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PlayStation Vita  header logo

Table Top Tanks

For: PS Vita

Tanks, but no tanks

Product: Table Top Tanks | Publisher: Devil's Details | Format: PS Vita | Genre: Action | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Table Top Tanks PS Vita, thumbnail 1
When the Nintendo 3DS first launched, it had numerous AR mini-games whose job is was to show how the 3D camera could potentially be used to pull the real world into games on the small screen.

Unfortunately, since then there hasn't exactly been a barrage of AR releases for the handheld. And Sony's PS Vita hasn't done any better in this particular area, launching with a smattering of AR games and then failing to make anything of the technology again since.

Table Top Tanks is the first AR title for the PS Vita from an outside studio, and while it's perfectly playable it's also very by-the-numbers and becomes dull quickly.

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You control a tank as it worms its way around obstacles, destroys targets, and takes on enemy tanks. The twist is that all this action happens directly on your kitchen table, living room floor, or wherever else you choose to aim your PS Vita's camera.

By placing the AR cards on a surface, you can choose the size of the arena and where each obstacle sits. The game then pops out and comes to life, with bombs flying everywhere and planes doing airstrike runs across your favourite carpet.

There's plenty to do in Table Top Tanks, with dozens of missions to complete and multiplayer games to have a crack at if you have a friend with another PS Vita. It's a very easy title to pick up and play, whether you're into gaming or not.

What's really nifty is that you can place your own real-life obstacles in an arena, tell the game that what you've placed down is indeed a real thing, and then when your tank fires at it or tries to drive through it it behaves accordingly.

Tanked


All sounds pretty neat, right? This is, however, one of those situations where being a bit too simplistic is a serious weakness.

Put simply, Table Top Tanks throws the very same challenges at you over and over, with slightly increased difficulty each time. Within just 20 minutes we were already quite bored.

It doesn't help that the controls can be irksome at times, with your tank getting snagged on corners and so on. Finally - and perhaps most damningly - the AR is actually pretty pointless.

When you're playing, there are so many objects on-screen that you completely forget that you're using the camera. It also means that you can't play the game on the move, in the dark, or anywhere else where you can't simply sit still and point a metre in front of you.

So, ironically, for the most part Table Top Tanks would be better without the AR thrown in. The result is an accessible but utterly shallow game that's probably just about with the miniscule asking price.
 
Table Top Tanks
Reviewer photo
Mike Rose | 15 June 2012
It's cheap and easy to get into, but Table Top Tanks is just too shallow to really enjoy
 
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Joined:
Jul 2012
Post count:
44
Solm | 12:49 - 16 July 2012
Great review. But the whole AR thing is just a bit of a gimmick at the moment. It would be cool if games designers could utilise it to good effect but I doubt this will happen anytime soon.
Joined:
Feb 2012
Post count:
107
Axe99 | 22:47 - 15 June 2012
You mean "just about worth" rather than "just about with" in the last line, I'm guessing ;).

Thanks for the review. I'm not really sold on the whole AR thing (personally). I suspect it might be great for kids (the young 'uns seem to get into repetitive stuff more often, and this would give the young 'uns a much greater opportunity to mess with the playing field). But great to see these things coming out - if the industry just catered to what I wanted, the Vita would be all grand strategy, RPG and flight titles, lol!
 
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