Gamer on a Budget #14 – Lil’ Sherman

Reviewed by William LJ Galaini

Lil’ Sherman
Developer: Dabster Entertainment
Price: $2.99-$3.99 on PC
Where: Steam and itch.io
Platform: PC

Lil’ Sherman is the freshman outing for Dabster Entertainment. Clearly intended to be a small scale hybrid of tower defense and third-person vehicle combat, this game takes familiar gameplay elements and drops them into a playful WWII setting.

First off, the genre itself is well-tread so we have a lot to compare Lil’ Sherman to. This does not do the game any favors. The defense towers you place give no feedback for the damage they cause and indicate nothing of their range or abilities prior to you directly observing them. Placement of these defenses is done through trial and error in mundane match after mundane match and in the end, it is almost just better to upgrade your tank and ignore the useless defense turret mechanics outright. After all, the developer kinda did since you can’t rotate your towers prior to putting them down.

Screenshots look okay?

The enemies are essentially two types of tanks: small tanks and large ones. That is IT. No troop transports, no enemy artillery, and no airplanes. How much more interesting this game would have been with a rock/paper/scissors approach of defending against infantry, airplanes, and armor requiring you to deploy and upgrade pillboxes, AA guns, and anti-tank cannons. But such engaging elements would have required Dabster to balance their game… which they clearly did not. Because everything hits the same.

The only thing under options is volume. Seriously. And the camera in this menu is bizarre…

The presentation is dogshit. Honestly, it is. While some screenshots online show shadows, the actual game has none. Overall, the muddy textures and samey levels make it appear, on par, with games twenty years older. There are no impacts to any explosions and the sound design is… bad. The static in the voice acting is alarming, the weapon sound effects are below acceptable quality, and the engine noise woefully redundant. While the music sets the mood well, there is but the one song and you will be finished with it fast.

There is an endless mode along with the four nearly-identical maps for the single player, but that would require a higher level of self-hatred than most have. Overall, it plays like an artless N64 game with comparable sound effects. There is no tutorial, not even one to read, because that would have taken effort.

I’m actually getting angrier as I write this.

Whelp.

Why you would buy it:
Want to support a new game studio
Costs less than a cup of coffee in some towns

Why you would pass on it:
Looks bad
Plays bad
Sounds bad
Is bad

Recommended for:
The morbidly curious who need a break from Defense Grid or Kingdom Rush

William LJ Galaini
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3 thoughts on “Gamer on a Budget #14 – Lil’ Sherman”

  1. I genuinely feel bad writing a negative review, but I felt there no other option. I am looking forward to SSTR, however. It does something new and it looks FAR more polished and cared for. Some passion can be felt in that game.

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  2. Well, It’s pretty cheap, in fact, it’s the cheapest game that you have reviewed so far.

    On Steam, it’s only €2,39. I would be really surprised if a game this cheap would look and feel awesome with stellar audio, wide and varied authentic sounds, and lots of music. At least it has Steam achievements for those that like that and the general gameplay doesn’t really look worse than combat in Red Alert. It seems like there are a few Tank building options too. Not too many maps though.

    I have seen a few vids that show the base game and it looks like fast-paced action fun and with the sounds of a drill sergeant in the back makes it seem quite alive. The short fast-paced fun reminds me a bit about “Worms”, which was also a very short-lived game on my shelf.

    What else.. What age group does this game appeal to? Does it have a Co-op/multi-player? I guess it’s possible that it could be a little fun and a redeeming factor if you could play Co-op or pvp vs. friends for a short game or two.

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