Review: Tango Fiesta


Review: Tango Fiesta

  • Gameplay
  • Graphics
  • Sound
  • Control
  • Technical

Die Hard. Lethal Weapon. Predator. What do all of these 80’s action movies have in common? They’re all based off of the life of Tango Fiesta‘s hero, John Strong, or so he claims. Tango Fiesta follows the events of John Strong’s life as he re-lives every cliche 80’s action plot line you can possibly think of, from being a contestant on a killer game show, to rescuing the president’s daughter.

In Tango Fiesta you can either control John Strong or select from a handful of other characters that share a striking resemblance to 80’s action stars like Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson, and Peter Weller’s Robocop. Each character has different strengths and weaknesses, with 4 main stats: Health, Speed, Accuracy, and Stamina. No matter which character you choose, the storyline and cut scenes follow John Strong.


Tango Fiesta is a top-down twin stick shooter that plays very similar to games like Hell Divers and Assault Android Cactus. The missions in Tango Fiesta are short and sweet. You are dropped down on a random spot in the level and are shown the locations of your objectives. These objectives mostly involve destroying buildings or enemy helicopters, and can be completed in a matter of a couple minutes. Some of the enemies you encounter during the levels have icons above their heads, indicating rewards you will get when killing them. Some enemies are essential for survival, as they are your source of med kits and ammunition. Some enemies drop bonus currency that can be used in the gun shop. These enemies seem to be completely random, as you seem to rarely see the enemies you need at the right moments. Some levels the med kits and ammo seem to be extremely scarce, while others the levels are crawling with enemies dropping a surplus of supplies. The events that are being recounted by John Strong are split into 3 missions and a boss fight. The bosses typically have two or three phases, and become quicker and more difficult during each phase.


In most action movies, the hero doesn’t have to save the world on their own, often having a sidekick or a team alongside them. The same can be said for Tango Fiesta, as John Strong can have help from up to three people in either local or online cooperative multiplayer. Multiplayer is the best way to enjoy Tango Fiesta, and it is also the best way to plow through levels and unlock more guns. An extra player or two definitely comes in handy during certain missions, as often times there a large swarms of enemies that can be frustrating to take on solo.

What really makes Tango Fiesta so great is the cheesy 80’s action dialogue. John Strong is full of cliche one-liners and jokes, and there are plenty of references and nods to all the classic movies. The writing in Tango Fiesta is really well done, and perfectly captures the throwback action genre. Visually the game isn’t going to blow you away, but the cartoony style and character design is part of its charm. It may not appeal to all gamers, but the visuals definitely suit the game.

All in all, Spilt Milk Studios’ Tango Fiesta is a blast of 80’s action nostalgia packaged in a short and sweet twin stick shooter. Whether you are playing alone or with a few friends, Tango Fiesta provides a few hours of laughs and action that is well worth its price, especially if you are able to snag it during a Steam sale.


Tango Fiesta Steam code was provided by Spilt Milk Studios

About Josh Gilbert

Josh is the Co-founder and a Senior Writer for Controller Crusade, and loves all things related to video games. He is a retro games collector trying to recapture his childhood one game at a time, and he also has a major dude crush on Nathan Drake. You can contact him via email at or on Twitter @joshgilbert11.

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