REVIEW: ‘Tiny Metal’ a Must Play for Turn-Based Strategy Fans (PS4)

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Tiny Metal - But Why Tho?

On the battlefield, tactics are everything and any move can lead to victory or death. When the Kingdom of Artemsia is under threat, young soldiers will arise to fight back for all that is right and just. This is Tiny Metal, an isometric, grid-based tactical turn-based games from the veteran game developers Area 35. A convention hit, Tiny Metal was released in 2018, but just added online multiplayer. Tiny Metal was made by the creators of one of the most niche tactical experiences on Nintendo’s platforms, Advance Wars. With Tiny Metal, this is the first time the tactical formula for Advance Wars makes its way onto a 3D realm.

The game’s story is filled with intrigue, conspiracy, and the realities of war in defense of one’s country. Players will encounter several characters, including a female guerrilla fighter working with special operations forces. The entire story is told through animations with English subtitles. That being said, it won’t win awards for best drama, but it does serve the campaign of Tiny Metal quite well.

The core of Tiny Metal is its gameplay, which is both rewarding and intense. As mentioned before, the game has players organizing their units, and operating as a commander, and learning the mechanics along the way. For example, a tank unit may be effective against an enemy helicopter unit, but not so much an enemy jet unit. The tutorial is effective in encouraging players to learn and have fun, which is great for newcomers to the genre.

Throughout a lengthy campaign, players face off against an entire military force from both land and air. The key to victory is eliminating enemy units and securing structures. Players can command their forces to traverse and engage the enemy across the board. By securing structures, players will gain more control and defensive measures.

Additionally, players will be able to generate more friendly units and help reveal enemy positions on the field. Players can also summon a super-power unit, known as a “Hero” unit to descend upon the field and be used in combat. Hero units possess advanced stats and abilities for dealing with the enemy.

Each encounter is quick and unpredictable, with a constant sense of danger and risk.  When initiating an attack, the camera zooms into the actual engagement. Even while players are becoming familiar with the rules of engagement the enemy is relentless and will stop at nothing to defeat the player. Seeing your tank squad save an injured infantry unit from certain death is quite the reward. One of my favorite mechanics is to order a “ lock-on” order to neighbor-friendly units surrounding a dangerous enemy. Using this mechanic, players are able to order three friendly units to simultaneously open fire on a single unit, dealing certain defeat on an enemy. Moments like this are fantastic in Tiny Metal.

If there is any grievance with Tiny Metal, it is that the experience can become repetitive. The game is old-fashioned and it works to its benefits. It doesn’t feature kill-streaks or super-powered attacks. It encourages the player to have fun and use their head to win the battle, which is refreshing.

For players eager for a real challenge, Tiny Metal just launched online multiplayer. This means that players can square off against other players in online tactical combat. The multiplayer works well and will provide an ample challenge for those daring to take their tactical skills and show them to the world.

Whether you play on-the-go or at home, Tiny Metal is a fantastic tactical experience that is great for newcomers to strategy and expert warriors who survived Advance Wars. With its old-fashioned presentation and refined gameplay make for a solid battlefield experience worth delving into. May Area 35 excite us with their next big game.

Tiny Metal is available on the Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, and Mac.

Tiny Metal
8/10

TL; DR

Tiny Metal is a fantastic tactical experience that is great for newcomers to strategy and expert warriors who survived Advance Wars. With its old-fashioned presentation and refined gameplay make for a solid battlefield experience worth delving into.