Tiny in more ways than one.
Coming from mobile, to PC, to now Xbox One, Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops tries to bring the touch-based game play to a twin stick shooter style with a controller. While it works on most basic levels, I feel that overall it is a rather uninteresting experience due to the slow action and mobile game mechanics.
Players take control of soldiers as they move around areas and complete objectives. Moving with the left stick and firing their weapons with the right stick, players must maneuver their soldiers around enemy fire, take shots at opposing forces, and collect items like speed boosters, health packs, and other collectibles. Players start off with three soldiers they control simultaneously; they move around with each other in the same directions and offer firepower for the entire team. They each have their own health bars and can be killed while in battle. If this happens, players must revive them post mission using medals which are collectibles in missions, but they are rather scarce. If players don’t revive them, they are dead forever. This poses a problem because the soldiers that stay alive and complete missions rank up and have more hit points. Getting new soldiers will result in them being lower ranked and rather weak so keeping the team alive throughout is very important.
Platforms: XB1, PS4, PC
Price I’d pay: $5
Each mission along with collectibles will earn the player points. These points are carried over through each campaign and can be used for multiple things, the first being upgrades for soldiers. Increasing damage dealt, damage reduction taken, speed, accuracy, and others are available, as well as calling in a special unit for a single mission that can help out immensely. The other usage of the points is for purchasing supply drops during missions like health packs, rocket launchers, grenades, and others. Utilizing earned points is the key to success in Tiny Troopers. The issue is, there is an easy way to get slightly stuck in the game or end up not being able to do missions on a higher difficulty and get better rewards. If I’m stuck with only one soldier and very little points to progress, it can be a bit grindy at times.
This package comes with both Soldier Ops and Spec Ops, as well as a side mission featuring hoards of zombies, undead chickens, and giant behemoths where players must see how long they can survive. Each campaign has at least five missions per chapter, and each campaign has over four chapters apiece. On top of that, each mission can be played on one of four difficulties. There’s a decent amount of content here. Granted, most missions will take players less than five minutes to complete. This was a mobile game originally, after all.
The controls are where the game gets monotonous. The soldiers move both sluggishly and slow even when on a speed booster. This makes dodging enemy fire difficult at times. On top of all that, using special weapons like grenades and rocket launchers feels off when playing what is supposed to be a twin stick shooter. There’s no way to shoot and use a special weapon at the same time, and half the time I ended up not moving so I could aim my shots better. The frame rate dips don’t help things either.
Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops is not a bad game, it just has that mobile feel to it that hinders it in many ways. The progression of the player’s soldiers, the slow movement, and short missions don’t really translate well to the controller. For maybe five bucks, this could be a decent little time waster, but for the $9.99 asking price, I would say wait for it to hit a sale.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.