I love an in-depth game as much as the next person. The levels of details and the amount of planning required tests you to your limits. Yet, at times I simply want to pick up a controller and lose myself in fast-paced arcade action. This is what Techno Tanks allows you to do. Plenty of short levels of tank battles await you in this vividly coloured arena shooter.
Developed and published by EpiXR Games, this arcade tank game is hectic, and requires a fair bit of skill. The concept is straightforward, observe your foes, plan your attack, and blast them from this planet. But the execution is anything but easy.
Techno Tanks is a classic addictive arcade title.
Whenever you look at the great arcade games from the past, they all have familiar traits. They are vivid and wonderful to look at; the audio is loud, and the gameplay lulls you in with its simplicity. Techno Tanks ticks all these boxes. When I began playing, I didn’t appreciate what was on offer. I bumbled through each stage with little thought. As the difficulty increased, I realised some tactical elements made it much more than a basic arcade game. This small additional layer changed my impression of the gameplay, and I began planning each level before a shot was fired.
The action is split into two styles; arcade and retro. The first allows you to take on each of the fifty levels with unlimited lives. This was fun, but it lacked any true challenge, so I focussed my attention on the latter option, retro. Here you are given five lives and an option of game modes. Invisible enemies, only bombs, normal, hard, faster, and a different camera angle. The altered rules changed how you approached each stage and gave the gameplay a fresh impression. It was a genius move by EpiXR Games and increased the longevity no end.
Arcade games are nothing without friends.
I spent most of my time in solo mode, but you can challenge up to three friends to all-out warfare. This was fantastic fun, extremely competitive, and amusing to watch when four adults were screaming about the loss of their virtual tank.
The main mode can also be played in couch co-op which was an excellent option in theory. Sadly, there is a game-breaking, or more accurately cheating issue with this option. For reasons unknown, the computer players have no beef with player number two. They will unleash all the fury of hell on number one, but two is left alone unless hit in error. It was a great way to cheat your way to the end, but a massive oversight when trying to play as intended.
It was disappointing as the co-op mode added a new layer of tactical thinking. Sadly, this quickly went out the window when you knew victory was all but assured.
Techno Tanks is like Tron on acid!
If you’ve seen Tron you’ll know how bright and vivid the electric colours are! Techno Tanks takes this idea and multiplies it by ten. Clean-cut but interesting levels present themselves in a bird’s-eye or 3D isometric perspective. The dark and cold environments are juxtaposed with neon tanks and glowing projectiles. The colours were overwhelming but great to look at, as we’re the simple vehicle models. It’s without a doubt an arcade title, but it has a wonderful modern polish.
What I equally liked was the electronic drum and bass soundtrack! The loud and upbeat audio keeps you on edge from level one to fifty. The style is not my thing, but I really liked it in this setting. I also enjoyed the loud in your face sound effects of your missiles and bombs. The OTT nature was enough to hurt your ears, but it worked so well that I forgave it.
Two control methods, both the same!
Now, I’m all for alternative control methods, freedom of choice is a great thing. Yet, what I don’t like is when nothing differs. I tried both options many times to check I wasn’t going insane, and I got the same result every time. It was bizarre, didn’t affect the game, but it baffled me it was there in the first place. Other than this minor indiscretion, the controls were really tight. The buttons were responsive and controlling your vehicle was a joy.
Techno Tanks saving grace for replay value is its battle mode with friends. This was great fun, and I wish they had focussed more energy on this area. The main mode was excellent while it lasted and was challenging if you didn’t cheat. But, once you have all the achievements you are unlikely to play this mode again. If the developers had implemented an NG+ option, this would have increased the longevity. I played this without cheating and finished it in around two hours. Add in the multiplayer gameplay and this proves to be good value for money.
Techno Tanks is a fun casual title.
There is no doubt that Techno Tanks is fun, fast-paced and addictive. It’s wonderful to play casually and even better with friends. I can’t get over the co-op cheating option, nor the two control methods that amount to the same thing. These two minor elements hold it back and have sadly affected its overall score. This being said, I enjoyed my time with it and you should buy it here! Jump in your neon tank, plan your approach, and destroy your enemies.