Trouble in Tin Town takes Toy Story, separates the toys into factions, and sets them at war against each other for a variety of silly reasons. In fact, it has the same sense of humor found in Pixar’s classic franchise. Although we were hoping for multiplayer and skirmish options, the three campaigns currently available are highly enjoyable.
For the most part, Trouble in Tin Town holds true to the fundamental turn-based strategy formula. Some maps have other mechanics at play, such as a train that runs through the middle of the map, or cannons to clear rows of enemies. But most of the time you’ll be building units and moving them into enemy territory to take down their base.
Clunky menus often mar TBS games. To avoid this, unit control in Trouble in Tin Town is completely touch-based: You simply touch where you want your unit to move and what you want it to attack. It’s simple and efficient.
I spy with my little eye an intruder.
One nice touch in Trouble in Tin Town is that you’ll scatter coins around the screen for killing an enemy or opening a treasure chest. These coins can be picked up with a tap. Any money you don’t spend on buying units can be used for upgrading units across all three campaigns. Most levels have plenty of extra funds available, and one tactic is to send cheap infantry to open treasure chests when they spawn.
Each of the three campaigns stars a different faction. The storylines are silly, with well-written dialogue for the characters. Our favorite faction was the Historicals, consisting of historical figures like Abraham Lincoln, William Shakespeare, and H.P. Lovecaft (with Cthulhu tentacles for arms). Each character’s dialogue satirizes themselves, which always made us smile. If you’ve played Civilization Revolution, you know just how fun it can be when different time periods clash.
The campaigns offer a challenging difficulty curve when played in order. The Historicals campaign, which kicks off the game, is pretty easy straight through, while the other two get progressively more difficult. Even at its toughest, Trouble in Tin Town is still very forgiving, and battles don’t stretch out for hours.
A historical reenactment of when Cavemen almost destroyed Earth.
The lack of multiplayer and skirmish modes hurt Trouble in Tin Town’s lasting appeal. Once you complete all three campaigns, there is no incentive to keep playing. These two features are promised in an ‘upcoming’ screen, and we hope the developer keeps this promise.
Also on the downside, the game’s larger maps can cause the frame rate to drop nearly in half. Besides making the graphics choppy, it also causes a noticeable control delay. This isn’t a huge deal, since you aren’t dealing with twitchy controls, but it still feels rough. There are also occasions where the game crashes and level progress is lost.
Trouble in Tin Town has a strong enough single-player component that these few oversights didn’t bother us. We look forward to whatever updates are coming down the pipeline, as Trouble in Tin Town has the potential to be one of the best strategy games on the App Store.