|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Natsume||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Natsume||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Apr. 6, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
The other modes don't have Story Mode's personality or sense of accomplishment, but they promise hours of fun for high-score junkies. There's Survival and Time Attack, which are just what they sound like. There's also Quest, which gives you specific challenges to complete on the game board. Of the extra modes, Quest is our favorite; the special tasks provide a sense of variety that Story Mode doesn't. Survival and Time Attack, meanwhile, get repetitive in a hurry without funny cutscenes to break up the action, though there's the option of watching the cutscenes by themselves.
Also, the cartridge includes three simple arcade-style shooter games (one is sort of like Space Invaders, and the other two are shooting galleries), as well as various costumes. You can dress up the tanks on what's called the Collection Screen and tease them by poking them with the stylus, which provokes some adorable angry responses (and eventually an explosion).
In terms of presentation, the game excels, despite the fact that it doesn't exactly push the DS to its limit. The tanks are depicted in a well-done anime art style, which gives the game a unique look. The game board is easy enough to read and comprehend (though, being colorblind, we found some of the block colors a little too similar), and the stylus controls have never failed us. The sound is good, especially the comical high-pitched voices that ring out during the cutscenes, though some of the effects can become repetitive and grating and the music is a little hyper.
Squishy Tank is an almost painfully simple game, but Natsume makes up for it by offering the title at a relatively painless price of $20. For puzzle gamers who want to test their reflexes and are on tight budgets -- especially small kids who can't handle more complicated tasks -- it's a decent buy. It offers a clever and amusing story, simple gameplay that many will find entertaining (at least in short bursts), and some of the cutest little war machines you'll ever see. Again, this game is not for everyone, and for that matter it's not for most people, but there's a lot of value here for its target audience.
CCC Freelance Writer