Published on July 10th, 2012 | by Mitch Concannon
Augmented Reality Done Right | Table Top Tanks Review
Summary: Table Top Tanks is a fun AR idea. Not enough depth to keep users hooked, but enough for you to appreciate the idea around using AR in a fun way.
Augmented Reality(AR) games are few in number on the Playstation VITA. This may lead you to think that AR does not work very well, or that it’s hard to make a good game using AR on the handheld device. Well, I’m happy to report that this is not the case with Table Top Tanks.
Table Top Tanks is the first AR game to come with a price on the PlayStation Store. Priced at $1.99, it’s hard not to recommend it for current Vita owners. If you are curious about the game at all, keep reading and let me try to convince you why it should be picked up.
This game is all about controlling your tank with dual analog sticks, and defeating your enemies with missiles. You won’t be taking them out easily with just your missiles, however. Each player has five hits to destroy the other, and four lives to go through in order to win the match—but you won’t win every game by destroying your opponents. There are specific goals which could have you racing to collect the most flags, or hitting red targets before the time runs out.
In the heat of battle, be sure to call in your artillary strike
Table Top Tanks also has a multiplayer mode which uses adhoc play—not online play. This is one of the issues I had with the game. I would love to keep returning to the game if I had the option of playing with my friends on Playstation Network. I can’t say why it wasn’t implemented. Perhaps AR can only do so much and online co-op just isn’t on that list right now. However, the gameplay feels good, and at no point did I feel like I failed due to broken mechanics.
For what the game is trying to accomplish—which is play out a full on tank battle on your table top or floor—Table Top Tanks looks and feels good. It is in no way setting the standard for AR, but I can say it will not turn you off the idea of it. Simple things, such as lights flashing on your base give off the feel that you are in a war, and that every missile could lead to you failing and having to try again.
It looks fine but not setting any AR bars
Every player has their own colored tank, which helps make it clear where you are on the battlefield. Watching your airstrike rain hell on your enemy is a pleasing sight when you manage to pull it off, and the marks left behind are a clever little extra in the game.
Don’t expect any in-depth storyline here. Table Top Tanks doesn’t offer any. It supports a few game modes—Solo Challenges, Solo Creator and Multiplayer mode. Solo Challenges offer some fun and interesting objectives that get progressively more difficult, while Solo Creator gives you the tools to create your own battlefield scenario. This is a fun extra but if it offered the ability to send your created level to friends then it could have gotten a bigger following.
The story of blowing up your opponents
The game will keep you entertained for about two hours, but the lack of long term play is lost after you complete Solo Challenges.
The sound of Table Top Tanks sets the mood in every level. If it’s a fetch the flag or kill everyone, the soundtrack changes it up. It keeps the game feeling fresh and not as repetitive as the game would ordinarily feel.
The Wrap Up:
To sum up, if you are still wondering about picking up Table Top Tanks after reading this review, then I would say go for it. It’s a $2 download for a cool game that will make you look forward to what Sony has to offer with AR in the future. Also, if you’re a fan of Playstation Trophies, then this game has two easy golds for just playing through the game.