REVIEW: Tank! Tank! Tank! by Namco

DEVELOPER: Bandai Namco (Visit Namco America’s website)

PUBLISHER: Bandai Namco

RELEASE: December 2009

TYPE: Tank combat

PLAYERS: 1-2, simultaneous per cabinet, 2 pairs can be linked for up to 4 players.

HARDWARE: System ES1, PC based hardware used in games like Dead Heat.

ARCADE EXCLUSIVE?: From 2009-WiiU release yes. Hardware still stands out however.

RATING: Green Label – Suitable for All Ages


SYNOPSIS: From Namco America’s website:

NAMCO’s newest title is a game that is absolutely fun for the whole family. Tank! Tank! Tank! is a motion cabinet party game unlike anything that has been played before. The combination of a tank driving game and a shooter is the best new concept to come along in years. The game play possibilities are endless as players can choose from 3 different game modes: Free-For-All, Team Up, and Cooperative Play.

REVIEW: By Adam “Arcadehero” Pratt

One thing about arcade games I have maintained for a while now is that they are perfect for games involving war machines and vehicles – planes, tanks, cars, submarines, mechs, etc. Namco’s Tank! Tank! Tank! fits right into that idea, showing how much fun a tank game can be.

TTT was designed as a spiritual sequel to Namco’s own Tokyo Wars from 1996. There are a few similarities but they upgraded various features for the new game. The original was strictly an arena battle simulator but this one has added a single or team player mode where you battle against monsters. When I first came across it I thought it was paying homage to Earth Defense Force 2017 as it seemed similar (but controlled much better than that game did with its vehicles). The game designers were there but they actually had never heard of the game at the time so it was just a coincidence. There are three levels you can play through in these modes, the first one involving either spiders or hornets, the next two feeling more like boss battles where you fight off a three headed dragon and then robots that are transformed buildings. One feature I found cool for this mode is that the game will change the enemies once a month to keep it a little different. One month you fight the spiders, the next the hornets, the next back to spiders, etc.

Apart from that you have deathmatch which can also be played as a free-for-all or in teams if you are playing on a 4-player setup. Such setups are harder to find but it’s the best way to play the game. In the deathmatch modes you are given a choice between two parts of an industrial city to play in. The lack of levels is something that was a drawback for Tokyo Wars and while TTT has added a little more, its still just a few. Quite a few weapons are available though aside from the standard cannon. They include a Machine Gun, Plasma Bolt, Missile Rack, Colossus Missile(pretty much a nuke), Mega-Beam, and Squirt Gun(this one isn’t terribly effective, seems like more of a joke to give the game some humor)

The game uses Namco’s NamCam system that they have been using on and off in arcades for years and its similar to what they did in Mario Kart GP, as the game offers various overlays that can be a part of your avatar for fun. the avatar will be present over your tank through the entire match. It even shakes when you are hit or explode.The cabinet goes further by offering vertically set monitors and a strong force-feedback system powered by an air compressor. It channels the feedback into both the seat as well as the steering wheel, making for a unique kind of motion game. It is the motion features and the screen that will make it stand out from the home counterpart coming to the WiiU.




Bright and colorful would be the first thing you would probably notice aside from the vertical screen. The game environments are blown apart easily, the physics work pretty well to throw pieces of monsters and buildings around smoothly. The game sticks at 60FPS which is all the much better when you have all of those objects being thrown around the screen. The explosion effects are excellent, I particularly like the Colossus Missile which tears up the ground around it. Damaged ground has depth to it, your tank shows damage and the particle effects are plentiful. I’ve heard criticism before against the graphics based on the screenshots, it’s a game that has to be seen to be appreciated.


Most of the time you hear the sounds from the force feedback over everything else. That makes the game pretty loud, drawing good attention to itself.


This uses a similar design to Tokyo Wars – steering is controlled by a specially designed steering wheel which also has a pair of buttons on it for ambidextrous firing. Forward movement comes from pressing down the right foot pedal, reverse is tied to the left. The force feedback this game has is the strongest I’ve ever experienced in a game, pumped through an air compressor that can be put behind the game in its own box.


Tank! Tank! Tank! has a unique sitdown cabinet that is sort of like a racer but the changes in the screen make it a bit different from your standard racer. The bright yellow design is hard to miss. This deluxe design features two screens and controls in one, with a camera above each screen. The marquee has a kind of comic book design to it that promotes the game with a couple of phrases. There isn’t any extensive lighting beyond the marquee. The one disadvantage this comes with is a huge price tag. It would have been nice for single units to have been made which could have been linked up for less. I do understand that they probably didn’t go in that direction because it is a party game that is much better with a few people.


 Tank! Tank! Tank! is one of the most entertaining arcade titles to come along in recent times. It’s been billed as a “Motion Battle Party Game” and it lives up to that promise. In any mode you choose you are going to have a blast and the more players that are in the mix, the more fun everyone will have. At the trade shows where TTT first showed up, the game designers were there excitedly drawing people to the game. They had good reason to do so, it was a sign of how infectiously fun the game is.


 If you come across it, don’t hesistate to play, especially if you are with friends. As an operator if you have the capital its a great, unique game to have in the arcade and while it will be on the WiiU later in 2012, the hardware is still different enough to stand out. My only complaints are the brevity of the content and the price tag the operator has to pay to get that. Perhaps if they do a sequel improvements will be made in both areas. Either way, Tank! Tank! Tank! is a fun game that taps straight into what makes arcade titles great.



Official Trailer

My first hands-on look at the game in 2009

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