Tango Fiesta

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Tango Fiesta Game Poster Image
Bloody foul-mouthed nostalgia action ultimately repetitive.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Parody of classic '80s action movies. Though it technically has goals such as saving a fiancée, really just an excuse to drop player into a firefight.

Positive Role Models & Representations

"Hero" of game basically fighting, killing for the sake of fighting, killing. Told as past adventures through his eyes as he tries to prove he was the greatest action hero never heard of.

Ease of Play

Although fairly straightforward "twin stick" shooter, unless you're playing with a game controller, bit difficult to accurately move, shoot with default keyboard controls.

Violence

Much like action movies it mocks, central focus is shooting, killing. Even with the small, cartoonish graphics, blood, body parts fly with regularity.

Sex

Occasional use of innuendo peppered throughout dialogue.

Language

Frequent use of "f--k", "s--t," "bitch," more.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Some characters shown to be smoking cigars; regular references to drinking in dialogue.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tango Fiesta is a downloadable top-down shooter for one to four players. The game is an over-the-top take on the action movies of the '80s, complete with cheesy one-liners, profanity-filled dialogue, lots of guns, loads of bullets, and plenty of killing. The game doesn't take itself seriously at any point, but its humor and hyper violence are definitely not for young kids. Though the graphics are cartoonish, there's lots of blood, and there are lots of limbs strewn across the battlefield. There's also sexual innuendo and characters who smoke cigars and mention drinking regularly. Parents also should be aware that multiplayer matches are unmoderated, exposing gamers to potentially inappropriate content.

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What's it about?

TANGO FIESTA is the story of John Strong, the greatest '80s action hero the world has never heard of. If you don't believe that, he'll be more than happy to regale you with tales of his past adventures. That's where you come in. Taking on the role of a younger John or any of his supporting cast (also based on those '80s action hero clichés), players run and gun their way through John's past missions, rescuing damsels in distress, toppling warlords, and otherwise causing mischief, mayhem, and lots of explosions.

Is it any good?

There's no shortage of love for the '80s, especially for the explosion-filled, cheesy action flicks of the era. Tango Fiesta revisits those days with a tongue planted firmly in its steely, square-jawed cheek. Whether it's the over-the-top "tough guy" dialogue, the VHS tapes used to select stages, or the cartoonish graphics inspired by old-school arcade shooters, everything about the game oozes nostalgia. Unfortunately, playing the nostalgia card comes with a few drawbacks. The first glaring issue with the game is its repetition. Each stage is generated from scratch when you start the mission, but the terrain and enemies are so generic that everything still just blends together. The classic controls also cause issues if you're trying to play with anything other than a game controller. Mouse and keyboard controls are frustrating, especially in a game where accuracy is important. Using a shotgun, with its conical spray of fire, or other similar weapon helps to make up for the accuracy issue, but trying to use a rifle or pistol for pinpoint shots just isn't going to happen. The limited movement and aiming ends up making Tango Fiesta much harder than it needs to be. Still, it does a great job of recreating that classic arcade feel … though with a somewhat bloodier and more foul-mouthed spin.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in games. Should having a cartoon art style and humorous dialogue reduce the impact of violence in games?

  • Talk about violence in movies. How has the level of violence in action movies today changed in comparison to the violence in the '80s action movies the game parodies?

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