Editors’ Choice Game
Review by Angie Kibiloski (October 2012)
Tiny Troopers ($9.99 Download) is a slightly different take on the typical action-strategy war game. From developer Kukouri and publisher Iceberg Interactive, this title dials back the blood and violence of the genre and filters it through a cuter lens, making the experience appealing to a wider range of player. You take the lead and command a squad of tiny, slightly childlike soldiers, with a variety of helpful battle skills, to overcome equally adorable enemy troops and win the day. You’ll have 30 different missions to fight through, getting progressively more involved and challenging as you go. Though the soldiers may be so cute you want to pat them on their little heads, the fighting is still real and the guns can still kill, so you’ll have to employ the same strategies you would in other games of this type, and keep on the lookout for dangers all around your squad.
In each mission, you’ll have to successfully navigate your way through an unknown landscape, tracking down enemy soldiers, accomplishing whatever missions your commanding officer has set for you, and searching the area for special items to grab like intel, medical supplies, and medals. The mission map will be extremely helpful in finding your way through enemy territory to your mission objectives, especially when you can unlock intel packets to reveal map icons for enemy troop locations, special items to pick up, and the final extraction point. Your missions can take on a wide range of goals, like destroying enemy buildings, rescuing hostages, escorting a team of journalists safely through enemy territory, or taking out a key member of the enemy faction. Luckily, you’ll be able to employ a variety of specialists to assist in these missions, like snipers, delta force members, and ballistics experts. You’ll also have access to a variety of weapons, like rifles, hand grenades, missiles, and more. These special troops and weapons can be purchased using Command Points, which are this game’s version of XP as well as currency, which you will earn by taking certain actions during a mission, like killing an enemy soldier. You can use these points to equip your squad before a mission or give them addition aid during battle through a supply drop.
However battle ready your troops seem to be, remember that the enemy has their own special troops and weapons as well, and can present a formidable challenge for even the most seasoned soldiers. Try to keep moving while firing at the enemy, or hiding behind a piece of cover. A small or moving target is much harder to hit. If one of your troops should be injured during battle, try to find a health boost item to pick up and heal them. If they should die, there will be another new recruit ready to step up and fill the space when you start your next mission. Should all of your soldiers bite the dust, you’ll fail the mission and have to start over with all new recruits. However, these new recruits will lack the seasoning of experienced soldiers, and not be nearly as strong as your previous squad, until they too prove themselves in battle and earn their stripes. Those soldiers who do survive from battle to battle will gain strength and higher fighting skills by being promoted and continuing to rise in the ranks. Try to keep your high-ranking officers alive to build and maintain an elite fighting force.
The cuteness of the soldiers, and their silly, squeaky voices lend the battles a cartoon quality, making them seem less violent and warlike, and more like a rousing game of paintball or tag. I think this will allow a wider audience of players to be able to enjoy this title, by providing a slightly more casual atmosphere for those who aren’t avid strategy gamers, while still maintaining the essence of what makes others fans of the genre. The fact that you can switch between 3 levels of difficulty before each mission is a helpful plus for all levels of gamers too. Personally, I’ve previously found this genre of game to be a bit of a snooze, but simply by creating a softer look for these diminutive little soldiers, the designers have made it a much more entertaining experience for me, almost like I’m playing with sweet little action figures instead of ruthless commandos. Check out Tiny Troopers by downloading it from Steam, for either PC or MAC. Being on Steam, you even get the addition of 20 special achievements to unlock during game play. If you want to take the game out of the house, you can also find this title as an app for iOS and Android through a different publisher. Suit up your tiny troops and get ready for the cutest little war you’re likely to see.
PC System Requirements:
- OS: Windows XP/SP3/Vista/7
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz or AMD X2 64 2.0 GHz
- RAM: 2 GB
- Video Card: 256 MB HD 2600 or better\256 MB Nvidia 7900 or better
- Hard Drive Space: 500 MB
MAC System Requirements:
- OS: Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later
- Processor: Intel Mac
- RAM: 1 GB
- Video Card: OpenGL 2.0 compatible video card with 256 MB shared or dedicated RAM (ATI or NVIDIA)
- Hard Drive Space: 500 MB