We review Tiny Archers, a sideways sniper with addictive gameplay for the iPhone and iPad, and give you our beginner’s tips and tricks to help you get started with the game.
Tiny Archers review
Tiny Archers (iOS) is a literal tower defence game, which casts you as a sole sniper in charge of keeping armies of goblins at bay. Action is viewed from a side-on perspective and control is pleasingly simple. Like Angry Birds, all you need to do is draw back your bow with a drag of your finger, aim at the nearest charging gribbly and then release.
Things start at a pleasingly sedate pace. You’ll have a wave of about a dozen enemies to deal with, all of them conveniently waiting for their turn before charging at your tower one at a time, like those baddies in Brucle Lee movies. Of course, this rather gentle attack strategy doesn’t last for long and soon you’ll be dealing with a non-stop onslaught and enemies that fire their own missiles.
Variety is added in the form of different enemy types, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. For example, early on you’ll encounter shielded foes that can block your arrows, so you’ll either need to snipe them with armor-piercing missiles or else aim for their exposed feet to make them hop and reveal their weak spots.
Tiny Archers has the option of turning on blood, which adds a cartoony splash of gore every time your arrows strike. And it’s pleasing to see area damage too, so shooting a goblin in the leg will seriously slow them while a headshot puts them down for good.
Of course, Tiny Archers bows to the Freemium demon, so you’re constantly being bombarded with chances to watch adverts in exchange for gems (which can be swapped for more arrows, and coins to buy bow upgrades). I personally found that I didn’t have to rely on this too much as there are also missions and other ways to win gems, while clearing a level with a perfect three-star score also boosts your reserves considerably.
You can download Tiny Archers now on the App Store for iPhone and iPad.
Tiny Archers tips and tricks guide
Here are some hints to get started in Tiny Archers, and let us know of any cheats, hacks and other tips of your own in the comments below.
The key to hitting your enemies in Tiny Archers is timing. If you’re struggling with the timing, then the easiest way to bump up your hit ratio is releasing an arrow at a specific point as an enemy rushes you. For instance, with the basic running foes and the level one bow, try aiming at a spot on the ground in front of them and releasing just before their feet reaches it. You should find that you win a headshot almost every time.
Of course, successful hits in Tiny Archers are also dependent on distance and angle. The closer enemies get, the steeper the sniping angle, and the less time it takes for your arrows to hit home. That means easy headshots.
That said, we’d recommend making full use of the minimap in the top right corner to see exactly when an enemy is due to pop onto the screen, and preparing a shot for when they first appear. If you miss with that arrow, you’ll have plenty of time to line up a second and even third shot.
The Tiny Archers minimap will also clue you into which enemy is due to appear; yellow is a basic soldier, blue is an armored enemy and so on. This is a great help as you can pre-select the best kind of arrow to take them down (armor-piercing for the shield bearers and so on) before they even appear. However, remember that you can always change the arrow type with a quick tap, even when you’ve already pulled back your bow.
Always check in with the blacksmith before you start a level and make sure that you have a full selection of arrows. You also need to keep an eye on bow upgrades and make sure that you buy a new bow as soon as one is available, to open up more special slots and boost the damage done.
For quick and easy gems, head to the Tiny Archers main menu and tap the arrow at the very bottom of the screen, then tap ‘missions’ in the tab that pops up. This gives you a list of objectives (e.g. complete three levels) which you have to finish before the timer runs out. When you manage to finish a mission, head back to this menu and tap ‘claim’ to receive your gems.
You can of course embrace the freemium elements of Tiny Archers too, and tap the gems icon in the top right corner of the main menu. There’s an option in here to watch a video, in exchange for 25 gems.