The original Tiny Troopers took us by surprise. Here was this little war game featuring bobble-headed characters, an odd sense of humor, and single-finger controls. Could something like this work? It turns out it did– marvelously in fact– and Tiny Troopers ended up being one of our favorite games of 2012. Now comes the inevitable sequel, and while it doesn’t stray too much for the original’s formula, it still manages to be a fresh and fun experience that we dare say is even better than the first.
The plot and gameplay are pretty much identical to the original. You lead a small group of troops, with heads that are too big for their bodies, into battle against a nameless enemy during some war. The gameplay is the same as the first one as well. You tap to move where you want to go, tap the enemies you want to target, and special attacks like grenades and air-strikes are done by dragging the appropriate icon to what you want to hit. You still get “command points” and medals as you progress through the game to upgrade your units, and the game is still tough as hell.
The fundamentals are all the same, but it’s the little things that matter, and the little things that Tiny Troopers 2 has added are what make all the difference. One of the biggest complaints that people had about the first game was the permanent deaths. What’s the point of upgrading your characters and spending all that money on them if once they die, that’s it? It may be more realistic, but come on, this isn’t a roguelike. Tiny Troopers 2 does away with that somewhat.
If one of your troopers happens to die in battle, you can resurrect them after the end of a mission by using those precious, precious medals you find scattered throughout the missions. We found this to be a nice balance. Since medals are rare and can also be used for buying upgrades as well, it forces you to decide if that trooper that just died is more or less important to you then say an upgraded clip for your guns. Or say two troopers die and you only have one medal left? Which one do you choose?
Tiny Troopers 2 also adds some on-rails vehicle missions that are an absolute blast to play. These missions typically have you riding around in a jeep or humvee, trying to break out from behind enemy lines to get to safety, and they’re usually are passed by the skin of your teeth. Things don’t get any safer just because you’re in an armored vehicle, and you have to be even quicker than usual to survive these.
Another cool addition to the sequel is that the zombie mini-game that was part of an update for the first one is now a permanent, unlockable part of the new game– and it also has an actual impact on the core game. There are three separate campaigns with seven levels each, and each one has its own zombie level which you have to unlock by surviving the campaign levels. The horde levels aren’t just for fun though: points you earn in theses games translate into command points that you can use to upgrade your characters.
And just like in the first game, those command points and medals that you earn are used to upgrade your characters, buy special weapons, and recruit specialized units. The biggest change here is that you can now buy new uniforms for your troops, some of which give bonuses and some that just look cool. For example, you can either go with the stylish yet bonus-free purple camos, or if you manage to get 500,000 command points you can go with the menacing looking AND highly beneficial Delta Operator uniform. Your decision. Do you want your enemies to admire your fashion sense while you kill them, or do you just want to strike the fear of god into them?
Tiny Troopers 2 manages to take everything awesome about the first game– which was virtually everything– and add to it without making it feel weighed down. The graphics are even better than the first, the missions are a crazy amount of fun, and the controls are still some of the slickest around. Tiny Troopers 2 is a must have for any fans of the first one, and a must have for fans of action games in general. This franchise is shaping up as one of the best for iOS.