D-Tank (Nintendo DS) Review

By Sam Turner 25.01.2011

Review for D-Tank on Nintendo DS

The Go Series is probably one of the most active string of games writhing around for attention at the moment. So far the bunch of titles has engaged with a public, a public hungry for cheap and cheerful titles with which to kill a few minutes. It’s doing all the right things to attract attention, even housing a mini version of the current DS darling Ivy the Kiwi? Light morsels they are, the sushi restaurant of gaming, and D-Tank is another title to trundle along those tasty tracks.

Another development by Suzak, D-Tank’s approach to tower defence is reduced and stripped down. There isn’t a wide variety of weapons, nor is there much in the way of tactically preventing an attack in advance. All you have to your advantage is a tank to control at will, a few bombs to plant wherever you wish, and the knowledge that, should your tank become nothing but dust and smoke, there will be another along in its place to carry on the battle.

Presented in the standard green and black matrix of the Go Series, all the action takes place on the touch-screen. Above that is the collection of your high scores, should you wish to challenge yourself in future and string together successive victories, though all that can be ignored for the most part and there is little to no clutter masking the important task of your D-Tank. The focus, then, is happily on your main mode of attack, the tank. Controlled by the tandem of the D-pad and shoulder buttons, the tank does a good job of moving about the screen at just the right pace - just fast enough to stop an attack taking place off screen, and just slow enough to penalise you should you face the inevitable and re-spawn far away from an attack.

Screenshot for D-Tank on Nintendo DS

However, as with all heavy assault vehicles, the aim is to find an advantageous position to launch an assault from rather than trying to cope with the awkward independence that exists between the tracks and the turret. The tank might have some hefty firepower close at hand, but a shot- or rail gun is of no use if you have already started turning the turret in the wrong direction whilst trying to control the tank around the screen. Though at times it is uncomfortable to manage, the tank handles as you would expect, and learning eventually to wield it with grace and style will fill you with just the right amount of satisfaction for you to stick it out. When it does feel cumbersome to handle, you’ll start to look more and more for preparatory tactics to put in place to try and prevent these complicated tank manoeuvres from getting out of control. The problem is, there isn’t much of a choice.

Screenshot for D-Tank on Nintendo DS

Bombs are your only option when it comes to placing any defences. They are also an extremely limited resource. Most levels leave you only access to one bomb, which does regenerate after ignition, but it always leaves you feeling shortchanged. As bombs are in such short supply, using them efficiently to take down the bigger enemy tanks is crucial to make progression a slight bit easier. On the other hand though, with unlimited lives and unlimited bombs at your disposal, relatively speaking, their use is more a case of risk and reward rather than the result of any well thought out plan. You are certainly never out-gunned during D-Tank, but there feels like no simple way to tactically use the weapons you have at your disposal. Different guns can be equipped, but these will automatically be replaced by any other upgrades you accidentally roll into, and with the handling the way it is, that will happen a lot. You might have ten shots left with the powerful rail gun, but take up the wrong position and you’ll be spreading fire with a shotgun before you know it.

Screenshot for D-Tank on Nintendo DS

For some this might add to an experience of necessity and logic, but for me it echoed more of empty design. It is an echo that is further amplified with moments of empty praise from an off-screen officer, or the sudden appearance of enemies on screen, rather than using the doors provided so dramatically for them at the start of each level. When action happens off the screen on larger fields of play it is remarkably intense to find enemies heading towards you with a turret facing the wrong way, but when they seemed to have appeared out of thin air, it is tempting to feel slightly cheated.

Advancing through D-Tank’s levels and difficulties will not be a problem for most. Endless supplies of tanks and fire power that sees off enemies in one blow ensures that there is a steady learning curve to D-Tank. At times it is a difficult and challenging engagement of your time, but I have never associated the feeling of relief at finishing each level in a game as much of a good thing. There is nothing here to encourage a rush back to play levels again and again. High scores are on offer for those wanting to test themselves to beat stages without perishing, but with no online leaderboards there is little to compete against in that regard.

Screenshot for D-Tank on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

D-Tank is a simple game, put together for a few scant moments of satisfaction. However the battle with D-Tank is more against the lack of direction and decision than the act of repelling the wave of enemies, which is sometimes equally as undervalued. As each level passed in the three branches of difficulty I felt more and more relieved to have passed each stage, and even though it pleases in one respect, there feels like little need to return.

Also known as

G.G Series: D-Tank

Developer

Suzak

Publisher

Rising Star

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date None   

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