Overall Score 75%
What is TinyWarz? To quote the developer, it is "a massively multiplayer, turn-based, strategy-game where players battle each other and computer controlled bandits on distant worlds. Time is an important factor in TinyWarz - players are given a limited amount of time to finish their turns and are rewarded for early completion."
Normally I wouldn't review a game that uses phrases like "massively mulitplayer" and "turn-based" as I prefer my games to have a more arcade and immediate flavour. However, something about TinyWarz caught my eye that isn't immediately obvious from the quote above - TinyWarz is a game that is played in your Internet browser.
Most games we see here at Bytten have you downloading a file and installing it before play but this game is different, it needs no downloads, it can be played from any internet connection as long as you have access to Internet Explorer.
So, with web browser loaded, what kind of game do you get when you login at tinywarz.com? Your ultimate aim is to dominate through the construction and training of an army. To explain the games rules would take days of typing but in short, you have Command points that allow you to build, deploy and command your units in game. Extra points are given to you once a day so you have to work this into your playing strategy.
Since this is a massively multiplayer game, you are faced with the daunting task of controlling worlds roamed by both computer bandits and human players. Your first deployments will be to training worlds where you will only fight the bandits, but progression will eventually lead you to human conflict, or PvP (Player vs Player).
My first impression when I joined the game was one of total confusion. Though I understand how a turn-based game works and what is it to be massively multiplayer, the number of screens available and the new words, phrases and rules to learn were all a little overwhelming. Fortunately the website has a wealth of reading material to help you get on your feet. Most important of this text is the beginner guide which is a simple, yet lengthy tutorial that gives you the basics. In addition to the help pages is a forum where you can learn some of the more complex actions.
Normally around this point in a review I'd tell you how a game performs in the areas of audio and visuals. However, that seems a little unfair for a game played out solely from your browser. Needless to say, if you want some music, you'll be providing it yourself! Visually the game feels very dated, looking more like something from the C64 but this is what you should expect from a browser game of this nature. Everything might look bland but it is fast-loading and remains easy to navigate which are key points when you are on the Internet.
Is TinyWarz a fun experience? Well, for me, it wasn't fun at all for several days. Being a novice to this game style meant that I had a to learn a lot. Once you've cleared that hump however, the game becomes a lot more enjoyable with minutes turning to an hour on regular occassion. It is a great game to play during a lunch break! The initial learning curve may put you off if you're not prepared to put in the time and to be honest, had I not been writing a review, I would have stopped playing as soon as I saw how much text I'd need to read. If I had given up, I would have missed out on a great play-anywhere, play-anytime experience so I'm happy I stuck with it.
If you're not sure whether you want to play TinyWarz or not, my recommendation is to join - it costs you nothing more than your free time and if you don't enjoy playing, you can just stop. If you do like what you see, you can delve further into game areas such as Mods and Factions and if you really like the game, you can even use a Paypal or Moneybookers account to purchase items that aren't always available to regular users.
All this from a simple web browser eh? Whatever next...
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