Pixel Reviews: Tiny Troopers (PC)
I'll admit- I've never played one of these war-strategy type games before. In fact, I'll also admit I've played very few strategy games. However, I can tell for the most part when I find a good one, a bad one, or one snugly in the middle of those two. This game is one of those that's both good and bad.
I'll start with the good. Firstly, the graphics are surprisingly good for an iOS to PC port. I was impressed with the bold colors of the environments and cute little soldiers models that waddle around firing mostly well animated bullets at the varying enemies. Going onto that next point, I'm glad Tiny Troopers has some variety to it, as otherwise I would probably not like the game as much. There are tanks that you almost need (in fact, you certainly do unless you get lucky) to buy special weapons for (I'll touch back on that later) to defeat, towers that need to be destroyed either from a long, LONG stream of bullets or those special weapons (again), the regular enemies of course, which are mostly easy unless they have armor in which case those special weapons certainly are useful for quickening your job, and finally, the machine gun trucks, again nearly impossible to defeat without those special weapons.
On another note, the music in the game is pretty good, and provides a nice "war" theme to it. The voices for your soldiers fit the game's style (cute but not too cute) very well. There's 30 missions (each of which take anywhere from 5-20 minutes to complete depending on how fast you are) in the game total, and a few extra modes that don't add much to the game itself but do provide some replayability. Speaking of replayability, there are a good amount of Steam achievements to unlock and each provides a unique form of play, whether it is failing the first mission of the game (which is hard to fail unless it's on purpose) to killing a certain number of enemies with a certain weapon. The game is chock full of good content-boosters like this, which is nice.
The gameplay itself is not too shabby. It involves you directing a squad of little soldiers around trying to accomplish each mission's objectives. These can range from the hard (rescuing some of your fellow soldiers from the enemy then getting them out of there) to the very easy ("survive"- literally all you need to do is find a good spot and fire away). They can be fun at times but also very annoying at others. For instance, on one of the escort/rescue missions, there was so many enemies and machine gun trucks that it was very hard to get all the way to the objective without constantly dying......of course, unless you had those special weapons I mentioned earlier.
Here's where the game does start to annoy me a little. You constantly are almost forced to buy these special weapons (grenades, rocket launchers, and airstrikes) to pass some missions, and if you're low on cash, then you actually have to grind some other missions to get enough cash to buy them. It's annoying and quite frankly, I'm not a big fan of it in this cute little strategy game that could have so much potential. However, it feels like the game is still an iOS title with this obvious "In-App Purchase" gimmick, even though it's on PC now. If it were the iOS version I was reviewing, I could understand this then and probably forgive the developers for having it in the game (as everyone knows IAPs are a great way to make money for developers needing cash), but this IS the PC version I played, and it just doesn't seem like it fits with the platform of choice.
In addition to that, the gameplay gets stale after a while, in my opinion. While the game has tons of fun moments right away, as you play more it seems to just fizzle out. Not much new is added, and when new things are added they aren't used well until the missions where you die a lot because you don't have special weapons because the game isn't interesting enough to entice you to grind more money to buy the weapons....and it all just ends up in a vicious circle I guess is a good way to put it. The game has so much potential but its flaws hold it back to the point of it not being that fun to play. Games in my opinion should be fun or interesting in some way, and while Tiny Troopers does have its fun moments, the dull, boring parts and the frustrating difficulty curve (unless you buy those special weapons) is a major turn-off.
There's one last thing I would like to point out about this game. If it ever received a co-op patch or a DLC that added in co-op, it would make this game so much better. Being able to strategize with a friend on a map or something would be even better. Please, if you read this review Kukouri Mobile Entertainment (the developers), consider adding in co-op. It would add some freshness to the game and might attract more players as well as make the game more fun to play.
Tiny Troopers is an interesting game at first sight but has its flaws that do end up bringing it down on my recommendations list. In my honest opinion, the game is good at its roots and does provide some entertainment but I feel like as you play more it just gets more frustrating. I really did try to like it, but only at the beginning of the game did I like it very much. Would I recommend it? If you are into war-strategy games or even maybe strategy games, a heisitant yes. It provides some fun moments and you might like it more than I did. The price ($10) is a tad high for its flaws to justify buying it full price, but if you are looking for something like it, perhaps consider buying it on a sale, or even better, buy it at full price to support the developers, Kukouri Mobile Entertainment. Speaking of which, I'd like to thank them for the review copy they provided.
I give this game a score of: 6.5/10