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Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL: Nintendo Switch Review

Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL joined the Nintendo Switch lineup on 12/21/17 and was originally released on November 18, 2014 on Playstation systems and Xbox. Tiny Troopers can also be found on Steam with Tiny Troopers 2 released in May of 2017.

If you are unfamiliar with Tiny Troopers, it is an arcade-style twin-stick shooter that has multiple campaign modes. It is a single player game with no online capability. Tiny Troopers joins other new twin-stick shooters for the Switch such as Nine Parchments, Enter the Gungeon, and Hammerwatch.

What to Expect from Tiny Troopers

ttjo_120x180Tiny Troopers Joint Ops has three playable campaigns and a zombie survival mode. The campaigns each have three or more operations each with roughly 10 maps or missions to play through. There are four levels of difficulty to choose from, which makes it accessible for gamers of all skill levels.

The three campaigns are each good for 2-4 hours of play time from start to finish. The campaign types are:

  • Soldier
  • Special Forces
  • Zombie

tiny720-Screenshot5Each campaign has several operations and each operation has a number of missions to complete. The mission objectives change based on the map. Straight forward missions such as clearing all enemy forces ease you into action with your tiny forces. More advanced missions such as search and rescue or bringing down communications towers will force you to take advantage of supply drops to clear.

Tiny Forces

tinyScreen3One of the best features in Tiny Troopers is the ability to rank up your troops. In order to do so, they must survive missions to gain experience needed to earn the next rank. However, if one or more of your tiny troops does not survive a mission, then they are listed as killed-in-action (KIA) unless they are revived with medals you find.

The neat thing about the ranking system is that if you start off by playing the soldier campaign, but then decide you want to work on the zombie campaign, your troops retain their rank in addition to any upgrades you have acquired. Upgrades are obtained through purchases with the points accrued by dispatching enemy forces or discovering dog tags.

tinyScreen4To gain more points and therefore more currency, you can earn multipliers by dispatching enemy forces quickly within a short sustained time period. Points can accrue at a max rate of four times. The multiplier applies not only to points earned from killing enemy forces, but also to any dog tags found throughout each level.

Upgrades come in many forms. You can increase the overall damage of your tiny forces or even improve their precision. Other items such as increased armor come in handy, but one of the best upgrades comes in the form of rank. When you purchase a rank upgrade you improve the baseline starting rank for any new troopers that join your campaign.

As you progress through operations and missions, you are bound to have a fallen comrade or two. By purchasing the rank upgrade, the new soldier that replaces your tiny fallen buddy will start at a higher rank, which means improved units right off the bat.

Guns for Hire

tinyScreen5As you progress through each campaign, the missions will become notably more difficult. Missions that require you to dispatch enemy buildings will require a rocket launcher to make quick work of the structures. You have two options to ensure you have the firepower needed: call for a supply drop or hire a mercenary for a single mission.

The special forces for hire come in a variety of flavors. From medics, to machine gunners, or even Elite Delta Forces. Each comes with their own unique skill set and with their own cost. You will need to unlock their services with medals found in the field and then hire them using your points currency for the duration of one mission.

There are Zombies on your Lawn!

Yes! There are zombies in Tiny Troopers, but mutated plants cannot save you!

The zombie campaign is shorter than the other campaigns, but the stages seem to take a little longer due to the increased number of enemy units. Zombies come in all shapes and sizes and some can only hurt you in melee range, while others can do a short range projectile or area of effect (AOE) damage.

Tiny_Troopers_Joint_Ops_Zombie_Screenshot_12The more addicting version to enjoy zombies in Tiny Troopers is survival mode. This mode is not all the unique from other games that have a zombie survival mode. At set increments after a number of waves a new unit will open up and be added to your tiny army. Random supply drops will fall on to the battle and your job is to survive as long as you can while collecting gold coins and bars to earn as many points as possible and set a new high score.

Once the campaigns have been completed, this will likely be the game mode that keeps bringing you back to Tiny Troopers.

Nintendo Switch Features

Tiny Troopers has been around in some form since 2012. So what makes this game a good fit for the Switch?

The game supports the Nintendo Switch’s touch screen play style should you opt to play the game in handheld mode. You can also play with joy-cons or a pro controller to make the most of the classic twin stick controls.

Tiny_Troopers_Joint_Ops_Zombie_Screenshot_3With this being the “XL” version, all the content from the original Tiny Troopers in addition to Tiny Troopers 2 have been rolled into a single game. There are over 60 missions to enjoy in addition to the zombie survival mode.


Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL is a fun twin-stick shooter at a fair $12.99 price point on the eShop. One area where the game falls short is a lack of multiplayer mode. With over 60 missions to play through, local or online co-op would be a welcomed feature especially given games like Nine Parchments have this already included for only a slightly higher cost.


The zombie campaign and survival modes are not unique, but certainly give the game elements that will make gamers want to pick the game back up for more than just mission game play.

Overall, Tiny Troopers is a good fit for Nintendo Switch.

The game has a reasonable amount of content, but no multiplayer game mode. Therefore Redonkulous Gaming gives Tiny Troopers Joint Ops XL for Nintendo Switch a score of 7.4/10

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Pengle View All

Avid gamer across PC, Xbox, and Switch platforms. Check me out on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube.

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