20th Feb2018

Digital Shorts: ‘Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL’ Review (Switch)

by Phil Wheat

In DIGITAL SHORTS we review some of the latest video games that are only available digitally (at least in the UK), in a short-form review format. In this edition we take a look at Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL on the Nintendo Switch, which features campaigns from Tiny Troopers & Tiny Troopers 2: Spec Ops with over 60 action-packed missions.


Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL is an epic bite-sized arcade shooter, filled to the brim with action-packed mini maps of mayhem, that sees you take control of your tiny troopers as you battle evil adversaries from around the world with a multitude of weapons. Recruit specialist mercenaries such as Medics, Machine Gunners and the Elite Delta Force to subdue enemy insurgents; all the while collecting medals, dog tags, intel and more during the course of each mission to ensure victory.

Yet another mobile game ported to the Nintendo Switch, Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL is the first game to actually suffer from that fact. It also suffers from being yet another twin-stick shooter to make it to the Switch, a genre which seems to have found an (over-populated) second home on Nintendo’s hybrid console.

Originally released in 2012, with a previous console port in 2014, Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL is a top-down shooter that plays very much like the top-down shooters of old: Ikari Warriors, MERCS, et al. Unfortunately, given that it was initially a mobile game, it doesn’t stand up graphically to those games of old, or more modern twin-stick titles. That’s not to say it looks bad, it’s just that the game looks very sparse and somewhat basic – which would work perfectly on a small-screen mobile device but not some much on consoles. But that’s not the games biggest problem – that’s would be the controls.

Taking touch controls and combining with traditional joypad gameplay may seem like a good idea but in reality Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL suffers terribly. Especially in handheld mode. The major issue is that the touch controls work better for some aspects of the game and vice versa. Making your way around the levels works perfectly with the joypad(s) but shooting enemies? That works best with the touch screen, especially for accuracy and speed of shot. Which means you’ll find yourself trying to switch between the two on many occassions and it just doesn’t work – ultimately making the controls feel more clumsy that they actually are.

On ths plus side the game is packed with more content than ever before, with 60 missions and – taking a leaf out of the COD franchise – a zombie mode! And despite its problems, Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL is actually perfectly formed for the pick-up-and-play nature of the Switch. The levels are short, the missions quick to complete, which kind of makes this title ideal for portable gaming as you commute. That’s if you don’t already have it on your mobile…


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