The creators of Monaco, Pocketwatch games, have brought us a simple RTS game set in a world where a revolution is underway and the winners will feast on the losers. Tooth and Tail is a game in which the gameplay is mostly based around defence and capture type missions in and where you, the long coats, must prevail in your objectives in order to prevent the reigning order from continuing their oppressive rule. The main character, whom you control the actions of, leads the rebellion in the memory of his young son who was taken by the ruling class for their feasting. An interesting concept that is executed in a fun, albeit relatively basic manner.
A basic tutorial gives you the essential mechanics you need to get started. You control the leader, who can call the army to him in order to attack or retreat as well as build units and defensive towers. Each mission centres around farms. The farms provide food that allows you to build and maintain your army and your defences. As the game progresses, missions allow you access to more farms throughout the objectives, as the farms will run fallow and stop producing food in longer missions. During some missions, you must search the map and claim additional farms in order to maintain your army for the duration of the mission.
There are a variety of units available to use in combat and they unlock as you move through the singleplayer mode. Swarming melee units, strong ranged units, bigger tankier units, with each role building your army, but ultimately the result always feels very similar. The lack of truly distinct AI movements does lead to the initially fun gameplay becoming somewhat stale unfortunately rapidly. The vague notion of a storyline allows for the gameplay to be carried, to begin with, but it holds limited interest for long-term play. The methods for carrying out mission objectives appear to feature minimal variations, with the effective gameplay generally seemingly revolve around producing a significant volume of units as quickly as possible, then swarming the enemy. This leads to the game being fun for a time but perhaps lacking the additional requirements to maintain the interest of those who are looking for something with more complex strategy elements.
Despite its lack of continued playability, Tooth and Tail certainly holds some charm and is perfectly enjoyable for a while. The gameplay is simple and easy to grasp, undoubtedly holding greater amounts of playtime for those able to enjoy the ability to play an RTS without having to worry about the mountain of complexities that often accompany such games. The are no macros required and no particularly deep learning process, which does mean that the game can be played well enough within a short time of starting.
The multiplayer community is small and currently appears to suffer from a lack of cheating prevention and seems to struggle with players recycling extremely similar tactics leading to a fairly stagnant meta. Whether this will alter as updates and tweaks to the game occur has yet to be seen.
A delightful, pixelated art style accompanies your adorable, rodent based armies as they converge on their various objectives. Colourful and lovely to look at, the graphics are absolutely a strong point of the game, with the wonderful animations really helping to bring it to life.
The soundtrack fits in well with the gameplay and visual style, becoming upbeat or slightly ominous at appropriate moments, keeping up with the relatively fast pace of the game as a whole. The music is nothing phenomenally memorable but it does work effectively with the game.
In all, Tooth and Tail is a delightful experience with plenty to offer those that wish for a less complicated RTS experience, giving you all the basics and the feel of an RTS without the steep learning curve. The game may also appeal to RTS fans who perhaps wish to play their favourite game type but in a more relaxed fashion. A competent title that offers a diluted but fun RTS experience.