About Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble

  • Developer: Area 35 Inc.
  • Publisher: Area 35 Inc.
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC
  • Release Date: July 11th, 2019
  • Price: $14.99
  • Reviewed On: PC
  • Review Code Provided: Yes, by Area 35 Inc.

Area 35 Inc.’s latest adventure shows us that the tactical war game doesn’t need to be gritty and realistic to be amazing. The similarities to Nintendo’s Advance Wars series are fully embraced by Tiny Metal’s Developers as they are truly worthy to take on the mantle.

The main gameplay is a very simple to learn tactical war game where you command a number of troops, vehicles, and even Mechs. The gameplay takes place in the Story Mode, Skirmish Mode and Multiplayer mode but keeps its same core format. For people familiar with the genre you’ll be at home with Tiny Metal and for those new to it, the very helpful tutorials supplied before each of the early game missions will get you ready for the many battles ahead. The tutorials may sound like they are hand holding the player at first but the info provided is only the basics of a match as the rest comes down to pure skill and thinking if you want to apply them on the battlefield. Once you have the hang of it you can command many unique units each with their own exclusive uses to take control of any match and turn the tide of battle. There is also a special type of unite called Heroes that have powerful abilities and can turn the tide of battle, but they must spawned in from unique areas that are limited on most maps. All the units have their very own dialogue that with enough time can get very annoying but fortunately you can turn them off if you start to tire of the constant voice lines. Like Advance Wars before it each battle between you and your enemy troops will have an animation showing the clash of teams and how effective your attack was. Like the constant voice lines issue this too can be sped up and even disabled to make the flow of battle move more quickly as these battles can go on for quite a while.

Graphics on this game are very Cartoony and fun. The game looks and runs great on my PC and isn’t too demanding so switch users should not fear any problems with their version. UI in battle can be a tad bit complicated at first but will grow on you as you play. Menus are designed very nicely and fulfill the war aesthetic the game is going for. The main menu in particular is a very well designed war room scene that shows off what the game has to offer. Little details like zooming into a record player when accessing the sound test or opening a book to show you your units are very welcome touches that aren’t necessary but add to the game’s charm.

Story Mode is the main part of this game, it will have you work your way across an impressively huge map. Over 30 challenging story based missions await you with story segments that give you a reason for fighting as well as expanding the personalities and motives of the game’s characters. The story segments and cut scenes are fully voiced by a mixed bag of professional and not so professional sounding voice actors. Though the varying delivery of lines does not get in the way much of the actual story it does make it feel kinda off. The battles in the story mode have different win conditions for each Mission. Win conditions can range from taking an enemy’s headquarters, defeating an enemy leader or just surviving an amount of turns. Each mission also has three challenges that are not required to win the fight but are there to complete for rewards. Hero units are unlocked by completing challenges and the main missions. The overworld is more than just a simple level select. You can explore it with various vehicles and search for secrets that unlock in the main menu

Though story mode is where you should start, the game is still full of more content. Skirmish mode is where you can pick from 20 different scenarios for that will keep you entertained for a long time. Set up your own perfect challenge with 3 choices of difficulty from the start and an even harder one unlocked through gameplay. Skirmishes also have their own sets of operational goals to try my complete. I was not able to try out the multiplayer mode as of yet but it boasts 88 different battlefields which I’m sure will keep any diehard strategy fan satisfied for quite a while. Also available is an unlocks menu where you can use the money acquired from gameplay to unlock many different things such as music tracks and lore on the series. You can read the bios of the many unlockables heroes as well as the 20 different regular units to ensure your understanding of them. I ran into almost no issues with the game but a few menu glitches occurred with my time with the game that I’m sure will be fixed with a small patch later down the line.

This team at Area 35 have really outdone themselves here by giving us a sequel that not only rivals there first game but rivals even Nintendo’s past war simulation games. I’ve tried not to mention Advance Wars too much but what I think started out as a simple homage inspired by the series, has turned into an amazing game that i think surpasses it. Fans of Strategy games should this up if they love the genre, even newcomers should try it and maybe it will grow on them as it did on me.

9/10

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