It’s going to be impossible for me to write this review of Chillingo’s new game without mentioning Cannon Fodder, so I’ll get it over with now. Tiny Troopers is like a modern day Cannon Fodder. There.
But leaving it there would be rude to both the developer, Kukouri, and you, the reader. Besides, there is far more to Tiny Troppers than just a reimagining of an old classic.
The game gives you a small set of soldiers, unskilled grunts who can only grow in skill by taking them through missions without them succumbing to the perils of war. Each mission will provide you with a set of tasks, from killing everyone on the battlefield to escorting various people through a war-torn town. Some missions will benefit from firepower and others from stealth or strategy, it’s a real mix which opens the game up from a simple arcade title to an almost-RPG style game.
In addition to upgrading your troops, should they be lucky enough to live that long, you can employ specialists for single missions by spending money you earn on the battlefield. Dog Tags and successful tasks will give you funds which you can distribute between buying these specialist troops and buying armour or weapons, all of which only last for the next mission and disappear even if you choose to repeat a mission, giving the game an added sense of difficulty.
Finding medals dotted around a warzone will enable you to unlock permanent upgrades that improve the status of all of your troops, from veterans to newcomers, so it’s often important to hunt around in areas outside of the immediate mission. The maps are often fairly open and some can be quite large, leading to a lot of exploration if you want to make the most of scattered objects.
Also scattered around are weapons like extra grenades or bazookas which can be used to take out the tanks, pillboxes and heavy weapons that would otherwise take a long time to destroy. Saving these up in order to destroy the most important targets is usually the best plan, but it’s oh-so tempting to blast the enemy with everything you have when in a tight spot.
Graphically, Tiny Troopers manages to fit so much in to such a tiny space. It’s not just the detail, but it’s the way that the troops themselves behave and the animation of the enemy when you open fire. This is improved further by the excellent AI and some great spot sound effects. Kukouri has done a fantastic job in making you feel like you are in part of a warzone while somehow making the game cute at the same time.
While the game is slightly more than the average price for a Chillingo title, there’s still an element of In App Purchasing going on, with the ability to gain more coins to help you through tricky missions. It’s actually perfectly balanced, though and simply there for those who want that extra help in return for cash. Making it free would just make the game too easy.
Anyone who has been patiently waiting for a Cannon Fodder style game to appear on iOS needs to snatch Tiny Troopers up straight away. If you fancy a new strategy based team shooter with a cute streak then this is the game for you.
- Sound: 9
- Graphics: 9
- Gameplay: 9
- Longevity: 8
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