12 cert, Chillingo, iPad (also iPhone, iPod Touch) ***
Quite a distance from the realities of war, I expect, Tiny Troopers is a diverting app game that mixes third-person shooter with real-time strategy. Overseeing a small platoon from above, you touch the screen to tell them where to go, touch the targets for them to shoot, and tap useable icons (such as grenades) on the side of the screen.
The presentation is likeable, with cutesy animation, waddling soldiers, and (importantly) clear menus and objectives. Between levels one can augment their little troops and weapons, but nothing’s over-complicated. Touch-screen controls work well, but the game’s intricacies are best served by the larger screen of an iPad.
The missions vary nicely. Soldiers can be seen defending themselves from the ruins of a crashed helicopter, destroying enemy buildings and (perhaps most importantly) protecting reporters. I know they’re fictional avatars, but I like to imagine these journalists would go on to live fruitful lives and write glib video game reviews . . .