The twin-stick shooter genre isn’t something you typically see anymore, at least in the AAA space, but in the Indie scene it’s a whole different story. Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL brings together multiple campaigns into one, making for a particularly sizeable package. Not to mention that on the Nintendo Switch it’s right at home.

As the name would suggest you are at war and must put a stop to the enemies’ antics. No mission too difficult, no sacrifice too great, that sort of thing. It’s a simple premise that leads to an entertaining experience. There are three campaigns to sink your teeth into, Soldier, Spec Ops and Zombies. The first two are from their respective games and bring a whopping 58 missions to run-and-gun through. When you add in the 8 missions from the zombie campaign, 4 zombie horde missions and the 5 special zombie missions found within the main campaigns it’s crazy just how much content you have at your disposal.

Gameplay can be described as pick up and play. The ease of access into the controls lead to a simple and enjoyable venture. Not only do you control the aim and shoot mechanics, but you have other weapons available upon acquiring them. These can be quickly accessed with the click of a button and movement of the right stick, thus preventing pauses in the action. It’s important to keep gameplay going in twin stick shooters, because they are made for the constant engagement.

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However, there are two instances in which you may need to access the menus and those are when you need to look at the map for whatever reason or buy a piece of equipment. The positive is that these aren’t necessarily essential things to be doing, but it can help to do so, by either making navigating the map easier or just providing more firepower. It all depends if that trade off is worth it to you.

Missions are typically either eliminate all enemies, destroy all buildings or a mixture of both. There are some escort type missions in which you are rescuing prisoners but on the whole, I don’t feel there are a diverse enough set of objectives and the ones that are present lack depth. The difficulty spikes can help in breaking up the monotony but it can still get a bit samey.

If you are looking for stunning visual fidelity and detail you aren’t going to find it here. On the switch screen it looks fine, it has some blemishes and flaws with the aliasing and lack of polish that the big screen magnifies, but I’m not left thinking this is a bad looking game. In fact, the level of polish and detail only adds to the charm of the character design, they don’t look good but it’s funny and works.

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There is a fine balance between the positives and negatives that I feel results in a decent experience. There’s plenty of content, weighed down by the missions lack of depth. It isn’t ugly but it doesn’t look good either. The combat and overall gameplay is fun and constant, that being said, you can use quality of life features that stop the action for brief moments.

Overall, I enjoyed picking up and playing this title in my downtime and advancing onward slowly, trying to play for more than half hour at a time I admittedly got a little bored. The zombies missions were more captivating than the regular missions and is where I decided to spend a huge chunk of my play-time. Certainly a convenient title to have in your library for those times you have several minutes to spare.

OVERALL: 6.7/10 – AVERAGE

Written by Rhys Baldwin.

(Disclaimer: CONQUEST received a review copy of Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL, however this does not in any way affect the scoring of a game or our thoughts on the game itself. We believe in total honesty and being transparent with you.)

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