Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble (Switch) Review – advanced niche

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Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble is a love letter to Advance Wars. It is a solid square tactics game with smooth visuals, though it does not introduce anything innovative to the square tactics strategy genre. If you are not into square tactics games, then Tiny Metal is probably not going to be your cup of tea. If you like games like Advance Wars or Wargroove, you may enjoy Tiny Metal!

Narrative

The story of Tiny Metal features several armed factions in a time period post some sort of vague, multi-nation conflict. An AI army is the common enemy and everyone is trying to get their hands on mysterious Lost Tech. It’s an uninspired plot that doesn’t compel the player to care very much about it, however the storytelling is clearly not the point of Tiny Metal, so I did not weigh this factor heavily.

Visuals

Tiny Metal looks good overall! Units are varied and fairly polished with a cute toy soldier aesthetic. My major complaints are that units on each side are the same respective color, so the model silhouettes (especially four wheeled vehicles) appear too similar to one another at a glance without zooming in. My other major complaint is surprisingly about the fog of war. The fog of war is shown as an opaque swath of brown blocks that disappear as you near them. It’s an odd art choice that I found very distracting because it sticks out like a sore thumb and is just plain ugly.

Audio

Tiny Metal has a decent soundtrack – not bad or too repetitive, but not memorable. Each unit type has its own voice and a wide range of accents are represented, which was surprisingly pleasant. Their voice lines are comically stereotypical army phrases that made me grin.

Gameplay

Tiny Metal includes 15 main missions and various smaller skirmishes. Controls are intuitive and the tutorials are short and easy to understand. Attack animations are quick and satisfying, but can also be turned off entirely if the player wishes, which is something I did a few missions into the game to speed up longer missions.

The maps struck me as too small and were often cramped as units tended to bottle neck and get stuck on one another depending on their terrain limits. The units are well balanced in combat from what I could tell. There is a Focus Fire mechanic that I wish was in more square tactics games where you can target an enemy with multiple units by “locking on” then initiate a group attack with your final unit choice.

There are Hero units you can summon that keep their power level ups between missions, but poor visual execution makes them feel mundane as they look and sound no different than the other units. Heros have only a different name and nothing else to make them seem special or heroic. Leader abilities are nothing special and do not feel impactful. There is supposed an online multiplayer mode as well, but it is not enabled yet.

Final Verdict: 6/10

Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble is a niche title that seems made specifically for Advance Wars fans, but it actually falls short due to its fewer units, mechanics, and lack of attention to detail. Tiny Metal did not hold my interest and simply reminded me that I still need to go finish Wargroove, a game with superior balance, better graphics, has a more interesting story, and includes a functional multiplayer mode. I did not see much in Tiny Metal that would draw in new players or square tactics fans looking for something fresh.

Review key kindly provided by Stride PR.

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1 comments on “Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble (Switch) Review – advanced niche”

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