I come from the GameBoy generation.  I remember loving my OG GB as well as the GBA.  One game that always stuck with me the most was Advance Wars.  The reason being is that Final Fantasy Tactics is one of my favorite games of all time.  Turn based strategy games are just kind of my bag.  Quite a few months ago a game called Tiny Metal developed by AREA35 popped up on my radar.  It basically advertised itself as being the spiritual successor to Advance Wars.  There are a lot of big names tagged in on this project.  For example Go Takahashi and Hiroaki Yura.

Fast forward about half a year or so to TGS 2017.  I was walking around the hall that housed all of the indie games and I’d passed by the Tiny Metal booth a couple of times but it was always busy.  Suddenly, a nice gentleman with the marketing team for the game approached me and asks if I want to check the game out on the Switch.  Well, of course, I took him up on his offer.

 

While I played a stage of the game I got a decent amount of info from the marketing team.  The game, though a spiritual successor to Advance Wars, was striving to be something more.  I agreed with the man that a lot of games that try to tout themselves as this often step into a pitfall by making a carbon copy and not really adding any kind of twists to the gameplay.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a thin line to walk these days I believe.

 

Movement was incredibly reminiscent of Advance Wars in that there is a player phase and an enemy phase (something Fire Emblem fans should be familiar with as well).   I only had infantry units and tank units.  You can use building and different types of terrain to take cover.  In other words, when you’re attacked in these specific types of terrains, you’ll take less damage.  Also, when you surround an enemy you can do even more damage with a sort of “all out” type of attack.

 

“Fog of war” is also a thing.  This works exactly like you’d think.  However, for those that don’t know, I’ll explain.  Basically you can only partially see the map and as you move your units more of the map can then be seen.  I didn’t have a chance to try it, but I was told that there was as UAV ability that marks enemy locations even inside of the fog.  The caveat is that you have no idea what unit type they are.

All in all I really enjoyed my short time with the demo on the Switch.  I definitely see great appeal for the Switch version compared to the PC version due to the systems mobility.  Either way, I definitely recommend keeping your eye on this if you were every a fan of the other series mentioned in this article or if you just like turn based strategy games.  Tiny Metal is due out at the end of November this year!

Author EJ Howson
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