App Reviewed on: iPad Air 2
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Tiny Archersis an arcadey tower defense game where you take control of a lone archer defending against hordes of goblins and orcs. The physical act of taking down these enemies is fun enough, but there are some issues with the game's management systems and a lack of variety that make it lose appeal over time.
To play Tiny Archers, you touch and hold on the screen to bring up an arched path representing the path of your arrow. To adjust your aim, drag your finger up and down on the screen until you're all lined up, then release to fire.
Sounds easy, right? That's kind of because it is, particularly at the beginning of Tiny Archers. Over time, enemies of different types come along, and in greater numbers, but with practice, you can still mow them down with ease.
As you level up in Tiny Archers, you'll gain access to new bows and arrows, which you purchase and equip to help you keep up with the increasingly challenging waves of enemies you'll face off against. You do this by visiting the blacksmith and paying him to forge arrows for you so you can make sure you always have a steady supply of tools for your job.
The problem here is that the way this management system is designed feels an awful lot like a gating mechanic in a free-to-play game instead of some sort of strategic layer. This is primarily because the system uses two forms of currency, one of which can queue up the construction of arrows over time, and the other which can do anything from eliminate the time constraint to buy more of the other currency. Though you earn a good amount of both currencies throughout the course of playing Tiny Archers, the premium currency definitely comes in slower and is available for purchase, which feels wrong in a game that costs money, even if it's only $0.99.
In addition to the free-to-play trappings of Tiny Archers, the game runs out of new and interesting things kind of quickly. While there are three different characters to play as, each play more or less the same way, only offering variety in their aesthetics and the setting of their levels.
On top of this, the mechanics of firing arrows gets monotonous once you run out of new enemies to face off against since every enemy has a specific way of being taken out the fastest. Over time, Tiny Archerstransforms from fun, casual arcade game into a monotonous experience that requires some troublesome management gameplay to keep playing.
The bottom line
It almost feels like the blacksmithing aspects of Tiny Archerswere meant to introduce a layer of strategy around managing scarcity, but it's such a clear imitation of free-to-play tactics that it feels cheap. This, alongside the fact that the game runs out of new things pretty quickly, makes Tiny Archers hard to recommend.