Developed By : Area 35
Published By : Unties
Category : Simulation, Strategy
Release Date : 12.21.2017
I’ve never been the biggest fan of tactical video games. To me, it’s always felt like a form that was better played out in person on an actual tabletop, Warhammer style. Each time I’ve tried a video game in the genre, within an hour I’m bored of the stale repetitive gameplay, and usually don’t pay a lick of attention to the whatever story is playing out.
So when I fired up Tiny Metal for the first time, I did so with the bar set low. Much to my surprise, I ended up having to force myself to set the game down just so I could write this review for it.
You play as Nathan Gries, a Lieutenant in the Artemisian Army in the midst of an invasion attack by the Zipang Nation. Command all of Gries’s troops on the frontlines as you battle waves of enemy units in an effort to protect your own nation. Controlling a number of troops, from riflemen and lancers, to vehicles as well, you’ll move space by space across the terrain looking for and then defeating your enemies.
Each map, you’ll begin with a small number of troops and only a tease of visibility, which is based on what units you have available. The maps are all broken down into a grid, and how you traverse said grid is completely up to you. Your units come with a set number of spaces they’re allowed to move, and they also have their own visibility range. Vehicles can see a bit further than foot troops, and move a bit further as well, while foot troops with rifles can typically move an extra space or two over foot troops with rocket launchers.
The terrain you traverse plays a factor in what happens as well. Maps are filled with hills, forests, buildings and cities, all which can alter things. Forests, hills, and cities can provide a defense boost with the cover they give you. Hills can also increase you visibility for as long as you remain on them. Cities and buildings can be captured, which is a key element of the game because capturing these allows you to “build” additional troops, giving you a heavy hand over the Zipang enemies.
What I enjoyed most about this game, and what made me love it more than I have any other strategy game I’ve played before is the zoomed in animations when attacks occur. All the games I’ve played before would just keep the view raised above the map and have miniscule versions of your troops duke it out with the opponents. Tiny Metal zooms in tight on the action, it shows the attacking troop sending out their shots, the defending troops being hit (if the attack is strong enough), and then the situation flips as a return volley is fired (assuming anybody is left standing). Attacks can even be coordinated as well, by choosing to “Lock On” to your enemy before moving more troops into the fray before finally launching your attack, improving the chances of eliminating them in one swoop.
It may not be a huge step away from other strategy games, but it somehow manages to make itself feel like it’s that different. The story isn’t very original, two warring factions/nations with you as a leader one side, and the gameplay isn’t massively different than what you’d expect. Yet, despite all of it’s similarities to every other tactical turn-based strategy game, there’s just something about Tiny Metal, something that’s hard to put a finger on, but it still sets it apart and makes it better than a lot of those other games. Although it may not live up to it’s price tag, you will still get a lot of enjoyment out of this game.
Handheld – Awesome
Joy Con Detached – Awesome
Joy Con Controller – Good
Docked – N/A
Pro Controller – N/A
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