Follow Genre: Strategy
Developer: AREA 35, Inc.
Publisher: AREA 34, Inc.
Platforms: PC
Tested on: PC


Site Score
Good: Almost everything is perfect
Bad: The feedback of some sounds
User Score
(3 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)

Gamers who grew up with the first consoles will feel mighty nostalgic with all the remakes coming out these days. Some of us remember the very fun yet difficult strategy game on the Nintendo handheld consoles named Advance Wars. While Advance Wars wasn’t the first in its series, it was the name that made it popular. The series started out as the ‘Wars’ franchise on the Famicom and was later ported to the Game Boy but it was Advance Wars that kept its title through the years even when the series hit the Nintendo DS library. It has been quite some time since the last Advance Wars game came out but luckily, with TINY METAL: FULL METAL RUMBLE comes the spiritual successor to the franchise.


In the beginning, the story is a bit vague about what is going on in the game. You are part of the Artemisian Army and you are on a quest to look for a missing army veteran of the previous war. It seems that your main enemy is the Dinoldan forces. They are remnants from the now-defunct Dinoldan Kingdom, yet their numbers are still large. When progressing through the story, you slowly will learn more about the wars and why the Dinoldan forces keep attacking everywhere. The Overall flow is good and the story mode is elaborate, starting with a few tutorials and then dropping you in the real action.


What will immediately throw you off guard are the graphics of this game. We remember the Wars series with 2D heavy retro pixel graphics, and this game is suddenly fully 3D rendered. The game still uses a very strong representation of the pixelated 2D assets (miniatures in screens and menus, for example), which is cool, but on the playing field everything is high quality and the visuals are polished. Firefights are beautifully put in a modern jacket with a lot of details in the surroundings, models, and effects. Yet, each unit still winks back to the retro days. The only downside is that in comparison to the Advance Wars games, troops remain the same instead of boasting unique visual aspects for each faction.


Overall, the sounds in the game are quite decent. Nothing improves morale like a good battle song while mowing down rows of enemy troops. It seems that each character has its own unique track and the troops are all differently voiced depending on their faction. Such depth is greatly appreciated since there isn’t much variety in character models. The sound effects used are quite good but sometimes lack a bit of a harsh impact. Remember those rocket barrages or artillery strikes, they did not only look cool but sounded the part and this isn’t that well represented, which is just a small flaw.


TINY METAL: FULL METAL RUMBLE is a turn-based strategy game with a playing style that strongly resembles the old ‘Wars’ series from Nintendo. Many fans will state that TINY METAL is the spiritual successor to the Advance Wars series. These games were loved for their strong tactics and addictive gameplay and while checking out TINY METAL, all these feelings came back as a modern iteration of the series. The core is simple, you need to meet certain objectives to win the match and, in most cases, this means either taking over their HQ or defeating all their troops. Basics have remained just like in the Advance Wars games, capture buildings, get money from them, invest in more troops and slowly take over the battlefield. The game has two main modes: Campaign and Skirmish. The campaign teaches you the story of all the factions and what is going on in the world while Skirmish allows the player to just pick a map and commander to have a battle.

As in other games, the campaign will put you in the shoes of various commanders that are defending their country against the hostile invasion of Dinoldan forces. These missions are similar to skirmishes with their own rules as sometimes you have to defeat the enemy or sometimes you must capture something specific. These objectives change and will have the player consider other tactics all the way through. Moving freely in the campaign is a cool little extra as in this way, you can discover the hidden missions and other things. When playing through both game modes, you will earn credits which allow you to unlock things like new maps, music, art and more. Earning a decent number in matches will keep you playing to unlock more and more content since there isn’t a big bad grind coupled to unlocking the many maps this game has.

Even better are the many operators that all have unique abilities and superpowers. To fight your wars, there is a wide range of troops to choose from. These allow for some interesting tactical advantages. There is also a warm welcome new feature to make gameplay more realistic and faster: the ability to lock-on to enemies and assault them with multiple forces. Next to completely annihilating enemies, you can also push the assault by letting the defending forces attack first and pushing your soldiers off their block after the attack. This move is ideal to get certain units out of range or to stop them from taking over certain buildings. While going through the list of new stuff, you will notice that troops level up and gain bonuses from them. For this reason, it’s even more vital to keep your troops supplied with fuel, ammo and heal them when they get hurt.

The game controls very well but it is preferable that you play with either solely a keyboard or a controller as using the mouse can be a hassle. After a few minutes, you master the controls and the game will play really fluently. User mistakes can happen but that’s because you are playing too quickly.


TINY METAL: FULL METAL RUMBLE looks, feels and plays like a spiritual successor to the Advance Wars series. If you have played one of the games in this franchise, you will love how this title feels familiar like an old pair of pants that you still got from your college years. The gameplay is similar to that of the games back in the days with the same good formula and the only differences being some very good and welcome improvements. The mixture of 2D and 3D graphics paired with some retro styles makes that this title is lovely in every way. In addition, the game is priced as an Indie title, so you have no excuse not to try out this game.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.7/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
TINY METAL: FULL METAL RUMBLE – Review, 9.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

Never give up on a dream. It might be a long nightmare, but one day it will change into a beautiful reality - MC_JP 2014

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