Review – Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops XL
By now you have probably seen Tiny Troopers on your mobile markets either on your phone or Windows PC. It’s been around for a bit and has received sequels plus a Zombie DLC- even a console port of Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops. Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops XL is basically a combination of the previous games all in one nice neat package only on the Nintendo Switch.
Take control of your tiny troopers (who kind of look like South Park characters) as you battle evil adversaries from around the world with a mini arsenal of weapons. Recruit specialist mercenaries such as Medics, Machine Gunners, and the Elite Delta Force to subdue enemy insurgents. You’ll also be tasked with rescuing hostages, collecting Intel, destroying outposts, and escorting journalists. With over sixty missions spread across multiple campaigns, you’ll see pretty much everything Tiny Troops has to offer in the first campaign. In addition to the regular campaign, there are eight Zombie Campaign missions, four fast-paced undead wave maps, and a Zombie Survival Mode.
The one nice thing that the XL version has over the regular Joint Ops version for consoles is the ability to use the touch screen. Obviously, if you have been playing these on your phones or tablets or PC this isn’t a huge deal, but it is a welcome feature for the console hybrid. The reason for this is you can precisely aim for the enemies or objects you want by just tapping on them instead of using the right analog stick to try and hit it. The Switch version still supports the twin stick shooting, but again you’ll lose that ability of precision aiming, like shooting a barrel that is behind the nearest enemy you focus your sights on.
Besides being able to use the touch screen, everything else is largely the same for the good and the bad. You’ll be going through missions with your soldiers: leveling them up, collecting dog tags, Intel, and nuclear weapons during missions to collect more cash to then spend on upgrading your gear. The issues of variety are still here, though. There just isn’t enough variety in the gameplay and missions to keep it intriguing through 60+ missions.
The same goes for the zombie modes. The Zombie Campaign basically has you doing the same mission structures, but now you’re fighting a slower enemy that doesn’t even shoot back. Another gripe of mine that still seems to have gone missing is co-op. This XL version should have added co-op considering the ease of splitting up the Joy-Cons. This could have easily boosted replay value and made the zombie horde modes way more enjoyable.
The graphics have remained untouched, still offering low-res mobile phone textures and still, unfortunately, suffering from stuttering frame rates. For the most part the environments are simple and clean with only some aliasing on the finer lines of soldiers clothing, but it still very much looks like a mobile game. Same can be said for the sound design. Just nothing special here, gun shots, explosions, little grunts and such are for the most part clean. However, there is no notable soundtrack to help make it stand out.
At the end of the day, Tiny Trooper: Joint Ops XL is just more of the same. It has a nice addition of being able to use the Nintendo Switch’s touch screen, but the absence of co-op on a system that is so easy to play cooperatively on feels like a very large miss and something that could have really set it apart from other versions. Besides that, if you’ve enjoyed the previous games and want to have it on-the-go, this is a great, albeit expensive, version of the Tiny Trooper games. If you have never played a Tiny Trooper game before, I suggest playing the cheaper mobile version first to see if you like it. And if you aren’t completely bored by the first chapter then perhaps snag the XL version on the Switch.
Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops XL is available now only on Nintendo Switch.