STAFF REVIEW of Tango Fiesta (Xbox One)


Monday, June 26, 2017.
by Brent Roberts

Tango Fiesta Box art Ah yes, the summer is here. Full of sunshine, blue skies, kids on the street, maybe a slurpee in hand, oh, and there is a pile of Xbox One indie games that are designed to do one thing, take your money from your wallet. Recently, publisher Merge Games released a game called Tango Fiesta, and while priced in the mid-range of indie pricing ($9.99), this game tries to give you value for your money by making the most simplistic shooter while allowing you to carry as much explosives as you can, all mixed together with lighthearted humor that shows that the game doesn't take itself so seriously. But with that in mind, does that mean you shouldn't consider the choice to throw your $10 at it? Let's dive in shall we?

Ok, when I said simplistic, I was wrong. This game is colossally simplistic. Like so simplistic the tag line for this game could easily read Tango Fiesta: Just shoot everything. You have two choices in the game: Arcade or Story Mode. Arcade mode is just level after level of mindless killing while the game shows off an overwhelming number of explosions. Story mode is like Arcade mode, except you get a cheesy backstory that pertains to iconic action movies, but with a heavy dose of comedic satire. Tango Fiesta tries so hard to be a culmination of classic 80's and 90's action movies, ranging from Predator, Rambo and RoboCop, unfortunately it sadly doesn't do a good job in trying to pay homage to the source material. This is kind of unfortunate, as it seems like a missed chance here.


Whatever mode you pick you'll quickly grasp the concept that you have to kill everything. To do this you'll need to select from a group of characters such as Bionic Cop (RoboCop), John Strong (Arnold himself) and more. Each character offers different stats, but honestly Bionic Cop is the best as his stats are mostly maxed out except for speed. Tango Fiesta then takes your character and throws them into a random generated arena and lets you kill everything over and over again. This is thanks to a simplistic game mechanics that unfortunately suffer from incredible bugs.

First off, let's talk about the in-game movement. Using the left stick to move around is one thing; however, there are multiple items within the level itself that affect your movement and your battles. For example, let's say you're fighting a group of six enemies and between you and the group is a patch of grass. You try to shoot them and then you notice something strange. The grass stopped your bullet. Yes, your projectile was stopped by grass; however, your opponents' bullets go right through. Naturally this creates some disadvantage, but as you'll quickly notice, navigating the levels themselves are going to be the greatest obstacle you'll face.

With Tango Fiesta being a twin stick shooter, you would think that there would be an extensive range of fire with your controls, unfortunately you would be completely incorrect. In fact, the strict following of 8-axis fire is so severe that you'll find yourself deliberately trying to attack from either straight up or straight down, or from the direct left side or right side. There were even multiple times when I would try and throw a grenade, however, I noticed that the grenade would sometimes drop at my feet and explode, and there was no explanation for this.


Another knock on the gameplay has to come from the reloading method. See, if you hold down the right trigger and have your gun run out of ammo, you'll have to take your finger off the trigger while the game auto reloads and then place your finger back on to continue to fire. Since you have no knowledge of how close you are to an empty clip, you are almost thrown into situations blindly because your ammo counter is in microscopic text in the upper left corner. It's frustrating to say the least.

Now, normally I would talk about the graphics and sound, but I'm not going to. There's nothing to mention that is of any value to your time to read about. The tiny sprites try to over accentuate various aspects and characteristics of enemies and such, and the levels are generic in texture, tone and enjoyment. The sound is actually so bad that I turned it down except for one aspect of the game, the Gun Shop. Here you can unlock new weaponry for the right amount of in-game cash considering you fulfill the necessary requirements. The joy of this menu is that all the weaponry is presented to you in an Arnold impersonation voice and there is something about hearing "OOZI 9 Millimeter" in that voice that is eerily amusing.


While you can play Tango Fiesta as a single player game, sadly it only supports local 4-player co-op only. That's right folks, there may be millions of people on Xbox Live, but Tango Fiesta only allows for local co-op. I don't know why, I thought that we lived in a day and age where we wanted to connect to others outside of our couch? The only reason I can think of to justify the local play only is that back in the 80's that’s how we played our games. Had Tango Fiesta included online play with others, then it would have given it more hope and quite possibly sell better than it will as it stands now.

So, the big question is "Should you spend $9.99 plus tax on Tango Fiesta?" Well, gameplay mechanics are flawed, graphics and sound are passable at best, and there is a complete lack of online multiplayer; all of this makes not only the actual value low, but the replay value incredibly low as well. Given the sum of all of its' parts, there's no way I can recommend buying this game at that price. It's a shame because with such a wealth of content available to draw comedic inspiration from, Tango Fiesta just got terminated. If a sequel gets released though, and it fixes the issues of this game, I'll be back.




Overall: 4.5 / 10
Gameplay: 4.5 / 10
Visuals: 4.5 / 10
Sound: 4.5 / 10

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