Two alien species are at war for so long on their home planet that the planet is in danger of being destroyed. To remedy this, they decide to take their war elsewhere, and they pick Earth. Thing is, they are so small compared to Earth's inhabitants that their actions go unnoticed and they have no problem staging their battles.
The game starts with the selection of your troops for battle. A commander can give you some hints and you can peruse a map of the battle area (often someone's back yard). Your troops are then beamed to the battle on a transport pad. There are two pads on each battleground: one is yours and the other is your enemies'. Once there, the troops are yours to control and are the tools you use to acheive the mission goal given to you by the commander during troop selection.
Commanding the troops is easy. You can select the troops in two ways. Either you can select a single troop by clicking on the troop with your mouse or you can drag-select a group of troops. After selection you click on the button of the action you want the selected troop to perform. The actions a troop can be given are to move, attack, defend, or return for repairs. If you move troops as a group by drag-selecting them, you are given the option of selecting from five formations for them to move in. If you select a single troop, you are given the status of that troop's damage on the lower right of the screen (handy for letting you know when to send a troop back for repairs). To deselect the troop or group, simply selecting another will do the trick. If move or attack are selected, you then click on the map to sent the troops on their way. A troop sent back for repair goes automatically back to the transport pad and beams himself back to the home planet. Troops automatically avoid terrain they cannot get past so it is not necessary to guide them every step of the way unless you want to. Sometimes troops can be a little thick in how to avoid things, so it can be important to keep an eye on them sometimes.
Startegy, however, is not as easy. Whatever troops you select are all you will have for the entire battle, and you often cannot take all of the troops available. To further complicate things, many, such as gliders and grenadiers, have different abilities and weapons. Selection of the troops must always be with the objective firmly in mind. Once in battle, you can face an enemy armed with not only its little army, but also pill boxes and tanks. So far, the only way I see to get a pill box for yourself is to take it over by killing the occupant and replacing him with your own. The missions tend to be fairly simple. Kill all the enemies, destroy the enemies' transport pad, that sort of thing. In all, it is important to both be adequately armed and to use non-conventional arms sparingly. Grenadiers do eventually run out of grenades and turn into normal troops, and some special abilities, like gliding, can only be used once, so planning out your plan of attack early in the battle can help keep a commander from ending up with the inability to reach the goal towards the end. In that event there is a convenient retreat button which can be employed.
All in all, if you could get the hang of Cannon Fodder or Powermonger, you can easily get the hang of this game.
The only "bug" I have had contact with thus far is that once you give a group of troops a formation command, it is often hard to get them to stop. This has the effect of sometimes having them walk right into the line of fire.
Graphics: The graphics in this game are very well done. The playfield is very well-detailed, and things like lawn ornaments add to the visual feel of the game. Nothing like shooting around a little elf figure at your enemies. The troops themselves are a nice size: not huge, but not too small. Through differences in their look, you can tell what the different troops are.
Sound: Not much sound is in this game, but what is there has its place and is done perfectly. Your troops call out when selected, and when they are in a pill box, they sound just like they are talking to you on a radio. The explosions and shooting sounds are much like what you would hear in any other game of this type. All sounds add directly to the experience of this game.
Overall, The visual and audio aspects of this game serve to drag you into the game. You know the scanario. It's 3:30 AM and you are saying "I wonder what the next level looks like" and "just one more, then I'll call it a night."
This game could easily be the next Worms on the Amiga, once released. It has that addictiveness that we love in a computer game. With the varying battlefields, troops, missions and enemies, you can easily play a game like this, if good, for days, and be well-satisfied that you spent your hard-earned money well. And this one is certainly done well. Not as complicated as a Settlers or Populous type of game, but not as simple as a Worms type of game, it is a nice mixture of strategy and action. I have a feeling we'll be hearing a lot from this game when it is released.
Tiny TroopsStrategy/Action/War Game
Vulcan Software Ltd.72 Queens Road
Buckland, Portsmouth, Hants, PO27NA
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTSAll Amigas, Mouse
Nice Accelerated AGA Amiga with a Hard Drive