Dan Dan Tang 弹弹堂 which strangely means Shoot Shoot Hall, is a popular new game available on many Chinese online game service providers.
A colourful game which is basically a complete rip off of the game franchise “Worms” but combines an online community similar to Gaia Online. The game has made tens of millions in RMB already, and has more than 200,000 concurrent players.
Developed by 7th Road Technology Co. Ltd, a Shenzhen based company, it’s been hosted on Duowan.com, Baidu Games, 17173.com, Renren.com, and Qy.com.cn.
I played the game from Baidu’s game site, since I already have a Baidu account. It’s extremely quick to get into, you just make a character, male or female and you’re dropped into the tutorial system of the game. ( For some reason the graphics for the number 9 in their logo looks exactly like a letter g. )
Even if you can’t read Chinese, the tutorial system is incredibly intuitive, and you quickly get the gist of the game.
The fight system is basically the same as Worms except that you equip your weapon before the battle rather than having a selection of weapons to choose from, and to vary your attack you have different abilities to choose from for your shot, such as x2 power, scatter shots, multi shots etc. There is also treasure dotted about in the sky, which you can collect by shooting at. But the controls are the same as Worms, you can press left & right to move, and up & down to choose your angle of attack. When you’ve accumulated enough points from attacking, you can unleash a powerful attack by pressing the aptly named “POW” button.
The similarities to Worms go so far as that your character is even crouched on the ground like a worm in battles…..
The game menu revolves around a town map :
With the Arena in the centre for PVP, a Shop, Docks for PVE and other buildings for random things like spa and marriage to other players, etc. You can also upgrade your weapons with crystal type items in one of the buildings. It looks strikingly similar to the map in Gaia Online and other such online communities and games, but I guess they weren’t the first to do it and it’s a popular set-up for a game menu, even though its completely overdone now.
There’s actually good music for once in a Chinese game, the music on the loading screen is better than the looped town music, but it’s of a fairly decent quality at least.
The art is very colourful and clean, nice cute character designs. There’s the ability to shop for new clothes for your avatar and this is essentially where the game gets a lot of its money as you have different currencies, one currency which is bought with real money can buy all the special clothes and accessories, then your game currency which you get from battles allows you to buy upgrades from a limited menu, which will end up making your character look like the doofus below. (Cool shades though)
After getting my cool shades, I noticed literally everyone else wears the same shades.
There are a lot of different weird weapons, apart from the obvious weapons; blunt weapons, firearms, throwing knives and shurikens, there are also random objects like TVs and Fruit.
After the tutorial section, it gets me into a 1v1 PVP battle with some other guy, who I promptly beat.
You can choose a treasure from some cards after you win a battle, there’s also a floating treasure chest with a timer on the menu screens that you can get stuff on, this is a common reward in these types of games, incentive for staying on the game longer.
I tried a team battle at the Arena next.
The Arena room looks quite complicated, but its just a list of the games and players with a chat room, you can either join a random game, search for a game or create your own with the 3 larger buttons at the bottom.
The little guy on the bottom right is who you have to click to say you are ready, but out of the 10 groups I tried to join, someone is always afk or something and won’t ready up, there didn’t seem to be any way to force start a game, which is really frustrating, but I guess you have to have equal teams, still it caused me to have to hop around a ton of games until I got into one where everyone was actually ready.
I finally got into a battle with a group against another who seemed to have Chopper from One Piece in their ranks. You can spend money to look like a lot of different custom characters, and the animations of them are pretty good, spot on re-creations of the characters and their behaviours.
It got a bit hairy in the battle, the Chopper guy seemed to be pretty good, this is a shot of the graphics for when you do a special shot with the POW button. A Giant crazy phoenix on fire appears and you do like triple damage or something with your attack. If you die, you can float about as a ghost collecting treasure on the map.
We ended up beating the Chopper Team, I didn’t do too well, kept missing people by a tiny amount and only did 215 damage in the end, still look at the other team crying as we are proclaimed winners under a giant banner, I wonder why it says winner in English.
The website is pretty easy to navigate, and has all the game information, you can probably use google translate to understand it all, but the game is pretty straightforward anyway. I wanted to do PVE but I found out that you can only join it at the docks when you’re level 9. I got up to level 6 and stopped because it was enough experience to write a review. There are lots of little things to do in the community of Dan Dan Tang, but the core game play is essentially Worms with a level up system and chat room.
Apparently some of the girls that play the game are cute, and they have profiles and pictures.
But it’s probably a marketing stunt.
This is supposed to be one of the most popular games at the moment, and whilst the visual and technical aspect of the game is really good, the actual originality of the game and the fun involved is fairly bad. Connecting to their servers from outside of China wasn’t much of a problem, and my loading times were only a little longer than the Chinese players which was quite good I thought. But I’d like to see an original Chinese game for once.
Note : I love how in China you can just use whatever copyrighted characters you want, such as Chopper from One Piece, and make money off your product, I doubt they bought the license to use him, but if you tried to do that with Mickey Mouse in your game in the West, then you’d get sued so hard you wouldn’t have your clothes left. But then again, maybe they did buy a license after their game got popular, except the copyright laws in China amount to absolutely nothing, so they wouldn’t get sued if they did it illegally.