The Android market is packed with all sorts of color matching games, actually it’s over-saturated to say at least. Instead of just releasing another variation of bejeweled that hardly anyone will care about, Herocraft Ltd. made a bold move to combine two seemingly unmatchable genres, turn based strategy and color matching. The end result is charming game with cute graphics and touch of humor.
The game takes place in the ancient times where the leaders of Rome, Carthage, Persia, Egypt, and Greece live and hate each other, constantly trying to overtake the neighboring lands and treasures, or raid nearby monsters lairs that usually hold some valuable piece of equipment.
Everything except the battles will take place on the main map where you can move armies, upgrade cities or conquer lands. Although it looks complicated at first, it’s actually quite simple. You start off by controlling only one land where your capital is. In order to thrive, you need to take control of all the lands you can, as soon as possible. Every land generates income in gold each turn and you will need that gold to upgrade your capital, build structure that produce units or build defenses. Each land can contains a city which you can upgrade, a monster lair that you can raid for loot, mercenary that will sell you units or heroes, or it can be empty. Most armies can move only one space per turn and because of this, strategic placement is crucial in the early stages of the game. Each army can contain up to five units. In order to build more units and create armies, you will have to upgrade any settlement you control into a city and then buy the appropriate building. The game offers a large variety of units you can control. There are 5 heroes, 25 generals and 55 troops at your disposal.
The lands you try to conquer can be guarded by an AI army, bandits or monsters that you will have to fight if you want to spread your empire, which leads us to the color match battle system. Each unit type you control has one specific token. Matching three or more tokens will fill the mana bar of the appropriate unit, when full, the unit can attack. The same goes for your opponent, so planning ahead and building tactics is a must. Even if you can match the token you need, sometimes it’s wiser to match the token your opponent needs in order to prevent him from filling his mana and attacking you. Matching four or more tokens will grant you an extra turn. Use this to your advantage. Most of the boss/monster battles will require careful selection of units and at least one hero.
Campaigns and Game modes
Out of the five campaigns promised, there were only three available while I was testing this game, the Roman that also acts as a tutorial, the Greek and the Persian. The remaining two will be added with the next update of Tiny Token Empires, according to Herocraft.
Apart from the campaign mode, you can test your skills in the free game mode, where you can battle up to four AI controlled opponents. Quickbattle mode will instantly place you in battle, while the Training mode will let you customize your units before the battle. Sadly there is no multiplayer (yet) and this is a huge drawback since the game is perfectly viable for battles over the internet.
Graphics in Tiny Token Empires, while not cutting edge, are notoriously cute providing mixture of 3D objects and 2D drawings. The entire game is filled with funny dialogs, everything from item description to history lessons. While not hysterical, it will certainly make you dish out more air than you usually do.
Sound effects are decent, but the music tracks are outstanding. The mixture of genres goes will with the time period, everything loops perfectly in the background and, more importantly, you won’t be distracted or annoyed while playing.
Tiny Token Empires stands by its name delivering, you guessed, extra tiny tokens that are hard to touch and switch even on high resolution screens. Large portion of the screen in the battle mode is left unused, filled with some random background, narrowing the playfield even further. Controls on the main map can use some tweaking as well, especially when you are buying and placing new units on the map, action that requires you to double tap the target land.
Herocraft Ltd. decided to implement pretty strict license checking system, that will require an active internet connection now and then. I wouldn’t call it Draconian, but it does get annoying over time. Even tho I didn’t experience any problems with it, there were reports on the play store about the game refusing to work and marking itself as a pirated copy.
I must admit, I had a blast testing Tiny Token Empires. It has been a while since I played something fresh, yet old and familiar. The cartoonish graphics and the comical approach are spot on as well. All in all Tiny Token Empires turned out to be a real gem and if (when) the drawbacks mentioned above get fixed, and the rest of the campaigns added, you can consider this to be a 5 star game, for now 4 stars will suffice.
|Solid gameplay||Missing Campaigns|
|Funny and addictive||Controls can be better|
|Excellent Music||No multiplayer|