Total Tank Generals – Review
Follow Genre: Turn-based strategy
Developer: Noobz From Poland
Publisher: 505 Games
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Total Tank Generals – Review

Site Score
Good: Solid, if unremarkable, gameplay
Bad: Soundtrack doesn't impress
User Score
(2 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.0/10 (2 votes cast)

Among fans of hex-based strategy games with a military theme, Panzer General has been the gold standard for decades. Indie developer Noobz From Poland is apparently hoping to challenge Panzer General’s dominant position in the genre, with their new title Total Talk Generals. As the old saying goes, ‘If you come at the king, you best not miss’, so the new game certainly has its work cut out for it if it wants to leave an impression. Does Total Tank Generals have the arsenal to take on its illustrious predecessor or do its threads get stuck early on? Let’s find out.


While Total Tank Generals isn’t a narrative-driven affair per se, there is still some backstory to be found here. As you’d expect from a game that centers around tank warfare, Total Tank Generals is set against the background of World War II. The game offers no less than three campaigns, tied to the available factions. Each campaign puts you in the shoes of a famous commander that played an important role in the real-life war. The historical figureheads present here are American general George S. Patton, Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov, and German general Edwin Rommel. While playing through the campaigns, a narrator introduces each of these men, and their biographies are accompanied by genuine archive footage, lending some historical credence to the game. Of course, nobody is going to play Total Tank Generals to get immersed in the story, but it’s great to see that Noobz From Poland is at least trying to infuse their game with some historical background.


Despite the use of actual footage during cutscenes and the historical setting, Total Tank Generals’ actual gameplay resembles a tabletop wargame, with toy soldiers that dwarf the tiny tanks being moved against an elaborately modeled battlefield. If you scroll to the edge of the map, you’ll even see the wooden borders of the table that the game is being played on. By going for this toyetic aesthetic, Noobz From Poland effectively can get away with a lack of detail without this feeling too egregious. Total Tank General’s visuals aren’t going to impress anyone, but for what the game wants to be, it looks good enough.


If there’s one thing that’s outright underwhelming here, it’s the soundscape. The theatre of war provides the perfect opportunity for a dramatic, cinematic soundtrack but the music present here is comparatively underwhelming. The ambient sound effects feel rather barebones, and the only voice work comes from a narrator during the cutscenes that introduce the three army commanders. Unfortunately, this narrator sounds more like a bored museum guide than someone that is trying to get you excited about waging war.


If you’re familiar with Panzer General, things will look deceptively familiar when you boot up Total Tank Generals for the first time. As we quickly found out, however, our initial impression of Total Tank Generals being an outright Panzer General clone was wrong. That, or we were a lot rustier than we thought, as admittedly, it has been around a decade since we last gave Panzer General a spin. Either way, the game surprised us by kicking our ass on normal mode. When we had licked our wounds and swallowed our pride, we decided to give it another go, this time actually listening to what the game wanted us to do. Total Tank Generals takes the basic turn-based hex-based strategy formula that the game’s target audience allegedly already knows and loves, but mixes things up by introducing additional layers of strategy through unique features. Additionally, each of the three available factions offers its own take on these features and mechanics, ensuring that the various campaigns feel distinct. Missions aren’t just about outright killing the enemy either, instead tasking you with a variety of objectives as well as turn limits that you can strive to meet in order to gain better rewards upon mission completion.

There is a wide variety of units available, ranging from static heavy artillery to fast, light vehicles. Each turn, your units get action points (AP) and the key to victory throughout the game’s missions is of course to use your AP in the most efficient way possible. Each of your units, with the notable exception of static artillery, is able to perform a frontal assault on the enemy, at the cost of an action point and some ammo. Units are able to defend themselves, or even attack, while they have no ammo left, though this is horribly inefficient. Instead, whenever your unit is out of ammo, your best course of action is to spend your action point to resupply, refilling your ammo, and recovering some of your health bar in the process. Resupplying also boosts your troops’ morale, which is important because they might turn their tails and retreat if you don’t keep them motivated. While resupplying is essentially free, it does mean your unit becomes a sitting duck for that turn, so sometimes it’s better to move out of range instead. Total Tank Generals encourages players to think ahead for multiple turns, and in this regard, it certainly nails the tactical aspect, even though quite a bit of luck is involved as well.

Before you perform your assault, the game will provide you with a slew of information, including the hit percentage of the selected unit, how much damage it will dish out, and how much health the enemy will chip off. It’s a handy mechanic that will feel very familiar to Fire Emblem fans, as it allows you to maximize your chances of success. Of course, there is more to these percentages than a virtual dice roll, because depending on whether or not your assault is successful, additional damage modifiers apply, and if your unit has the ‘overrun’ perk, you’ll even be able to continue your onslaught against adjacent enemies. We should mention here that even at lower difficulties, the hit percentages felt off, and we weren’t hitting enemies quite as much as the percentages would have us believe. This could be bias of course, although if there is percentage tampering going on, we would have vastly preferred actually seeing lower percentages rather than getting our hopes up for nothing.

Perhaps the mechanic that sets Total Tank Generals apart the most from similar titles comes in the form of unit stacking. Up to three of your units can be placed on the same hex, allowing them to concentrate their firepower to overwhelm enemy hexes, while also opening up more space on the battlefield, allowing you to control even more units simultaneously. Additional units are gained by earning prestige points, and the amount of prestige points you get is directly related to how efficient you are in clearing missions. Of note here is that although existing units do gain experience, eventually becoming veterans and earning points, they’re never outright upgraded. You’ll need to carefully balance veteran units that have less efficient equipment with newer, non-veteran units and perhaps being able to outright upgrade your units instead would have been the better choice here, especially since you can’t get rid of older units unless they are destroyed in combat and you are limited to what you can place on the field in a mission. This means that you’ll inevitably end up with obsolete units that are taking up precious space.

All in all, Total Tank Generals’ gameplay offers plenty of tactical depth and variety, without really shaking up the genre. Hex-based military strategy games are a niche genre in the first place, but if you happen to be in the specific niche that the game is catering to, chances are you’ll end up loving it. On the other hand, if you’re not a fan, then Total Tank Generals isn’t going to be the title that will change your opinion of the genre. There isn’t an enormous slew of content present either, but with varying difficulty levels and each army offering something unique, there is plenty of replay value to be found here. The game’s €24.99 price tag feels very reasonable for what you’re getting, and if you’re still on the fence, you can give the game’s free demo a try before you commit.


While we don’t see Total Tank Generals push Panzer General from its throne anytime soon, what we’re getting here is still a serviceable entry in the genre. This definitely isn’t a title that will appeal to everyone, but those that enjoy these kinds of games are undoubtedly going to find joy here. That said, Total Tank Generals isn’t going to set anyone’s world on fire, and aside from a handful of interesting mechanics, the game simply doesn’t do enough to set itself apart. Total Tank Generals gives you exactly what it promises, and sometimes, that’s good enough in itself.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.0/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Total Tank Generals - Review, 6.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

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