Tank Troopers (3DS) Review

One of the Nintendo 3DS’ strongest attributes is its diverse software library, and its ability to deliver enjoyable games across many genres. The Nintendo eShop has been a haven for fresh new game experiences, and Nintendo has led the way with many original game ideas. Examples of such titles include: Box Boy, Dillon’s Rolling Western, and Sakura Samurai. You can add another game to the list of quality eShop exclusives as Tank Troopers is now available and it’s a blast. Though it misfires by lacking online multiplayer, the game still manages to hit its target by delivering a capable campaign and amusing local multiplayer mode.

Tank Troopers offers three main modes: Multiplayer, Single Player, and Download Play. The single-player doesn’t offer any form of a story, and instead favors providing the player with an assorted range of objectives – in total, there are 30 missions to complete. You can approach these missions in two ways: Custom Tank – where you can use a custom tank and characters, or Take Orders – where you are assigned a tank and characters to use in order to complete the assigned mission. Aside from the option of using a custom tank and custom characters, there is little to differentiate the two modes; but by offering an alternative style of play it provides the game’s campaign with additional replay value.

In terms of mission variety, the objectives range from the basic kill a certain amount of enemies to scoring a certain amount of points within the time limit, defeating enemies before time expires, or even something as random as shooting gigantic balls through a series of goals. Missions do get more difficult as you progress through the game, and you’ll have to complete the most current mission in order to continue advancing. If you find yourself stuck on a specific mission, your only option is to persevere and continue to try to improve your style of play until victory is achieved. Certain characters may offer a special skill that will assist you in being successful. For example; one early mission tasks you with destroying 5 enemy turrets that are hidden by fog, but the character – Tred Hunter – has a super-radar ability that will reveal the turret when you close in on its location.


Learning the benefits of the characters and their distinct skills will prove beneficial as you progress through the campaign and make missions less cumbersome. When a mission is completed, you are graded based on your performance. An S-Rank is the highest rank achievable, and it will be quite a daunting task to accomplish. Completing a mission also awards you with money that can be spent in the Garage on characters, tanks, and other custom options that can be used in Custom Tank mode or during multiplayer.

Controlling the tank requires a little patience, but, generally speaking, the game controls very well and isn’t all that clumsy. You use the 3DS circle pad to steer, the A-button to move forward, and the B-button for reverse. You can also double tap up on the D-pad to have the tank move forward without the need to hold down the A-button (this also works for moving in reverse). The X-button allows you to zoom-in and use a scope to make shooting targets in the distance easier.


The L-button puts the tank into an Artillery Mode, which limits the movement of the tank itself, but allows you to use the 3DS’ gyro controls to freely move a full 360 degrees to shoot enemies or targets of interest. Artillery Mode is a high level skill to master and has its advantages when it comes to combat, as you can track a fleeing enemy and continue to inflict damage before they escape. It is a bit clunky at first, but the more you use Artillery Mode the better you get at it. Of course, you could opt to never use it, and that is a perfectly acceptable.

While the single-player will put you on a tour of duty for a few hours, it is the local multiplayer that will keep you playing the game for days and weeks to come. Offering three modes: Free-for-All, Team Battle, and Bomb Battle, there are enough options to keep things exciting. Bomb Battle can be a chaotic blast as you battle to use a giant bomb to damage the opposing teams’ base. All modes are centered around the idea of causing the most damage to the other players. Selecting your custom tank and characters makes things more personal as you play with your creation and a squad of characters that best suit your style of play.


The biggest disappointment about Tank Troopers multiplayer is that is lacks the option for online play. The multiplayer modes and core gameplay are brilliant and highly entertaining to play in a local setting with friends and family, but online would have been a welcome option. If you have friends with a 3DS and are looking for a fun multiplayer game to play together, Tank Troopers is a great time and Download Play allows you to play with anyone that has a 3DS.

Tank Troopers is a fun eShop game that is well worth its asking price. Fun local multiplayer and a challenging single-player make for a fun digital release, and it’s something that friends and family can enjoy together.

[Editor’s Note: Tank Troopers was reviewed on the 3DS platform. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]