Tiny Troopers is simple in premise. It’s a top down thumbstick shooter that offers a decent bit of casual action. There is no other way to describe Tiny Troopers other than casual. Not that it’s expected, or even necessary, in this arena but there isn’t going to be plot or characters that shock you or even keep you interested. Tiny Troopers is inevitably therefore at its best when you just want to get on a game for a bit and have some uncomplicated fun.
Playing the console version tutorial makes it very apparent that this game was not designed for a pad. Everything takes an effort to control and nothing seems to be were you expect it to be. Opening the menu to order in supplies is a nightmare. It seemed every button I was pressing was wrong at first. It’s nothing that can’t be learned but going against the conventions of every other game ever made really doesn’t help for a fluid experience.
Even targeting is awkward. Firing a rocket for the first time will produce results that no one could predict. There is a sort of hideous lock on to shooting that makes everything feel overly rigid. Don’t expect to be satisfyingly running around while accurately snapping from enemy to enemy using both thumbsticks together in the dance that makes these games so satisfying. Tiny Troopers feels much more like a case of move over there. Open the menu. Press a button. Shoot. And repeat. There’s no fluidity or satisfaction at all as you run around destroying everything.
Rather out of place is the, almost, persistent death and ironman-like saves. There’s no retrying if one of your little guys gets killed in the field. The only option left for you will be to revive him using one of your valuable Medals that can be found in various quantities on each level. It’s actually a nice way to handle persistent death and keep the threat of losing a soldier but still giving you a chance to revive them. Having a limited amount of medals, and therefore revives, available is a great way to handle persistent death.
Unfortunately exploring Tiny Trooper’s dull maps is not particularly great fun. There’s not much to look at and what little there is isn’t really good looking. In fact most of Tiny Troopers isn’t great to look at. Low quality textures and bland coloured blocks make up Tiny Troopers’ maps and provide nothing more than a functional environment. The Troopers themselves don’t look great either and animations and movement are as rigid as the control system.
There are absolutely tons of collectables and more than enough missions to complete. But this game does not belong on a console. Maybe with touch screen controls and a smaller screen Tiny Troopers would be a great casual distraction but for a PS4 it’s too difficult to look past the low grade visuals and incredibly poor control system to enjoy it. Even the basic visuals wouldn’t be so bad but the controls really need work, they make everything you do take far too much effort. Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops is a nice distraction for a very short time but after an hour or two the giant cracks become unavoidably large.