Kokouri and Iceberg Interactive are bringing their modern battlefield real time shooter Tiny Troopers to Steam. How does it compare to the mobile version that was released a little while ago? The mobile game released on iOS and Android devices and was published by Chillingo, but will Iceberg Interactive and Kokouri share the same amount of success with Tiny Troopers’ Steam release?
Tiny Troopers is a real-time strategy top down shooter that has you guiding a small group of soldiers of different classes through 30 levels of various missions which range from the simple “kill all enemies” to the more advanced and “fan favorite”: escort missions.
My time with Tiny Troopers is a tale of two stories. When I first uploaded the title on my Steam account, I quickly fell in love with the fun and engaging levels. The want to find all collectables on each level had me walking from edge to edge of each map. The problem I ran into was that the controls were a little wonky on the Mac as opposed to the controls on mobile devices; you would click on the map to make your soldier move, the soldiers would begin to move. When enemy soldiers would appear, you have to quickly move your cursor over the enemies and right click the mouse to fire your weapon. The problem I had was that my Mac does not have a right button, instead needing you to push the mouse with two fingers on the large button to fire. This issue caused me many deaths and frustrations with the game getting confused on whether I was issuing a move command or an attack command. The game design would have greatly benefited from an option to use a keystroke for firing you weapon. Other than that one issue albeit a frustrating one, I generally had a fun and entertaining time with Tiny Troopers…and isn’t that what games are for in the first place?
Visually, Tiny Troopers looks good, using the typical color palette of dirty browns and greens we have come to know with most modern shooters The landscape is dotted with a healthy mixture of plant life and building that can be used as cover items that also create multiple paths to combat certain situations. The level design for Tiny Troopers is well thought out and paced as the developers made sure that you were equipped for the mission ahead of you. On a few missions, you are tasked with destroying all enemy buildings on the map and a rocket launcher or grenade was always located somewhere with in the vicinity of the building to make sure you had the tools you needed to complete the mission. The levels themselves are generally a linear experience funneling you down a direct path to your extraction point, but the way the levels are designed give you just enough choice that you feel like you have more of a decision in the path you take.
Also before each mission you can visit the shop and purchase upgrades and weapons for you soldier. You earn money by killing enemies, destroying buildings and vehicles, and completing missions, but you can lose money for gunning down the random civilians and stray animals wandering the level (I was a little surprised when I shot a chicken and lost $250 dollars!).
Another minor annoyance with Tiny Troopers is the fact that your computer controlled teammates must have left their brains behind and the barracks, because your teammates show little initiative in shooting at enemies until you do. If you are trying to maneuver through a minefield, for some reason your teammates decide to sometimes choose their own path and wander into a mine. As there are no respawns of dead teammates, this can get frustrating on top of the cash penalty you get hit with when one of them dies. On one particularly frustrating escort missions, I was tasked with escorting a team of journalists, and surprise, during the mission I got into a firefight with the enemy. You would think the journalists would take cover, but of course, they do not. Instead, they decide to walk towards the enemy getting mowed down by enemy fire. Now I don’t mind losing missions when it deals with my skill, but when I lose because my computer controller “allies” are being jackasses, that’s a whole other story all together.
Tiny Troopers doesn’t have a massive replay value unless you are looking to improve on scores for each level. Most of the collectibles can be found in a single playthrough as long as you are diligent in walking an entire stage to find them; the collectibles in general are out in the open you just have to walk to them. The appealing aspect of Tiny Troopers to me was that the missions could be cleared in minimal time, allowing you to load TIny Troopers up and do a few missions with out killing the majority of your day.
With the adorable art design of your soldiers and their enemies, the stylish look of the levels, and the simplistic gameplay even with the few issues I ran into, I would quickly recommend this game to anyone looking to kill a little time and have fun doing it…and I would also recommend using a two-button mouse to help make things a little smoother.
Editor’s Note: Front Towards Gamer recieved a review code by the developer.