Charge! Tank Squad feels like an Atari game and looks like it was made for the Game Boy Advance. It’s a simple, overhead tank game where all you have to worry about is moving your armored death machine. Really, that’s all — the tank fires automatically every few seconds, and the shoulder button only serves to lock your turret in a position so that you can move and fire in two different directions. Over the course of the game’s three levels, you’ll get a few different objectives, but the gameplay never changes; each stage is always about you shooting all the enemies on screen, either in an effort to protect yourself, your base, or to clear them out so you can destroy their base.
Games don’t have to be complex to be good — I’ve played more than a few single-button games that I adore — but Charge! Tank Squad does nothing to keep the simple action from becoming stale. Each of the three missions are largely the same, and disappointingly easy to beat. With no option to change your difficulty, even the choice I had between the three different tanks (who really just move or shoot at different speeds) feels kind of pointless. No tank made the game considerably more difficult or interesting to play.
You can play cooperatively with a friend, but this makes the game even easier. Two players use the same PSP, with each player using the face buttons or direction keys to control their tank and their shoulder button to lock their tank into position. I appreciate that co-op exists, but the game isn’t interesting enough for me to want to sit and smell my friend’s breath while we lurk over one small screen. Maybe if playing cooperatively offered different objectives or an increased difficulty it might have added more value to Tank Squad, but as the game is now it was utterly forgettable.
Tank Squad isn’t bad or broken, but it lacks the hook to its design that would make it anything more than a mostly forgettable Mini. I suppose worse ways exist to kill a few minutes on your PSP, but, amongst a growing library of small games, this isn’t one I’d put on the top of any “must buy” list.