Very few games have managed to make war as humorous or as downright fun to play as Sensible Software’s majestic Cannon Fodder, and this was the primary thought rummaging around my head as I played Tiny Troopers, a twin-stick shooter that has made the transition from iOS to PC and now onto PS4 and Xbox One. It is a game that tries to inject a quirky sense of humour into its top-down battlefields where groups of player controlled troops do battle with enemy soldiers and vehicles in somewhat diminutive slices of action orientated gameplay and repetitive missions.
There might something of a plot to the main campaign of Tiny Troopers, but I honestly couldn’t tell you what it is, it’s really just a case of jumping into to one of the numerous, bite-sized missions to lay waste to any and all opposing forces. To do this, the player must control their entire team as one, much like Cannon Fodder, utilising the left stick to move and the right stick to fire, whilst additional buttons are used to alternate between standard and special weaponry, which includes grenades and rocket launchers. An interesting feature that the game has is that the player - who gains points from collecting intel, killing enemies, disarming weapons and finding collectibles – has the ability to utilise these points as a form of currency to summon supply drops, where both devices with advanced capabilities can be subpoenaed, along with health packs or spec. ops troops. There’s also a multiplier system in place that rewards a string of consecutive kills with a spell of increased point scoring which can quadruple a player’s earnings, and this, as it turns out, is rather important. Outside of combat, these points can also be saved up and spent on vital troop upgrades - extra health, additional weapon damage, increased accuracy and so on – new types of camouflage and even spec ops troops to use on a mission by mission basis. These upgrades and in-game supply drops are essential to the survival of the player’s troops, who can, in an XCOM-like way, be vanquished, permanently.