avatar, which can then be outfitted with helmets, masks, and more. In the case of this particular Kong mode, Kunito had his face where the monster’s would normally be.

The Kong mode has up to three players using standard Wii Remotes to drive tanks, trying to take down the giant pink Kunito Kong robot, controlled by Kunito via the Wii U gamepad’s screen to attack the our tanks. Coordination between the tank players is important here, and we are free to drive around the stage picking up power-ups to add weapons to our arsenal – anything to deplete Kunito’s Kong immensely long life bar before time runs out. Comedy is provided through the various expressions that Kunito’s face on Kong’s head shows. And unfortunately here, we had an overdosed of laughter, and so much so that Kunito’s Kong made short works of our tanks.

Tank! Tank! Tank! is one little charming Wii U game. While it may not be a strong innovation showcase of the Wii U and its gamepad, I could definitely still see it being a hit with friends as a party game. If you’re already set on owning a Wii U console, be sure to consider this title in your shopping list.

While Kunito has shied away from committing to an actual launch date, he did mention that the game is slated for the Wii U launch window. As it is, the demo that we played on was already looking to be very final so perhaps there’s that slight chance that it will be a day one launch title. Cross your fingers.

Aaron Yip

Aaron Yip

Aaron Yip is an industry veteran with more than 15 years of experience. When not spending time on his gaming PC and consoles, he can be found in Hyrule solving ungodly puzzles and collecting gems.