Tooth and Tail PS4 Review

November 8, 2017 by  
Filed under PS4, Reviews & Features, PlayStation

Publisher: Pocketwatch Games  Developer: Pocketwatch Games  Genre: Real-time Strategy  

Players: 1-2  Age Rating: 12+  Other console/handheld formats: N/A

Have you ever been put off a strategy game due to its level of depth? If you answered yes to this question, then you are definitely not alone, with some players preferring games that are a lot simpler to play. With Tooth and Tail, developer Pocketwatch Games have created a strategy game that is heavy on the strategy but lighter on the depth.

The retro style pixel art visuals are absolutely charming.

Tooth and Tail involves four warring factions which are comprised of animals such as mice, foxes, owls, ferrets, badgers, and more. The factions are locked in a civil war, with the losers becoming nothing other than food for the victors. The game has a darkly comic sense of humour running throughout, and the ultimate goal is to help bring about a revolution. You’ll also take charge of a number of characters in the single player campaign, which adds to the variation.

Tooth and Tail is the very definition of pick up and play. Yes, it’s an RTS, but the mechanics have been stripped down, leaving you to run about and lead your army, create warrens by making use of resources which in turn bring in new troops, and you are able to instruct a single class to follow you, or have every single class in the field on your tail. You can also instruct your troops to focus on a particular enemy in the field, and none of these actions happen through menus, with everything being based on what buttons you are holding or as to where you are situated on the battlefield.

Pocketwatch have been marketing the game as a popcorn RTS for veterans and newcomers alike, and in no way is this an exaggeration as the game can be picked up in no time at all. Missions never go on for very long either, which will be welcome to those who aren’t able to invest lots of their time into an RTS, or just those who prefer some of the fat cut off.

The maps that Tooth and Tail’s battles take place on are actually randomly generated, which means that battles play out differently each and every time. Much of the time though you will be fighting for Gristmills, and when one of these is won, this is an additional place in which you can place up to nine farms. Farms are where you earn essential food resources from, and are some of your most precious assets in the game because of this. It’s also possible for said farms to become fallow, which means that you aren’t able to just rely on the ones you have – you must fight for more.

The story mode has a pleasing amount of variety, which means that you simply aren’t doing the same things over and over again, and new units are still being introduced later on in the game. There are times when you must assure that allies remain alive on the battlefield, others in which you are able to rescue prisoners, and there’s even some in which you are able to build your warrens anywhere on the map, not having to worry about them being close to your Gristmills, and another example has you just attempting to survive until the clock hits zero. Praise must definitely go to Pocketwatch for managing to keep the single player missions fresh.

The fox is a powerful sharpshooter, with speed also being an advantage.

It does have to be said that the game does have a bit of an unbalanced difficulty level though; a later mission is sometimes easier than an earlier one, which doesn’t really make sense. The game can also feel rather overwhelming at times, but this just makes things all the more satisfying when you do manage to triumph after a long struggle.

Tooth and Tail also has multiplayer options, allowing you to play the game online as well as via split screen. Multiplayer is also fairly unusual for an RTS in the way that you are able to mix units up from different factions to create your own army. With the fantastic story mode as well as the multiplayer options, Tooth and Tail certainly has a lot going for it.

Tooth and Tail is highly successful at what it does, streamlining RTS mechanics amazingly well, and also being very comfortable to play on a console. It’s also a very charming game with dark humour, but do be prepared for it to test your patience at times, particularly as the difficulty of the missions starts ramping up fairly quickly.