Tiny Tim’s Tank Needs Gas

Review of Tiny Tim’s Tremendous Tank on XBLIG: Try
A charming side scroller is tanked by poor controls and physics. *ba dum tish*

I can help but think of the Killdozer when I play Tiny Tim’s Tremendous Tank.  However Tiny Tim has a much better reason for going on a rampage with his tank – to save missing in action pilot Tall Tom.

Tim’s Tank is equipped with a large caliber tank gun and a high powered machine gun.  Tim can open the tank’s hatch to use the machine gun for better accuracy and higher rate of fire but cannot operate the tank gun at the same time.  The tank gun has a very slow rate of fire, while the machine gun fires rapidly yet runs out of ammo and needs time to reload.

The tank appears to float on its treads.  As the tank moves, it bobs up and down and can easily be flipped.  Attempting to climb a stack of crates or just hitting a sheep at too great a speed can leave the tank stuck like a turtle on its shell.  The tank can be sent back to the most recent check point with the B button, turning it right side up in the process.

The levels are beautifully drawn, and characters have a cartoon feel.  This is a stark contrast to the bloody bits and limbs that fly from the rabbits, sheep, and soldiers shot or run over by the tank.  Quake style “giblets” is the only proper term to describe the effect.  While this may sound like a severe style mismatch, the combination blends well and creates a comical feel.  Ah, hilarious violence, how I love thee.

The gears begin to grind when controlling the tank.  I could not get a feel of how to manage the tank’s physics, and spent most of the 40 minutes it took me to finish the game trying to upright the tank.  Several times the tank would get stuck on the tank gun and I would restart from the last check point to continue.  There was one time the tank treads collapsed upon themselves, and even though the tank was upright, I was forced to reset.

Aiming the tank gun is rough as well.  It’s never clear where you are aiming and the tank’s constant bounce makes small adjustments impossible.  The machine gun is also difficult to control, as it doesn’t shoot straight but instead fires in a circular pattern.  The soldiers are small targets and I found myself spending several moments just trying to hit one soldier with trial and error shots.

Tiny Tim’s Tremendous Tank is a Try.  The game is short, and the ending implies there will be a sequel.  Hopefully the developer will use the feedback from this first game and improve the controls and physics.  The only thing holding me back from giving this cute little game a Buy are the poor controls.

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