Tooth and Tail Review

8.8

Tooth and Tail

9/10

Pros

  • Fast paced mulitplayer real time strategy with actual strategy.
  • Pixelated British wildlife going to war with one another.
  • Split screen multiplayer!

Cons

  • Some balancing issues at launch.

Tooth and Tail is a real time strategy game with a pixelated art style set in a vicious world of British Wildlife.  This bizarre setup creates a very unique real time strategy that breaks new ground in the genre.  

Tooth and Tail is unlike most other real time strategy games.  Rather than having direct control of units and buildings across a huge battlefield players have direct control of just one unit.  Players take control of a simple standard bearer.

What is Tooth and Tail like to play?

Players use simple controls to use the standard bearer to construct buildings, rally troops and give simple orders.  This is in many ways a strimmed down real time strategy game but it still keeps many of the draws of the genre.  To defeat opposing armies you must use your brains.  Map awareness, scouting of the enemy and careful monitoring of resources are all incredibly important to player’s success.  It is incredibly satisfying to win hard fought matches in Tooth and Tail thanks to the genuine strategy used.

There is both single and mulitplayer games to enjoy in Tooth and Tail.  The single player campaign felt like a pleasant distraction rather than the main event.  Tooth and Tail truly shines as a multiplayer experience.  Having said this the campaign is certainly enjoyable and definitely worth playing.  There are a nice mix of levels to tackle with differing success criteria and additional challenges.

What is Tooth and Tail’s multiplayer like?

Multiplayer is where Tooth and Tail truly shines.  First off it is definitely worth saying that Tooth and Tail offers split screen multiplayer.  I can’t think of another decent real time strategy that does this and Tooth and Tail pulls it off beautifully.  

Online matches are where I have spent most of my time and they have been a blast.  Matches are fast and fluid, often lasting 10-15 minutes for a 1v1.  At the start of a match you can choose whom you control and the composition of your army.  There are an interesting mixture of units to enjoy experimenting with in Tooth and Tail.  Simple, cheap melee units, high flying birds, sappers, badgers welding flamethrowers… It really does have everything.  Tooth and Tail is Wind and the Willows meets Starcraft.  

During matches your control of the standard bearer means that positioning is incredibly important.  You use your voice and flag to call your units to your position.  Retreat, advanced and focused attacks can be called simply with the trigger buttons on the controller (my preferred control method).  It feels fantastic to hold your defenses against a swell of lizards and to successfully attack a freshly developed farm.  

Windmills litter the maps and can be captured to gain control of land.  This can see you advance and increase the amount of resources you are producing.  Push too fast and too far though and you leave yourself stretched too thin.  Pacing is important.  The placement of these windmills is very important.  Unfortunately I did feel that the maps were somewhat dull, too similar and not particularly well balanced.  Windmill placements and the positioning of water did make it seem I or my opponent had an unfair advantage in certain matches.

The verdict

Tooth and Tail is a great game.  The creature based units are far to experiment with and the pixelated art style looks great.  The controls are simple, games are quick but there is a nice amount of strategy to experiment with and enjoy.  I look forward to many, many more matches over the coming months.

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