“War! Never been so much fun. War! Never been so much fun. War! Never been so much fun. War! Never been so much fun.
Go up to your brother, kill him with your gun. Leave him lying in his uniform, dying in the sun.”
Cannon Fodder, the game and its earworm of an intro tune, have been living in my head for almost 30 years now. A simple, but fun, war-based Shoot ’em Up that was one of the best games released on the Amiga. Now, developer Epiphany Games and publisher Wired Productions bring their own tiny soldiers to the battlefield with Tiny Troopers: Global Ops.
“Attention! Tiny Troopers: Global Ops is a fast-paced arcade twin-stick shooter in which you lead an elite squad of Tiny Troopers on action-packed missions to take down hordes of unscrupulous enemies from all corners of the world!”
This is my first time playing a Tiny Troopers title. It turns out that the franchise has been around for a while, with the original game released back in 2012 on various mobile platforms and the PC. Then there was Tiny Troopers 2 from 2013, Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops in 2014, Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops XL released in 2017 and then, Tiny Troopers: Zombie Campaign from 2016. And I’ve never played any of them.
But now, a decade after the first game was released, I’m finally playing the latest in the franchise, Tiny Troopers: Global Ops. I don’t think that my mentioning of Cannon Fodder in the introduction is too misplaced. This is, basically an updated version of that classic and awesome shooter. Using a twin-stick control scheme, you can pick up and play Tiny Troopers: Global Ops with ease. Move with the left stick, aim with the right and shoot with the trigger button. No nonsense and simple.
You start out as a soldier going up against the odds as dozens of enemies line themselves up to be killed. You’re also really damn slow and the opening hour of this game is tedious. Thankfully, this game does come with a pretty decent-sized upgrade system. Complete missions, earn experience points and spend those points on a variety of upgrades. Movement speed is a must and you’ll go from feeling like you’re stumbling around in the mud, to Speedy Gonzales as you nip around the levels.
You have a primary weapon, which to can be upgraded from a pistol, to an SMG, to an assault rifle. You can unlock and upgrade secondary weapons like grenades and rocket launchers. More upgrades such as air strikes and drones are there too. Recruit soldiers to fight alongside you, who can be upgraded too. The point is that the upgrade system is pretty decent and that tedious opening hour soon becomes a distant memory. Then there are the cosmetics. You can customise your soldiers and have them looking like John Rambo or… a clown.
There are six countries (campaigns), split into smaller levels (missions) and all tied together via a humorous story. Multiple difficulties to play on and seasoned twin-stick shooter players will find normal a tad too easy (I did). A few upgrades later and even playing on very hard wasn’t really very hard at all. Tiny Troopers: Global Ops is (perhaps) a bit too easy. But it is no less fun for it.
The basic gameplay is just that, basic. Besides shooting a ton of enemies, you’ll occasionally be tasked with escorting a VIP, find a certain item, planting explosives, etc. It’s all the usual wartime fare and honestly, there isn’t a great deal of variety over the several dozen missions. Still, I kind of liked that. Tiny Troopers: Global Ops took me back to a simple time of gaming when it was all about just having fun. Fun is something that this title delivers like a much-needed military supply drop.
Around £16 is how much Tiny Troopers: Global Ops will cost your wallet and I think it’s very much worth it. Experienced players will probably reach the end credits in 4-5 hours as this is not a terribly big game. Still, if you want to get all of those upgrades, you’re definitely looking at several more hours. You can replay any previously completed mission and try to better your own (and worldwide leaderboard) scores, get more experience points and unlock all of those lovely upgrades.
There’s also a four-player online co-op mode that’s cross-platform too. Available right now on everything. Tiny Troopers: Global Ops is really great fun at a good price point. There’s an even harder difficulty to unlock that I found to be perfect for more experienced players. The only thing missing? The ability to rename your soldiers. Ever since losing Jools, Stoo and Jops and in Cannon Fodder 30 years ago, I’ve always wanted to honour them in a similar game. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to stick with my solider’s name of Poopy Dickens instead.