Tiny War is one of the larger, more complex iPad/iPhone games this reviewer has come across. Although there is a lot to like about the MMO-RTS, it falls into some common traps for iPad/iPhone games that really hurts the overall experience.
Gameplay is extremely complicated, but easy to manage thanks to on-going prompts that keep you on track until you are ready to leave the nest. Any real-time strategy players will feel right at home with the easy to follow menus and maps that make up the core of Tiny War’s gameplay. Managing resources like steel and stone while balancing troop levels and your work force to produce these essentials is the key to success in Tiny War.
Battles are a simple matter, although the strategy behind which fights to pick and when give the real challenge. Losing a key battle can account for a major setback and all but ruin your campaign.
The real curve ball in all this is the MMO portion of gameplay. Once you reach a certain strength, other players will be able to attack you and conquer your bases to add your spoils to theirs and you can do the same. Here’s where the negative aspects of Tiny War truly dominate.
Tiny War falls into the pay-for-play debacle that many iPad/iPhone games seem to love jumping into. Gems are the ultimate resource in Tiny War – they allow the most valuable upgrades and cut down on waiting up to a half hour (in real time) for buildings and other needed upgrades to be completed. However, you can skirt this by spending real world bucks to buy more gems and spend those to speed up production or build some of the more powerful robots and structures. It will come as no surprise that those who buy the gems have a distinct advantage in PvP. Those of us (including this reviewer) who like to spend our money on tangible objects will be at an insurmountable disadvantage combating those that paid for better armies and bases.
Although Tiny War has cool, retro-16 bit graphics, decent sound and a massive amount of depth, these positives only slightly outweigh the burden of having to pay mucho dinero to compete at the highest level of the game.