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Operation: Tango Game review

Game review 26 May 2021, 14:00

author: Giancarlo Saldana

Giancarlo Saldana has been covering video games and tech for over a decade for publications like 1UP, GamesRadar, TechRadar, MacLife, Blast Magazine, and more. Twitter: @giansaldana

Operation: Tango Review: A Stylish Spy Co-op

If you have ever done one of those trust exercises where you are blindfolded and need to listen to your partner, you値l fit right in with this puzzler. Trust each other, talk it out, and you値l have a great time saving the world.

The review is based on the PC version.

Saying communication is key is an understatement when it comes to a game like Operation: Tango. The crux of this online co-op is effectively talking things through with your partner to meet your objectives and successfully complete your mission. While you both will be playing the same mission in tandem, you won稚 be able to see what the other person sees, meaning you will need to rely on each other痴 directions to succeed. The results are a unique game that forces you to think, act quickly, and communicate effectively in ways you never knew you had to in a video game before.

It takes two

  1. Intelligent design of co-op challenges;
  2. Unique and varied missions;
  3. Seamless co-op experience;
  4. Unique experience depending on who your partner is.
  1. Feels a little short-lived with current length.

First thing痴 first you cannot play this by yourself or with an AI. Operation: Tango is made to be played with another person using a working microphone, so you will need to find a friend or a friendly stranger to play with. Luckily, your partner doesn稚 need to own the game as there is a Friend Pass mode they can download and play with you at no cost to them. You can even play on PC with someone on a console and vice versa, as crossplay is supported. The game itself only costs around $20, so it痴 duly priced for what it offers.

Throughout its six missions, one of you will play as the agent and the other will be the hacker. The agent is on the scene of the mission, opening doors, exploring her surroundings, and even going undercover when needed. The hacker, on the other hand, is providing backup from his computer and can infiltrate security systems, unlock doors, and dig up the information the agent needs to move forward. Both players will need the support of the other as you will run into roadblocks during your operation that require cooperation to resolve. This symbiosis is crucial in every aspect of the game and provides both the challenge and the reward all at once.

One mission, for example, places you inside a moving train to identify a passenger with sensitive information on his phone. As the agent, you won稚 know where or whom to look for, but you can scan the phones of people around you and see what kinds of apps they have installed. The hacker on the other hand, has a list of passenger names, their location on the train, and can see what apps the target has on his phone. Putting two and two together, you will need to cross-reference each other痴 intel and match up the right person to hack.

Two heads are better than one

Critical thinking also comes into play often during puzzles that require you to break a password using a series of numbers. During these instances, only the agent can solve these but the hacker can assist by informing her how many right and wrong digits she selected. Other times, however, puzzles will require both of you to solve them and will divide the controls between the two of you. One player can only move left and right while the other can move up and down. The game does a great job of seamlessly connecting both of your games so there is no delay in what you are doing. All you need to worry about is moving in sync or talking it out keeping your partner in the know.

Because you can稚 see what your partner is seeing, you need to constantly be talking and sharing what you see with them. Your experience quickly becomes one of those trust games where you are blindfolded and need to follow your partner痴 directions, but in this case, the fate of the world is at stake. One of the best and most complex puzzles in the game involves disarming a multi-tiered bomb and requires a lot of observation and explanation to properly take it down. Forgetting to mention one tiny detail or omitting a step in a direction can lead to your doom. These timed, crucial moments are both nerve-racking and thrilling and provide a suspense you wouldn稚 expect from a puzzle game.

Smart missions

Missions can last around 30 minutes and provide a variety of challenges to overcome that keep the action moving from one to the next and push the co-op experience in new ways. Some, for example, don稚 provide much direction and leave it up to you to figure out what to do next. You may be told to get to a certain area, but getting there requires some digging either via your surroundings or the hacker痴 computer to figure out what you need to look up, decode, or unlock. Figuring this out leads to some exciting eureka moments that leave you both feeling accomplished.

The neat thing about each mission is that it can be replayed multiple times and it will randomize certain conditions. The combinations will be new, the passwords will differ, and even certain important details will be shuffled so you are forced to play it as if it were your first time. Sure, the steps are the same and it may feel repetitive, but these small touches help keep each one relatively fresh since you may play them with different partners who may be playing it for the first time. On top of that, playing as the hacker and agent is an entirely different experience, so it痴 worth playing each mission at least twice to truly get the sense of the game痴 impressive puzzles.

Short but sweet, Operation: Tango makes for the perfect long-distance party game you can play with nearly anyone with a PC or gaming console. The best part is they don稚 even have to own it but they should. This puzzler may not take you very long to finish, but each experience accompanied with some intelligently designed challenges will be unique with the person you play with adding to its replayability and fun.

Giancarlo Saldana | Gamepressure.com

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