Developed by Epiphany Games and published by Wired Productions, Tiny Troopers Joint Ops ‘is an epic bite-sized arcade shooter, filled to the brim with action-packed mini maps of mayhem and ALL NEW content EXCLUSIVE to Xbox One!’
Already being a fan of Tiny Troopers having played the original mobile version, I was quite intrigued as to how it would play on a console with the original having touch screen controls. Tiny Troopers Joint Ops uses twin stick style controls, making for a much nicer experience overall the game plays much better and as such becomes easier to play, even on higher difficulties.
The Campaign modes are quite light in story and only feature a handful of cut scenes throughout, these are presented in a comic style with speech bubbles of text and also feature voice over too. They’re nothing to rave about, but they do add a tiny bit of depth rather than aimlessly playing without knowing much of the whys and wherefores. The missions all vary with around 60 different maps over the two campaigns, and different objectives that change the gameplay up. With the standard objective being to clear a map of all enemies, there will be some that will want you to rescue prisoners, some that require you to escort a couple of journalists and some that require you to simply survive until extraction arrives.
Gameplay is good, you control one to four troopers depending on the mission, all at the same time. This is a great element that keeps the gameplay simple rather than let’s say, having to swap between each trooper to control them individually. However it does have it’s draw backs as sometimes you’ll get a trooper caught up on some form of scenery and while the A.I. takes over to get this trooper unstuck and caught back up to the rest of the squad it’s not always successful and can lead to unwanted deaths. You can also bring up a command menu while playing to call in for support items via air drop. These can be anything from extra grenades, rocket launchers, air strikes and medkits to mention a few. All these cost CP, a currency earned in game by completing missions, giving the game a little bit more of a strategic feel. This currency can also be used to purchase extra outfits for your squad, some of which give bonuses to the player such as extra CP at the end of a mission or better accuracy etc.
Tiny Troopers Joint Ops also features an upgrade system where you will spend points earned from missions to upgrade your squads fire power, weapon range, accuracy, fire rate, speed and amount of damage they can receive. Each trooper also has an individual rank which in turn makes them overall better in combat and acts as a reward system for players keeping their troops alive. If a trooper dies during a mission and you go on to complete said mission, that trooper will have KIA next to their name on the mission complete screen, here players will have a chance to revive this trooper at the cost of Medals that players pick up while playing.
If you choose not to revive a trooper, or don’t have enough medals then that trooper is lost and replaced with a new one that is at starting rank. A nice touch to the game that adds some more depth.It is also worth noting that trooper progression is across both campaigns, and that both campaigns have a different feel with the Spec Ops campaign also featuring missions in which you are manning a gun on top of a Hummer which again changes up the gameplay and keeps it fresh.
There is of course a zombie mode in Tiny Troopers Joint Ops, there’s one to play in each campaign, selectable on the mission select screen, and there are some exclusive maps to Xbox One. These can be found on the main menu titled ‘Xombieone’ here you will find four maps titled; “Operation: Zombie Storm”, “ZFC”, “Zombie Patrol” and “Z-End”. With the exception of ZFC, these are wave based survival modes (with ZFC being a single run to the extraction point whilst fighting hordes of zombie chickens) all of these feature online leaderboards. Visually Tiny Troopers is a little rough around the edges and maybe could have been given a better overhaul, the audio is pretty much the same and doesn’t add much more to the experience of what is a pretty solid arcade game.