It seems like SNK is re-releasing everything they ever made from before the NEO GEO’s launch. Some of these titles are real gems, others are absolutely abysmal and still others are competent, but forgettable. T.N.K. III falls into that last category, accomplishing what it sets out to do without being at all memorable.
As with many of these other arcade ports, there isn’t much of a story. You have a tank. There is an enemy army. I think you can figure out what happens when the two meet. Your weapons include a gun, which is handy for taking out the countless foot solders and a cannon, which can be rotated with the shoulder buttons, for eliminating enemy armor. Of course, you can always simply squash the terrified enemies as they run away from you, but that won’t be viable for too long. Once the foot soldiers start firing back and tossing grenades, you’re better off taking care of them from a distance.
The game features a variety of options that allow you to change difficulty and continues or toggle auto-aim and terrain. The latter gives you the chance to simply roll over everything, if you so choose. It removes a bit of the complexity, but it can be enjoyable if you are just in the mood to barrel forward.
The game features a life bar in the form of “Energy,” which can be replenished by picking up a glowing “E.” There are also other pickups, but as with the other SNK Minis, there is no manual or attract screen that explains things. You’re left to figure things out for yourself amidst the chaos.
Expect to die often, as this game was intended to suck the quarters out of your pockets. Having to use the shoulder buttons to rotate the cannon doesn’t help matters either. I found myself ignoring that feature and simply turning my tank in the direction I wanted to fire.
While the arcade cabinet look and authentic sound effects drive home the nostalgia, T.N.K. III is not nearly as competent as some of the other pre-NEO GEO releases that SNK has been pumping out lately. The $2.99 price isn’t bad, but there are better options out there.
Review copy provided by publisher.