Inspired by Advance Wars, Tiny Metal and Area 35 aim to recapture the feeling and charm of the well-loved military turn-based strategy series. Created in Unreal by experienced game developers, Tiny Metal was resurrected last year after a failed Kickstarter brought Area 34 and CIA Inc. together. Headed by Japanese violinist and all-around everyman Hiroaki Yura, Area 35 brings together industry veterans in Tomoki Miyoshi (I Am Setsuna, Soulcaliber V) and newcomers in voice actor Komatsu Umiko and programmer Daniel Dressler.
With its low-poly aesthetic combined with its isometric gameplay, Tiny Metal is a clear rendition of Advance Wars. It may not have the pixel art found in the Wars games, but the tactical nature of battles is certainly present. With 15 different units to build and command in Tiny Metal's campaign and skirmish maps, the focus is clearly more on tactics, rather than the abilities of the commanders. Tiny Metal also makes heavy use of fog-of-war, forcing you to scout with lightly armored vehicles and infantry, or radar-equipped trucks. There are a number of different attack modes, such as the Assault tactic, which does little damage but pushes a defending unit back one square.
Tiny Metal is aiming for 20 hours of campaign gameplay, and follows the story of Second Lt. Nathan Gries of the nation of Artemisia. Gries becomes embroiled in a conflict with the nation of Zipang, who is looking to restore their honor after suffering a humiliating defeat in a previous war. Gries is also looking for his commander, who went missing after an airship accident that was blamed on Zipang. With its simple-yet-challenging gameplay, Tiny Metal looks to resurrect the Japanese turn-based strategy genre.