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Final Fantasy Tactics-like Trash Of The Titans dares you to be the garbage guzzling disaster mammal you always knew you were


Some trash mammals protect their delicious garbage in tactics game Trash Of The Titans
Image credit: Thayer and Back Again

Many moons ago, premiere wordsman Nate Crowley reviewed shark ‘em up Maneater, decrying its incurious perpetuation of anti-shark propaganda, and calling it “an ecstatically violent simulation of being a fool's idea of a shark.” My own frothing penchant for the plan-schemes of Warhammer’s Skaven ratboys has been documented in these pages to the point of rabidity, but I do feel broadly similarly about media that sullies rats - clean, smart and good folk that they are. Lively tactics Trash Of The Titans does not aim to emancipate its villainous vermin. But, like Warhammer, it gets a pass for its evident affection towards its antagonistic dumpster diving scuttlers. Also, it's just plain fun.

Solo-willed-into-existence by developer Alex 'Thayer And Back Again', Trash Of The Titans’ grid-based, elevation-respecting strategy most immediately evokes Final Fantasy Tactics. You play as a party of assorted trash mammals trying to protect your rotting hauls from a gang of criminal vermin known as The Rat Crue. Misspelling ‘crew’ is, of course, the telltale signature of only the most badbutt crews. It’s vaguely roguelike in structure, with one stage leading to the next as you nab upgrades based on how much trash you managed to protect. The game’s setting is left vague, although it is clearly set somewhere with a bizarre culture of nibbling at whole chickens before discarding them, since that's most of the trash.

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Turn order is set before each round, and each trash mammal has their own specialisation. Badger is a tank, able to clear gaps by charging, with a bonus buff to attack damage based on how much health they’re missing. Racoon is a sneak thief, able to turn invisible and backstab. They can actually cloak, stab, then re-cloak in a single round, although this eats through MP, which regens slowly throughout. Happily, they also provide some bonus regen for squad cohesion. Possum is an archer, able to take advantage of the aforementioned elevation, and Skunk is a fart-shaman, with poison gas attacks used for board control.

Elsewhere, there’s some lovely ambiguity-begone features, like previews for specific attack damage. Also, move and attack points are spent separately, so you can mix and match for dastardly plays. There’s plenty of additional non-trash goodies, like boons you can collect for extra abilities, and bonus buffs and upgrades at the end of each mission depending on how much trash you save. It’s neat! I said “this looks neat” when I saw it, and then I played it, and it’s neat! If only life in general could unfold so smoothly! Trash Of The Titans, you are forgiven for your rat slander. It’s out today, and there’s a demo available at time of writing.

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