Tiny Metal by developer Area 35 and Publisher Sony Music Entertainment is a Japanese turn-based strategy game where you control various military units to complete the assigned mission goals. As you progress through the campaign, you unlock new units and learn new tactics to better control your army and complete your mission.
When you start the campaign, Tiny Metal presents a short tutorial on basic unit movement and combat. It covers the essentials but leaves some of the more advanced options to be discovered and learned by the player. One by one it introduces some of the advanced controls during later levels when they are needed, which feels a lot better than being introduced to all the concepts all at once.
Tiny Metal noticeably focused the most on making the main gameplay feel good. The gameplay is extremely addicting once you get past the tutorial stage and have more control over how you want to complete the missions. The player has suitable control over all their units and can decide various unit actions depending on the situation. These two features dictate the rest of the gameplay, whether that is beating all the enemy units, strategically capturing buildings, maintaining map visibility, or just keeping all your units alive.
The strategic side of Tiny Metal is also influenced by many tiny details within the gameplay. Units can attain different benefits depending on what type of tiles they are currently occupying. This can give you a needed boost during very close battles. An interesting feature that also has strategic merit is the focus fire option. With this feature, you can lock multiple units onto a target and attack with more damage, which helps immensely during some of the tougher battles.
Tiny Metal is also very visually appealing and sounds great. Unlike a huge majority of turn-based strategy games that have pixel-art, Tiny Metal has a very colorful and pleasant environment and game art that makes it easy to see what is going on and identify different units. The music is also different from many games which have 8-bit music, and instead has enjoyable music which lets you concentrate more on your strategy and tactics. The voice acting also sounds genuine and full of emotion.
One of the downsides I noticed in Tiny Metal right away was the long introduction to the campaign. Although most games need to explain the premise to the player at the start, Tiny Metal had a long introduction with a ton of information. Even though there is a fast-forward option, this takes away from the story. I became more immersed in the story during the short bits of dialogue before each mission, although the short interruptions during the mission were always a tad annoying.
Another downside I noticed was the level select map. Initially, I wasn’t sure what button to press to begin the next mission. I was also a bit off-put by the lack of mouse selection allowed during the level select, since it was a bit confusing on how to go back to the main menu without a mouse. After loading up the game again, the mouse came back for the level select screen, but occasionally it wouldn’t appear.
In short, Tiny Metal is a strategic turn-based game where you command your army and complete a variety of missions. If you’re a fan of most strategy games, then you’ll enjoy the amount of control you have and tactics you can use in Tiny Metal. The vibrant colors, art style, music, and story also make it a pleasant experience for any player, making it worthwhile for anyone to give it a chance.
Here is the Tiny Metal Release Trailer:
Tiny Metal is now available for PC via Steam for $24.99.