Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops XL
Top Critic Average
If you've always fancied playing the Tiny Troopers series, this might not be a bad place to start.
Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL arrives at the Nintendo Switch exhibiting a lot of traits from its mobile origins, perhaps too much of them as it feels like this is a compilation and recycling of elements seen on previous games of the series. It does feature a good amount of game modes but overall, it's not challenging enough and it feels like its lifespan is being pushed only through repetition.
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Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL's console transformation fails to make the most of the Switch platform. As a premium-priced experience on console, it fails to offer the improvements that one would expect. The shadows of the game's mobile roots as well as its rough transition to physical controls make the console version difficult to recommend.
Nintendo Switch is becoming the go-to home for indie titles, and that's become something of a double-edged sword. It has meant that Switch is becoming the new Vita, stuffed to bursting with indie darling ports from PC, giving a whole new audience the chance to experience them. However, it's also meant an influx of mobile ports that are not quite as memorable. Tiny Troopers: Joint Ops XL falls somewhere in the middle. There's a ton of content here for the low price of £9.99, but these games are sadly artificially inflated with repetitive, boring gameplay that really shows its age.
I do hope Epiphany Games work on making this version a little more polished or build a whole new Tiny Troopers experience for Switch because as I said at the top, there's a game and a half here waiting to be played on a platform that can lend itself well to this kind of game. Joint Ops XL isn't it, though. Not one bit.
In the end Troopers offers a fair amount of content that will likely have its fans, it’s just that those people are probably not the same ones who enjoy the more intense examples of the genre already on the Switch. There’s fun to be had here and across the multiple campaigns in the game you’ll be asked to survive a fair variety of mission types even if most are just asking you to shoot things ultimately. If you’re down for a slower-paced and enjoy getting a chance to blow some stuff up, and don’t mind doing a bit of grinding along the way, Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL may be a good fit for you.
Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL is one of those games which is perfectly fine. It isn’t a bad game and it isn’t going to blow the doors off of the barn. It’s an ideal game to burn ten minutes in between other experiences and there are some nice little moments throughout. Playing isn’t going to change your life or deliver any deep narratives, but if you want to blow stuff up and shoot mindlessly for a while, you could do a lot worse.