Game Reviews

Trouble in Tin Town

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| Trouble in Tin Town
Trouble in Tin Town
| Trouble in Tin Town

Despite what the longbowman at Agincourt may have you believe, an army hopelessly outnumbered is more than likely to lose a battle.

War is more than a numbers game. Smart overall strategy, clever on-the-ground tactics, troop morale, and even the edge granted by special abilities all play a role.

Trouble in Tin Town preoccupies itself too much with numbers and not enough with the other varied aspects of warfare to make for an in-depth turn-based strategy game, but that doesn't take away from its highly entertaining nature.

Toy Soldiers

Tin Town, as you can guess from the title, has been plunged into war, mainly due to the machinations of the bubble pipe-smoking Finneas T. Rex.

Leading a variety of characters, from the dual axe-wielding Abraham Lincoln and Spanish-speaking Tamale Bandito to the disco-loving Funky Peanut (complete with afro), your task is to destroy enemy outposts in each of three multi-level campaigns.

You begin each level with an outpost where you purchase units. Money is gleaned from chests scattered around the map or, more easily, by killing enemy troops.

It’s clear from the word 'go' that developer Jovian Minds has paid a lot of attention to environment and atmosphere. Menus and units look as though they've been taken from a wind-up toy set, and the witty mid-battle dialogue gently mocks each toy's real-life counterpart.

Pocket money

Combat is a matter of walking a unit into range and selecting the intended victim and watching the ensuing fisticuffs. As long as you're not taking on a boss, it’s almost always the instigator that comes out on top of these conflicts.

The battle system is rudimentary, boiling down to the most basic of tactics: fire at melee fighters at range and opt for direct attacks when dealing with ranged units - there’s no scissors to the rock and paper.

While there are stages where terrain and position matter - traps are to be avoided and units stood on the edge of large lava pits make for some quick fights - you can usually get away with just bundling everyone in en masse and picking out vulnerable targets.

There isn’t any option, for instance, to see enemy move/attack ranges or gain bonuses for seizing high terrain - it’s about as simple a setup as you can get without chopping the word 'strategy' off the end of the genre’s name.

Like clockwork

It's frustrating how similarly each level plays out on repeat plays, with the computer spitting out a pre-determined retinue at set intervals rather than having to work within a budget (as is required of you), but this balances the occasionally dopey battlefield behaviour.

Despite this, Trouble in Town is still good fun - the graphics, sound, and odd humour plug the gaps left by the absence of in-depth tactical options.

There's an unlikely advantage to this simplicity, too. Without complicated battle mechanics, it's easy to control on the small iPhone and iPod touch screen or the larger iPad.

Together with its streamlined gameplay and entertaining atmosphere, Trouble in Tin Town HD is a good primer to a genre that normally does its best to repel all but the few.

Trouble in Tin Town

Entertaining and easy to play, Trouble in Tin Town may not have the depth, but it does serve as a good starting point for the genre