Tiny Token Empires is a new game by HeroCraft/BiP Media for Android mobile devices. The game is a combination of turn-based strategy, gem matching (Bejeweled style three or more in a row) and other puzzle elements. Starting out as one of five ancient empires (Rome, Greece, Egypt, Persia or Carthage) the aim is simply to develop your cities and armies and build up power to take over the surrounding countries.
Luckily, Tiny Token Empires doesn’t take itself too seriously. It contains some surreal comical characters in the World such as goofball Gods, cute mythological monsters and a selection of military legionnaires all who who have gallons of comical value thrown into their characters.
Taking place on a map built up of 75 territories, the aim is to build up your armies and cities and to take battle with neighboring states. The game comes with a lengthy tutorial, however, it doesn’t seem that great at properly explaining how the game is played. Even after an hours gameplay, I found myself still moving to places I couldn’t go, or doing things I couldn’t do, only to be told that it was incorrect, but not getting any help as to why it was incorrect.
Once the basics of the game have been picked up, the game opens up a little, and the player will soon start buying and building armies and cities. There is a level up system for everything you do, and in no time at all the player will be invading other countries and winning battles.
Battles take the form of BeJeweled type games, where you have to match up three or more of the same colours or symbols, which in turn win the player battles or enhance the power system of it’s armies and cities. It’s all a nice change of pace from the turn-based system of moving around the board and building up or conquering other lands. The level difficulty of these games seems to be set quite low, and it is pretty easy to win games against the enemy.
The overall layout of the game makes gameplay quite intuitive once the basics are picked up. The game is obviously aimed at younger players, or those who do not play strategy games very often, as it is impossible to die in the game. Instead of death, the player will revert back to the city of Rome to restart the missions again.
The game has numerous different game modes, the campaign mode (which is the main part of the game), Tutorial, Quick Match and Free Mission.
Tiny Token Empires is a good looking game. The map is well designed, the game characters look good, and the map scrolls smoothly. You can use pinch to zoom in or out, and this works very well, especially when the player has conquered many of the lands surrounding their capital.
Conversations take place as a pop-up box, with pictures of the characters your talking to inside them. It’s an ancient technique, but one which still works well on a mobile device. Writing, even on a Samsung S3 screen, is a tidy size, so there will be no need to squint at the on-screen text.
There is an interesting soundtrack that plays throughout, with an ancient ethereal feel to the music.It certainly add’s to the feel of the game, and sets a frame of mind that puts you in the time-frame of the game. The sound effects though are very average at best, with simple swiping noises and noises to reflect when you have pressed options etc.
Tiny Token Empires is a welcome addition to the word of turn based strategy games. With it’s inclusion of mini-game representing battles and other such interesting additions, Tiny Token Empires is a game that can be picked up by anyone looking to play a simple game of this nature.
Stick with the tutorial, and the game opens up nicely, allowing the player to enjoy a well thought out game which has some great graphics, good gameplay mechanics and a lot of of gameplay to offer even the newest of players to this genre.