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Review: Lil Tanks (PC)By Andre Eriksson At 03.06.2018 21:17

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Sometimes games stray too far from the formula of their genre to try and explore new ground, but Lil Tanks isn't one of those titles. Lil Tanks stays extremely true to the classic shoot 'em up format to the point where it feels unique in today's gaming scene where being too old-fashioned is, by some, seen as a bad thing due to the high importance put on adding twists.

Lil Tanks feels like a generic shoot 'em up from the '80s or '90s and has that pure, frill-less gameplay retro gamers are always looking for. It is an extremely simple concept about a tank that has to save humankind from certain doom - a tale as old as time. There is nothing more or nothing less to it than that, but it does prove that teams do not need to go further in getting the fundamentals right.

It certainly does get the fundamentals of the genre right, as well. The controls are good, and the enemies and bosses are challenging and varied enough to create a great no-frills challenge, just like in the old days. To keep players entertained after the story is over there is also an endless mode where all of the enemies shine at their brightest. There is, however, one minor annoyance with the controls as the auto-shooting is pretty slow compared to manually shooting at a relatively normal pace. This means players will most likely either mash that button as quickly as possible, potentially hurting their wrists in the process, or find another workaround to just make the keyboard auto-click at a stupid pace.

Also, while there is an endless mode, there is a problem with the length of the adventure as there are only about seven stages with very little replayability attached to them after the first due to a lack of high score hunting involved in the story mode. While the four tanks have separate levels, all of them are basically the same, but with with minor differences. This makes the survivability of Lil Tanks rely entirely on how much people enjoy endless modes in arcade releases rather than just playing through them, otherwise the title will clock in somewhere between one to four hours, depending on skill-level.

However, in an era where a lot of games seem to aim at becoming more and more complex, Lil Tanks shines as a nice beacon for what used to be, but also what can be. Sometimes gamers just want to bomb some aliens back to where they come from, with no strings attached.

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It is easy to dismiss [i]Lil Tanks[/i] prematurely because of how simple and shallow it looks as a game. This is, however, what gaming used to be back in the good ol' days, and this is one of few modern retro games that truly captures the feeling of simplicity and pure action many of those games delivered, with no frills. While certainly not for everyone, those who are looking for a classic old school shoot 'em up will find this scratches that itch.



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