Developer: AREA35 Inc | Publisher: Sony UNTIES || Overall: 7.5/10
Tiny Metal is basically an Advance Wars clone. It is a simple, turn-based military strategy game where you see units take turns pummeling each other. The strategy required is not too advanced, but you do have to think about what you are doing otherwise you’ll see yourself retrying a level several times.
The graphics are pretty good, but the character dialogue screens are boring. The weapons have satisfying explosions and stuff.
I’m not a big fan of the way the game sounds. The music is pretty repetitive and the sounds are satisfying but can get on your nerves. Unfortunately you sort of need to pay attention to the sound effects because you’ll be able to tell what kind of units are moving around in the fog of war. So don’t expect to be able to listen to Billie Eilish or Rody Ricch while playing your Japanese turn-based military strategy game.
The gameplay is pretty standard for the genre. Each unit takes its turn but it boggles the mind why it takes like three clicks to keep a unit in the same spot and pass on moving. A unique part of the strategy is that you can actually combine multiple units’ attacks into one large string of attacks. Since every attack is met with a counterattack, you can actually prevent damage from being dealt by the enemy if you can defeat them in one swoop rather than three different individual attacks. You really have to plan ahead; the computer can also do the same to you.
There are 16 types of units to play with and they are all useful for their own purposes. You can also buy new units depending on how many cities and factories you currently occupy. Your enemy will also be rebuilding units, so each match can take upwards of an hour — at worst you have to retry from scratch. As the challenge gets more complex, your strategy will get tested. Personally, I was getting a bit frustrated with the extra clicks it took to take all of the actions I wanted to do. So when the challenge was ramping up, it felt more like I was fighting against the interface at times.
There’s a lot of dialogue to read through. This is not a bad thing here because I like a good story, but for some god awful reason the default way the game barfs out the text is to auto progress the dialogue instead of waiting for a key press. The text progresses so fast I was going to have a fucking aneurysm trying to keep up. I was playing for at least 2 hours before I decided to actually fiddle with the options and figure out how the hell to slow it down. Whatever option allowed me to finally do it wasn’t very obvious so it was a lot of menu hunting to get what I needed done. At least it was there.
The text progression and interface issues during gameplay really makes me wonder if developers care that things like that are a needless pain in the ass.
While it isn’t perfect, Tiny Metal is fun and the story is interesting. I just wish the user interface was more intuitive.