Tiny Troopers, following the recent shooter archetype, is unsurprisingly set in a modern, desert setting. With a story-less main character, I approached the game as a clean slate. Immediately after starting it up, my little pixelated form was hard at work. So, get out your notices, it's time to go to war!
The game, designed around an isometric viewpoint, doesn't use high end graphical effects. But it really doesn't need to. It isn't supposed to be a triple A title, it's supposed to be a fun distraction. For the most part, there isn't too much stratification among the various options. The art style is actually very appealing, at least as far as deserts are concerned. While not to the same standard as, say, Crysis, it does make for very cute shootouts with "the enemy". For a game with a fairly childish design, there is a gratuitous amount of blood, but not so much that it would be disturbing for children.
The sound, however, is an entirely different story. While the effects are fairly decent and unobtrusive, the music is, well to say it nicely, not to my liking. After the end of the second mission, I had to turn it off. Honestly, not much is missed by doing this, the objective system is very good at guiding one toward objectives. Not really the preferred method of playing through action games, but certainly doable at worst. As previously stated, the effects are pretty good. They aren't particularly realistic, but they're enough to be satisfactory.
The way the game plays is what makes it stand out. The first training mission is well detailed, and covers almost all the basic mechanics of the game. As is to be expected of a training mission, various demonstrations are set up to acquaint the player with the key mappings and other important information. The system is very easy to pick up on, and all the buttons are very conveniently mapped right from the start. An interesting thing to note is that Tiny Troopers does feature semi-destructable environments. This caught me by surprise, given the simple nature of the game. Using grenades, I was able to topple an entire, non-intimidating shed! Such satisfaction that I felt, seeing it crumble to pieces. That function is actually useful in the game as well, instead of just being another distraction; the grenades are excellent for removing enemy cover.
Aside from that, the core shooting element is very much what one would expect it to be: you click to shoot, and the faster you click, the faster you shoot. Coupled with the isometric camera, and the ability to fire on the move, taking out enemies is fairly easy. To counter that, enemies can do a considerable amount of damage if you don't utilize some form of strategy. Basically, you can't tank your way through levels, absorbing heaps of lead. In addition to the player character, you are given a small squad of tiny troopers to lead. You don't actually have to give them directions, and the AI functions fairly well. In some cases they can be quite helpful, especially if the player gets pinned down. Keeping them alive generates rewards and upgrades for the squad members, which is also very helpful later in the game. If one dies, they are replaced, but the progress that was made is lost, so be careful with your cute, little soldiers, they're fragile.
The main story isn't too involved, in that there really isn't much of a story to speak of. In essence, you simply fight through the campaign levels, completing the objectives and trying to find hidden items and upgrades. The objectives also aren't too complex, the basic task is just to progress through the level killing enemies. Subtly hidden throughout the missions are small icons that are rewarding to the player when found, so it is beneficial to keep an eye out for those. I didn't have much difficulty finding any of them, although that may vary depending on how you play the game.
Besides all of that, the game is fairly well polished. I didn't encounter any serious issues, and it runs seamlessly. This can't always be said of indie games, so it is very refreshing to see time away from the game. The main issue is with the sound, it can be downright annoying at times. The variety between missions also leaves something to be desired, but overall it isn't a bad experience. Those who don't have expensive computers, don't have time to get involved in a large-scale game, or who have young gamers can really appreciate the game and its simplicity. spent making the game worthwhile. After finishing the campaign, there isn't much else to do though, unfortunately, other than replay the missions. Thankfully, there are a large number of missions to choose from. The replay value isn't too high for Tiny Troopers, but that doesn't mean it isn't replayable. The missions just seem familiar after a while, and while that doesn't detract from the game by a large measure, it does hurt it somewhat.
For a casual distraction, Tiny Troopers is rather excellent, at least at what it does well. The gameplay is the highlight here, and while not deeply involving, it is well-paced and fun. The graphics are pretty typical of an indie title, and with the isometric camera, they don't really take At its modest price point, Tiny Troopers makes the perfect battlefield away from the Battlefield.