Last month we were given the opportunity to try out upcoming strategy game TINY METAL, which is scheduled to arrive December 21 on Nintendo Switch.

Although it was a PC build and five chapters long, we believe gameplay should be quite similar on the Switch with the exception of controls and the ability to play on the go. Thus we decided to provide our impressions on TINY METAL before it launches in a few weeks.

With that let’s take a quick look at the world of TINY METAL!

AREA 35, the developers of TINY METAL have always touted the game as a spiritual successor to Advance Wars, and during the short amount of time I played it I felt it really is. In TINY METAL you command a huge army at your disposal – infantry, tanks, fusion cannons, helicopters, artillery, and much more. Each unit has their own strengths and weaknesses (artillery is effective against armored units).

The game takes place in a  3D world seen top-down. Each turn (called “Day”) you’ll be given the option to move your units to different positions to capture factories (to produce more units), capture cities (to generate money for producing units and regenerating health), or forming an attack formation to launch a powerful “Focus Attack”. Infantry units are the most effective in capturing places of interest due to their high health, while scouters have one of the best field of visions in the game. Unlike Advance Wars, every unit in TINY METAL has its own field of vision so in every mission there’s fog of war.

There’s literally so much to think about and decide in each turn because you have to balance all of your resources (both money and units), anticipating the moves of your enemies to decide the next type of unit to produce, and countering your enemy by maneuvering your army into safer terrain. Sometimes it’s risk and reward. Everything is there for you to micromanage, and the enemy has the same access to the same tools.

The first few chapters which I played were essentially tutorials. As the game progressed I noticed that the missions were becoming longer and longer, so on average it takes 15 to 45 minutes per chapter. There’s dialogue between the characters at the beginning and end of each mission but they feel sort of draggy at times (you can skip it though). Every major character is completely voiced (the PC build had both Japanese VA and English VA) which is overall well done. I’ll ask AREA 35 whether TINY METAL will support dual audio.

I have to say the short time I had with TINY METAL has reaffirmed what I’ve initially thought about the game – it’s Advance Wars “grown up”, or a modern take of that franchise. As a fan of strategy games like Fire Emblem and Advance Wars, I feel TINY METAL has checked all the boxes in terms of difficulty, depth, and execution.

I hope to give you our full thoughts on TINY METAL when we get the chance to review it on Nintendo Switch. Before you go, check out some screenshots we’ve taken from the PC version below.