Last week, I was able to attend a discord-hosted press conference debuting a preview of ConnecTank, an upcoming multiplayer puzzle game that plays like a cross between Overcooked and Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime. The game is a product of the Natsume Indie Program, which pairs the Harvest Moon developer with independent teams focused on pumping out some “serious fun” for players of all ages. Based on what developer YummyYummyTummy had to share with us, they’re doing just that with a game that’s shaping up to be one of the better multiplayer arcade romps of the year. It’s dripping with charm and soul, in no small part thanks to the narrative vision of Patrick Baker, best known for his writing work on Regular Show. All in all, the team working on this project seems to have done an excellent job bringing this vision together. The artistic style, narrative comedy, and zany gameplay all come together to create an experience that is as enjoyable as it is endearing.
Every character in ConnecTank is absolutely oozing with life and personality, and each of them has been passionately brought to life. Characters like Tobias and Sally The Six Socks are as colorful as they are memorable, an aspect that is only amplified by their well-written comedic beats. This is a game with dialogue that will genuinely make you laugh out loud, and at a time where pretty much every game I play is trying as hard as it can to be taken seriously, I don’t think that’s anything to scoff at. The general gist of ConnecTank’s plot is that you’re a delivery worker shipping packages across the tumultuous land of New Pangea at the behest of three tycoons. In order to get shipments delivered, you’ll have to fend off tanks attempting to halt your progress in the name of their own greedy backers. Each of these barons has their own distinct personalities. Finneas Fat Cat XV is written in the stylings of a gilded-age hyper-capitalist. Lord Lewis Longneck is a patron of the arts with a renaissance aesthetic. Emperor Pontius Penguin is the cold leader of the Tundra Collective, focused on bringing glory to his nation. Based on how you play the game and which missions you undertake, you will raise one of these Barons to great success throughout your playthrough – which has been hinted to drastically change the direction of the plot.
While I didn’t get any hands-on with the game, I was shown some live gameplay, and what I saw certainly looks fun. 1-4 players will be tasked with creating pipelines from ammo-crafters to cannons in a grid structure while mitigating damage inflicted by the opposition by either crafting around it or fending off attackers. Players also need to strategize what sort of ammo they choose to craft and which cannon they choose to send it out of. Decisions like these will always be the make-or-break factor in combative encounters. Different types of ammo have different effects, and you have to choose to shoot them from either the left or right cannon in order to counter your opponent’s blasts. The single-player experience seems to be very strategic and methodical, while the multiplayer can absolutely devolve into a wonderfully chaotic mess – certainly a catalyst for some fantastic couch banter between friends.
All things considered, I think ConnecTank is gearing up to be one of the best multiplayer arcade titles of the year. It’s a unique indie title with a ton of heart behind it. Developer YummyYummyTummy has demonstrated a lot of passion and energy behind this collaboration with Natsume, and if they play their cards right, I’m certain that they have a gem at their hands. ConnecTank will be releasing on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC later this year.