Tanks for the Memories
If you play a lot of mobile games, you have probably played something very similar to Cyber Tank: Last Survivor. Developed by AniBox, Cyber Tank is a top-down action roguelike resembling a stage-based version of 20 Minutes Till Dawn. Unfortunately, while AniBox’s game is perfectly functional, it fails to ever be more than that.
Your tank will automatically fire on the nearest enemy, and each destroyed robot earns you experience points. Upon leveling up, you can pick between one of three upgrades. These range from basic health and damage upgrades to spawning allies and unlocking a wide range of additional powers. These reset at the end of the chapter, though players can also unlock new components to upgrade their tank between chapters.
Each chapter in Cyber Tank consists of multiple stages, and each stage is a flat square plane where enemies spawn in. Different biomes only offer visual changes and not significant ones. Deserts, ruined cities, and survivors’ colonies are big empty fields with different-colored ground. There aren’t any trees, rocks, buildings or other obstacles, just ground and enemies. In fairness, there is a degree of enemy variety. However, the difficulty comes mainly from overwhelming you with a horde of weak enemies instead of having a few strong ones.
If that sounds like it might get kind of repetitive, that’s because it does. You will also be going through the same chapters more than once. That said, some of the upgrades shake things up a bit. For example, there is a power that intermittently shoots projectiles from the front of your tank. However, since it’s on the front of the chassis instead of the turret, you constantly must turn around to hit things.
Even if They’re Not so Good
However, I really struggled to stay invested. I compared it to 20 Minutes Till Dawn earlier, but that’s not fair. 20 Minutes Till Dawn is tense and exciting, building to a climax as the horde closes in while dawn approaches. Cyber Tank is just kind of boring.
The game also feels kind of cheap. The identical stages contribute to that perception, and I’m half convinced that the few human characters are AI-generated. If you’ve ever seen those AI-generated parody Pixar posters, you know the style I’m talking about. I’m not saying the developers put zero effort into it; I’ve played too much shovelware to say that. However, games exist on a spectrum of “made with a vision” and “just a paycheck.” Some are closer to the former, and most are the middle, but Cyber Tank feels like the latter.
Here’s a fun little detail. When you get a reward, you can accept it or get more by watching an ad. However, the ad button pops up about half a second before the claim button. This makes it more likely that players will click on it by accident.
Is Cyber Tank: Last Survivor a bad game? Kind of. It’s not broken, but it is boring, and other better games do the same thing. I honestly can’t think of why someone would play Cyber Tank instead of those.
Is It Hardcore?
Cyber Tank: Last Survivor is a dull, repetitive slog that succeeds at being functional but does little else of note.