Those of you who have been gaming since the 90s will remember a rather stonking war game by the name of Cannon Fodder.
Created by the crazy guys at Sensible Software, it was a huge hit and appeared on just about every machine on the market at the time. If you loved that game as much as I did then you will be ecstatic to hear that Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops is basically Cannon Fodder in 3D!
I think somebody at Epiphany Games must have been a big fan of Sensible Software’s game because there is really is no denying the closeness in design. It’s certainly no bad thing, either; Cannon Fodder was a game that was crying out for a modern update and now we finally have it – albeit unofficially. The object of Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops is a pretty simple one: lead your little troop of soldiers into the war zone, complete your mission – and most importantly, don’t get killed! Your soldiers are all grouped together and so move, shoot and perform all their actions together too. A troop is usually made up of two or three guys, but this can fluctuate depending on the mission; some allow for more men to be added, whilst others may require you to just go it alone. Controlling the little guys couldn’t be easier with the left stick for movement, the right stick for firing and the face buttons for performing set actions and switching weapons. The game starts with a short tutorial but it’s really not needed as this is something you really can just pick up and play.
The missions themselves start off pretty simple – kill the troops and destroy the buildings. Little bits and pieces are added in as the opening levels progress such as hazards (quick sand, land mines etc.) and different enemies (snipers, tanks and turrets) before we start to get any real variation. After the initial set of levels, Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops will start to throw a few wild cards at you like bonus missions where you kill zombies, vehicle based stages – and even some of those dreaded escort missions. The stages also grow vastly in size, so looking at your map almost becomes a regular operation. Within each stage you will find lots of bonus items that can be picked up such as grenades, rockets, medals, dog tags and enemy intel. The extra weapons are often needed to complete the stage, while the bonus items just reward you with score points and cash or allow you to unlock new features. These items are often hidden in obscure places so exploring the whole map is definitely worth your time and effort.
The cash that you earn whilst playing can be spent before each round on new weapons and upgrades, new outfits or adding troops. The ability to change your look may sound trivial but many of the ensembles available for purchase provide their own unique advantages so are well worth investigating further. The medals you earn are used to unlock more of these features and make them available for purchase. I should also mention that there are four difficulty levels in the game, which can be adjusted before each mission; the higher the challenge, the more cash you are rewarded for your trouble. The comprehensive weapons and upgrades feature of Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops is certainly one of the most welcome new aspects added on to the winning formula of the Cannon Fodder games.
Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops is certainly nothing to write home about in either the graphics or sound departments; at best, it’s merely competent at both but that isn’t really what this game is about anyway. This is a title highly focused on having fun and an all-round great gameplay experience; something it delivers in spades.
I enjoyed this game hugely myself, but I couldn’t get my nine year old son to put it down! It really is a title that will appeal to all ages. I can’t help but recommend Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops to everyone, especially fans of the old Cannon Fodder games. The game is tremendous fun and will keep you playing for a long time to come. It’s easily some of the best fun I have had with my Xbox One.