Last year Monaco creator Pocketwatch Games announced an in-development RTS game by the name of Armada. Then they changed the name to “Lead To Fire”, before realising that nobody would know how the hell to pronounce the first word. So now it’s called Tooth and Tail – and there’s a first set of screenshots and details below.
So Tooth and Tail, then – a play on Tooth-to-Tail ratio according to its devs (although surely it’s a play on tooth and nail?). The team is describing it as an arcade-style real-time strategy game which caters to an audience who like the digestibility of mainstream RTS’ but don’t have time for the genre’s propensity for causing migraines.
“Like with Monaco, we focused on simplicity of controls. Your commander controls your army indirectly – two analog sticks, ABXY, and two triggers are all you need,” say its makers in an official blurb. “I like to say that if you can get the controller out of the way, the player can more directly interface with the fantasy and their strategy. Yup, it plays just as well on kb/m, but we really like using the controller as a design constraint. And for the record, fuck shoulder buttons. Those things are terrible.”
In early 2014, the studio’s Andy Schatz described the then-Armada to us as an RTS you could feasibly play in a party setting and “the first great gamepad RTS.” The aim remains the same. It’s a streamlined RTS, which means matches are a maximum of 12 minutes long and you can play at a competitive level after just a game or two. “More real-time chess, less competitive cow-clicker,” they’re saying.
Stylistically, the team has adopted a 90’s nostalgia Command and Conquer style – and O be still my ancient heart: check out this collection of Redwall-inpired fan art by the game’s painter Jerome Jacinto. His portfolio got him the gig, and you can see these Redwallisms all throughout the game. There’re flipping skunk grenadiers in there, man.