Way, way back in the mists of gaming history stood a game like no other. One that took tiny troops, all with their own names and ranks, and gave them to the gamer to win a war, one map at a time.
That game was Cannon Fodder and Tiny Troopers is, at heart, a modern tribute to that classic.
This isn’t Kukouri Mobile Entertainment’s first stab at the game, of course. Back in 2012 they developed the first Tiny Troopers for Chillingo on iPhone. It came out of nowhere and impressed everyone with the modern take on an old classic. The fact that no-one had ever really created something similar in all those years since the original 2 Cannon Fodder games may have had something to do with it, but Tiny Troopers was more than able to stand on its own as a great game.
Most missions fell in to the ‘destroy A and B and get to point C’ approach, dodging enemy fire and finding all the hidden collectables in the process. It was also worth keeping troops alive as each mission would allow them to rank up and provide more firepower, but losing them would mean having to replace them with a brand new Private. This, along with each soldier being given a name, helps to personalise your team.
Zombie levels acted as replayable bonus stages, giving you a more traditional top down survival shooter on maps that would gradually open out.
Tiny Troopers 2 took the game up a notch with special ops missions and far more of the fan favourite Zombie maps. It also mixed up the main game maps, giving you different objectives on top of standard ‘destroy everything’ style missions.
This new version for PS3 and PS Vita takes both the first and second Tiny Troopers games and melds them together, squeezing all the juicy bits into one concentrated carton of fun. The zombie mode and special ops missions, the named troops and the weapons remain the same.
What has changed, though, is the control system. Physical controls now mean that the game becomes a twin stick shooter while the PS Vita version also keeps the option to use touch controls or a mix of the two. It’s a perfect match that works seamlessly with the game, so much so that you wonder how anyone managed with the touch controls in the past.
Levels are often short, particularly at first, but also have plenty to do, including finding medals and other items which all add towards boosting your stats. Funds can be used to give you better troops, as long as you can keep them alive. The lack of the game’s in-app-payments from the mobile version seems to have balanced this out, though, and after the first few levels you can add extra soldiers, including those with different skills.
The port isn’t without its flaws, there are long loading screens at times and there are only 58 missions in all, though each has 3 difficulty levels, adding some replay. Overall, though, it’s an ideal portable game and the cross-save with PS3 means that you can play on the move and continue at home. It is, however, more of a fit on Vita and well worth picking up for a bit of war on the move.