Tank Troopers

Game review by
David Wolinsky, Common Sense Media
Tank Troopers Game Poster Image
Downloadable action challenges infused with light strategy.

Parents say

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

No story here, but emphasis on teamwork offset by constant endeavor to destroy.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Characters are interchangeable tank drivers who are flexible, easygoing in ability to work with others for a common purpose.

Ease of Play

Awkward controls, but challenges are fair; ample inspiration to sharpen your skills.

Violence & Scariness

Your tank shoots artillery, shells, but wreckage is cartoonish. No blood, gore.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Tank Troopers is a downloadable action game. Players drive tanks around and do a variety of missions. While players engage in tank battles, firing bullets and shells, violence is cartoonish without blood or gore. Single-player missions are intended to provide a challenge as well as a runway to the local area network multiplayer where users can play with up to five other friends.

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What's it about?

There literally is no story in TANK TROOPERS. It's a throwback to older video games -- such as classic arcade games -- where all you needed to know was the genre and concept of the game from the name. In Tank Troopers, you select different troopers to drive your tank around. Each trooper has their own special ability or power, ranging from speed boosts and stealth to stronger bullets or ramming power. The game's challenge lies in juggling each driver's ability, which lasts for a short period of time, while also driving the tank and holding off enemies.

Is it any good?

If there's one thing Nintendo has always done well, it's accessible, fun-to-play games. While some players will be turned off by the total lack of online multiplayer, the game's 30 carefully designed and fine-tuned missions are akin to games like the old Pilotwings series: titles specifically sculpted around a core mechanic or series of strategies and nothing else. The game's campaign can be completed in nearly five hours. While that might imply there isn't much here, that isn't quite accurate. There's a pure and real joy that comes from the game's cute graphics and overall strangely happy approach to warfare aesthetics (such as the catchphrases each pilot says when you tap them into play), each given more depth thanks to the game's other focus in its limited runtime: variety. Although there's no story to speak of here, it's doubtful one could be coherent that weaves races, score challenges, shooting balls through obstacle courses to score goals, and nudging a giant spiked ball through posts.

Although 30 missions does sound like a lot, the first half of the game is a relative breeze, which is a mixed blessing. There's a great emphasis on getting you competent in mastering each character's special skills and moving the tank around, both of which you'll need for the latter half, which is much more challenging. That's also when the limits become annoying, though those are there to prevent you from camping out and sniping and hiding. (On the later levels especially, expect the time limit to be just as likely to do in you as to do in the enemies.) Tank Troopers doesn't set out to do anything new, but it does set out to tweak and finesse a familiar formula with accessible fun.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about violence in media. Does a cutesy video game about war and tanks diminish the meaning or importance of war? Why are wars important?

  • Would you ever join the armed forces? Why, or why not? 

  • What's something you've always wanted to know about the life and lifestyle of people who have served or seen combat situations?

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Themes & Topics

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For kids who love action

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