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Tiny Troopers, from Finnish developer Kukouri Mobile Entertainment is inspired by the classic action and RTS games we all know and love where you move troops around and kill enemies and complete objectives, like destroying this building or protecting someone from harm as an escort.
Troopers move around the map by following the player’s clicks. Sometimes you have just one or a few troopers to complete your objective, and you can’t get more, so you have to be careful with the men you’ve got. In the Campaign, troopers that survive missions gain experience and rank, making them tougher to kill and better in combat. Clicking on an enemy in range focuses the firepower of your men on that enemy. Other enemies in the same general area will also take damage from fire in that direction and hopefully you manage to take them all down before they can finish off any of your men. There are heavy weapons like grenades and rockets that your men can find to help take out the enemy as well. The one thing that sort of annoyed me about Tiny Troopers was that when your men die, even if you fail the mission, you never get them back. While there’s a bit of realism there, if you’re playing and get distracted or interrupted, then your awesome team can be lost to enemy fire, and you must start again with brand new troopers.
Tiny Troopers squads depend on the player to keep them firing, unlike most RTS games I’ve played where units will auto-fire until the enemy’s dead or they are. This difference threw me off more than once, as enemies I expected my soldiers to take out instead mowed them down because they weren’t firing back. Maybe that’s a learning curve thing, but it annoyed me. Multiple enemies from different directions can also spell doom for your squad, so constant movement is always a good idea to keep the enemy out of range until you can decisively take them out. Grenades and rockets help out a lot if you can get the enemy bunched together close enough. There’s also no moving the map so you can see what awaits your troops a few steps ahead, so if you’re in the wrong place your enemy can actually hit you from offscreen, which can be deadly. Command Points are the currency for the Tiny Troopers, they can buy mission-specific upgrades and also upgrades for the entire campaign. These are definitely worth spending the points on, especially the extended range and the armor ones, since these will increase survivability greatly. You can also buy specialists to join your squad for each mission. Which ones are available depends on the mission level and also what you’ve got unlocked overall. If you run out of Command Points, then you can play through previous missions, but not in Campaign mode. The points will carry over, so you can always stock up if you’ve had a disaster that wiped out your troops along the way. This can be kind of a pain if you continually fail at one mission, but the extra time spent playing earlier missions might increase the chances of success just because it means you’re spending time getting used to the controls.
Tiny Troopers is a great game for blasting away at enemies, albeit in a careful manner, cause, remember, perma-death for your men if they go down. I especially enjoyed being able to lob grenades over walls at unsuspecting enemies, though you have to aim pretty carefully sometimes.
Tiny Troopers is available for PC on Steam.