Bugs vs. Tanks Review: Miniaturized Warfare

Bugs vs. Tanks Review: Miniaturized WarfareWarfare exists when at least two sides disagree on an issue enough to fight about it. Conflicts like the Axis Powers vs. the Allies in World War II; The Hatfields vs. the McCoys; the Trix Rabbit vs. the cereal-hogging kids. As long as two sides disagree, the fires of war can burn.

In Bugs vs. Tanks for the Nintendo 3DS system, warfare exists on the battlefields of Europe; actually, more like in the battlefield of Europe. After a rather tense battle with the allies, a German Panzer Battalion mysteriously shrinks down to microscopic size and they find themselves battling ants, bees, and spiders for food, water, and for their very survival.

Developed by Level-5, and created by the legendary Keiji Inafune (Mega Man, among many, many others), Bugs vs. Tanks is a downloadable title from the Nintendo eShop and is part of the Guild 2 subset of games.

The game follows the authentic tiny Panzer tanks on over 40 missions spread out over six levels, such as securing resources like food, water and fuel, protecting various base camps from hoarding, giant insects, and even escort missions. In addition to the 25 different insect enemies, players also have to deal with rain (whose drops are destructive to a tank’s armor plating) and other environmental maladies.

Bug vs. Tanks Review: Miniaturized Warfare

Players can also customize their tanks with over 30 tank types, and myriad skins and shell (ammo) combinations. There are even special unlockable tanks if players have save files from any other Level-5-developed, Nintendo 3DS Guild 1 or Guild 2 game. Favorite tank rollouts can be saved and selected before missions, so using the right tank for the right mission is a huge plus.

Completing missions and doing so with skill earns the player in-game medals, which gives Bugs vs. Tanks some level of re-playability to try and unlock all of the 25 rewards.

Graphically, the game looks great and the stereoscopic 3D works well in a world that exists underneath blades of grass and around scattered garbage like discarded cigarette butts. The tanks are all historically accurate, and the insects look photorealistic for the most part.

On drawback is the camera, which is in a locked overhead position. It’s very difficult to see enemies, especially the flying variety, and by the time the enemy in in sight, it’s close enough to do considerable damage.

Bug vs. Tanks Review: Miniaturized Warfare

On the audio side, Bugs vs. Tanks has full voice-over for the different characters with only the user-created player remaining silent. All of the voices are distinct and each had a thick German accent. The buzzing of the flying insect and the chaotic sounds of war (screams, shell fire, etc.) are all present and add to the overall package.

Bugs vs. Tanks is a great game that has plenty to do in such a small little package (pun intended). There are high levels of customization and enough missions to warrant a look from gamers of all ages and skill sets. The visual presentation and 3D are both excellent and the game as a whole makes for an excellent addition to any game library.

Bugs vs. Tanks was reviewed on Nintendo 3DS using a code provided by Level-5. It was released on June 20, 2013.

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