Monday
Oct082012

QCF: Tiny Troopers

It’s taken me awhile to wrap my head around the words I want to say about Tiny Troopers. Tiny Troopers is an iPhone/iPad game brought to PC by developer Kukouri and advertised as a strategy game with a quirky sense of humor. But, Tiny Troopers is neither of these things. In fact, from the word go this game just goes downhill and ends up being an absolute mess. Not from a technical standpoint mind you but a gameplay standpoint.

There is no overarching narrative to Tiny Troopers. You go from mission to mission with varying objectives and the closest thing to a binding element between them are your soldiers themselves. As you keep your soldiers alive across missions, they gain military rank and supposedly improve in ability. But if your soldier dies, he is gone for good and is replaced with another one with a different generic military nickname such as, "Joker," and the ever lovable, "Stubs."

This is said to be a strategy game, but little to no strategy is required. As you click to guide your soldiers from point to point, they walk in a close knit group. You cannot guide a soldier individually. What Tiny Troopers actually boils down to is a twin stick shooter that you cannot control like a twin stick shooter. You can call in drops to assist once a mission for each type -- this is the only hint of strategy involved in the game.

Technically the game is fine. Your soldiers move where you want them too and shoot in the direction you point. The visual aesthetic is fine enough, with little squat soldiers making little high pitched noises as they die. This is where the game gets a creepy vibe for me. The soldiers don’t just give a good ol' spaghetti western grunt and fall down, they scream and beg for their lives. There is a Black Hawk Down mission in the game, and the goofy nature of the characters just gives this game a strange unnerving feeling. It’s almost like no respect is given to the actual occupation of being a soldier. One of the taglines in the games advertising is, “The safe way to fight a war: you won’t end up in a body bag." What?

Okay, so the game has a unnerving filling to it, but it looks fine and controls fine. What could be wrong with it? Well my good friend, the missions are uninteresting and the difficulty spikes all over the place. One mission will have you slowly waddling across the map to take out buildings and the next you will March of the Penguins your way to take out a general. If you run into a tank with no RPGs and your drop has been used, you might as well restart because a tank will utterly destroy all of your soldiers in one shot. From one mission to the next you’ll either just walk through with no problems or they will send so many enemies at you that it’s almost a guarantee at least one of your soldiers will die.  I hope you like to be shot at by enemies you can’t see, because bullets and grenades will fly in from off screen almost constantly.

In the end, I don’t have much to say about Tiny Troopers. Why they would do a direct port of an iPad/iPhone game and not add any more content, and then charge ten times as much is beyond me. It’s uninteresting and likes to think it's funnier than it actually is. Waddling soldiers and high pitched death screams does not make a funny game. This game is not worth your money on PC and should be avoided at all cost. If you absolutely must play this game -- and I can find no reason why you should -- get it on iPad for only $.99. 

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