Having already been made available to a very wide audience on iOS and Android, Tiny Troopers has been the recipient of much praise already. As such the conversion to PC format has been welcomed by many, and not surprisingly as there is very little else to compete with the bite-sized strategy action gameplay on modern hardware. Kukouri Mobile Entertainment and their PC publisher Iceberg Interactive were arguably on to a winner before they even started then, and thankfully the final product delivers on the promises made by the mobile debut.
Tiny Troopers isn’t coy about its inspiration. Nearly twenty years ago Sensible Software developed an understated little videogame by the name of Cannon Fodder. It wasn’t until the planning of the launch campaign for what is considered one of the Amiga’s greatest titles that Cannon Fodder achieved the infamy that now positions it as a widely missed franchise from the era. Cannon Fodder did receive a sequel, and in more recent times a third title was produced exclusively for the Russian market before eventually being released worldwide to a limited audience last year. However this third title was almost entirely removed from that which gamers experienced nearly two decades ago. So where else can gamers of a certain age go for their unabashed strategic warfare? To Tiny Troopers, that’s where.
If you ever played Cannon Fodder, you’ll know exactly what to expect from Tiny Troopers. Players take control of a small band of soldiers and lead them across a preset map, taking down any foes they come across along the path. Additional missions such as taking out enemy bases, escorting unarmed allies and holding your ground, surviving against waves of increasingly difficulty enemies, are the kind of objectives that bulk out the campaign. Basic automatic rifles form the foundation of your strategy, but there are many additional weapons and items that can be purchased or found and used to your advantage.
There are of course a number of differences between Tiny Troopers and the Cannon Fodder titles, bringing the formula into the modern era. Players control the whole squad as a single unit as opposed to each trooper on the screen, and the artificial intelligence (AI) of your allied units is pretty low. A guiding hand is required at all times, and so while you never take direct control of your troops, you do have to maintain all aspects of their time on the battlefield. Your squad can be formed of specialist troopers if you so wish, grenadiers for example, but these require direct instruction just as much as the basic troop types. Players can also purchase bonus items for use in a mission prior to beginning and every mission hides both dogtags and medals that can be collected for additional rewards. Earning cash isn’t exactly difficult, so if you find yourself having trouble with a specific mission the first port of call is to play an earlier mission, obtain some funds for bonus items and then return to the more challenging objective better equipped.
Despite being relatively simple in terms of its presentation, Tiny Troopers fits the bill perfectly. It’s easy to recognise that the PC version has been an upgrade of the iOS videogame as opposed to mobile editions downgrading, but regardless there’s enough character in the visual design to mark Tiny Troopers as a pleasingly colourful warzone. Even on its lowest settings – which allow the videogame to be played on even the most basic of modern off-the-shelf laptops – Tiny Troopers provides a lively platform for it’s markedly strategy gameplay.
The PC version of Tiny Troopers is essentially a reformatting of that original mobile release, and as such it hardly pushes the technology envelope. What it does do however, is exactly what it promises to: Tiny Troopers a modern revision of the Cannon Fodder formula that any gamer of the nineties will find worth in. Having already launched on iOS and PC, hopes are high that Kukouri Mobile Entertainment will see fit to bring Tiny Troopers to other formats, including Xbox LIVE Arcade and PlayStation Network.