Review: Tooth and Tail (PS4).
Tooth and Tail is an interesting production combining elements of arcade, tower defense and RTS games, which can be considered a spiritual successor to Animal Farm – Orwell’s cult novel. In a world without people, animals wage war with each other, and the stakes are prosaic – food.
Like the Orwellian classic, the plot Tooth & Tail takes us back to the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. The world is ruled by animals, among which revolution and civil war broke out. The four factions of the leading armies, including drunken squirrels, sniper foxes, wild boar with flamethrowers, and skunks using chemical weapons, clash to death and life. We have one goal – meat, but in order for someone to feast, another must be eaten. The story is short, but quite original and full of humor, so it is quite nice to follow. At the same time, it was presented in an engaging way, because the lack of cutscenes forces us to talk to the animals living in the main burrow / base, so we only learn what’s going on from the dialogues. We will learn the whole story, of course, from the perspective of all four faction leaders who, depending on the circumstances, either fight or ally with each other. Most often, however, they conduct cheerful chats with their subordinates, dispelling their grievances with empty promises and encouraging them to persevere in the coming battles. In any case, the story element plays a fairly important role in the game.
On the web you can find opinions comparing this production to RTS, especially to Starcraft. Yes, there is some truth in this, but in my opinion the title is closer to tower defense games. Although the available missions are very diverse and have demanding additional tasks, the most common goal is to destroy the griftmils (they produce food) of the opponent, while defending your own. There is only one currency – food. It is thanks to her that we build defense structures and barracks-burrows, where we recruit our troops. The production requires a very aggressive style of play, not allowing too much time for comprehensive preparations. In any case, similar to the Zergs in Starcraft, we gather the army as quickly as possible and hit the enemy – simple but fun and rewarding fun that smacks of arcade. This is because we only play the army commander, whom we chase around the board, giving orders to our subordinates to attack only when we deem it necessary.
If someone is ready to get a full-fledged real-time strategy, they will probably be disappointed, but the gameplay style present in the game is very sweet and there is nothing to complain about. I would only stick to too much influence of luck on the course of fights. Maps are randomly generated, which of course should be considered a plus in itself, but it also makes some missions trivial, while others can be bloody. In addition to the story mode, the game also offers online gameplay and split-screen play – both options have their own rules, but their core remains the same. Playing with live opponents I also had a great time, moreover, when they run out, quite well-functioning artificial intelligence enters the action.
The visual setting, as befits a typical turkey, is kept in the pixel-art convention, i.e. in the style referring to the “golden” of the 90s. Although the title was created with PCs in mind, it also looks good on the big screen, although initially you have to get used to to small units that are sometimes hard to distinguish from the environment. However, I have reservations about the small font during the dialogues – yes, on the computer, where we sit close to the screen, it is sufficient, but on a large TV it simply tires the eyes. Another thing is that it is a problem for many other independent games transferred to PlayStation 4. However, if someone is not allergic to pixels, the setting should appeal to him, because it creates the right atmosphere and evokes nostalgia for titles from many years ago. The bull’s eye is the musical theme we hear after completing the mission. Without using words, he sensitively sums up what the whole fight is about.
Tooth and Tail with animals jumping into each other’s eyes, it is an ideal proposition for people looking for dynamic and addictive, yet simple clashes with a hint of strategic thinking. Although the game is only to a small extent an RTS, it nevertheless fulfills the task set by the creators and allows the player to demonstrate the ability to make quick decisions in the heat of combat against a virtual or live opponent. For a short session with friends from the Internet or with a friend on the couch as he found.