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Video Game / Mini Robot Wars

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"Size Doesn't Matter!"
- Tagline for the game

Mini Robot Wars is a Tower Defense game that is similar to Plants vs. Zombies. In it, a bunch of Metool-lookalike Mechanical Lifeforms try to stop an invasion of their planet.

"The Machines" are an army of killer robots produced by Star Travel Inc. Their mission is to find planets to provide a suitable place to build space resorts for wealthy people. They have recently found "Green Planet", a planet with lush forests, oceans and mountains.

However, the planet is not uninhabited- a bunch of small alien robots named the Minirobots inhabit it. Being peace-loving creatures, the Minirobots are not prepared against the machine invasion, and were mostly captured or destroyed. This is the Minirobots' last chance to drive out Star Travel's machines.

Similar to Plants vs. Zombies, you place troops on the battlefield to prevent enemy robots from reaching the other side. There is a twist, though- instead of a top-down view, you play in a side-view similar to a platform game.


The game has a sequel in Tiny Defense 2, where Star Travel Inc.'s machines attack the Minirobot planet yet again, and the Minirobots have to fend them off.

This game is not a chibi-fied version of Super Robot Wars.

This game provides examples of:

  • Action Bomb: The Minirobots have the Mini-Mine, the Mini-Bomber, and the Atomic Bot, while the Machines have the Time Bomb.
  • A.I. Breaker: Easier way to beat the Destroyer: Place one unit in his physical attack range, this will force him to use his charge move. When he pulls back, retreat that unit, and the Destroyer will waste an attack in place of a more deadly one.
  • Airborne Mook: The Air Scout, Jetpacker, Napalm Airship, Hyper Jet, Ghost, and Reaper. Later on, even the ground-based mooks can come with a Gyrotor helicopter attachment that allows them to fly.
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  • Always Accurate Attack: The Nuclear Bot hits all enemy machines on the screen. It's also an Unblockable Attack and a One-Hit Kill on anything that isn't a Giant or Titan (and will even destroy Giants if upgraded).
  • Anti-Air: The Radar Bot's upgrade allows it to remove Gyrotors from flying land-bound mooks, causing them to drop to the ground.
  • Anti-Frustration Feature: The iOS versions of the game made the mini-games optional, allowing you to skip some of the excruciatingly tough ones (Meteoric Army, for example).
  • Aquatic Mook: Most of the enemies in the third stage.
    • The Mole also gets the ability to swim on the water surface.
    "Ocean doesn't save you from Mole anymore; for it can swim now!"
    • And later, the Giant also gets the ability to travel on the water!
  • Armor-Piercing Attack/One-Hit Polykill: The Flame Bot and Snow Baller can do this. The machines have Knights, which also hit 1-2 units behind the one they're attacking. And then there are the Wave-Motion Gun attacks used by Marine Strikers and the Final Boss.
  • Asteroids Monster: The Stingray submarine enemies split into three very weak, small copies when destroyed.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: The Transporter is a villainous version. Later on, they get the ability to fly via a helicopter attachment!
  • Badass Adorable: The minirobots don't look tough(& infact weren't even battle oriented before the game), but in battle, they are downright lethal!
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: The Giant, the Frost Orca, and the Titan. Especially the Titan, who can not only take loads of damage, but it can also insta-kill three Minirobots in one blow!
  • Broken Aesop: The first game was all about the Minirobots protecting the environment. The second game shows that the Minirobots themselves built a rather huge, dark, sprawling city called Robopolis.
  • Bubble Gun: The Bubble Minirobot fires bubbles upwards to attack submarines. The upgrade allows the bubbles to split into smaller bubbles upon contact with an enemy.
  • Clown Car Base: The Transporter and the Killer Whale can send out an indefinite number of machine units.
  • Construct Additional Pylons: Fusor Bots and (and Papa Fusors once you get them) being the pylon of choice.
  • Contractual Boss-in-mook-clothing Immunity: The Giant and Titan are immune to slowing and Plasma Bot's stun effect.
  • Crosshair Aware: The Sniper targets his foes with this after obtaining the Eagle Eye ability. This allows all his bullets to hit 100% of the time.
    • The Destroyer has a move where it targets up to two of your Minirobots. If you do not move the Minirobot out of the targeted square in time, they get grabbed and are instantly destroyed.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: The Sniper's bullet does a ludicrous amount of damage if it hits the enemy. The only problem is that its bullet has a chance to miss. If you've been relying on them to defeat a strong enemy and they miss, you can kiss your defenses goodbye.
    • This is solved with the Eagle Eye upgrade. It makes all the sniper's bullets hit no matter what, making it a lot more useful.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: The Final Bosses can be like this. There's really not much else you can do to them but let whatever offensive bots you got whale on it until it explodes.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Surprisingly averted in a game where all characters are robots. The only things that explode are Action Bomb units and the Final Boss.
  • Degraded Boss: Remember the Destroyer which you had to fight as a Final Boss twice? In The Last Stand, you have to face it again as an end-of-world fight. Thankfully, it only uses the laser, and you can avoid it easily this time. It also helps that it keeps getting bombarded by Atomic Bots all the while.
  • Destructible Projectiles: Almost all enemy projectiles can be destroyed. Essential because you also take damage if an enemy projectile goes past the right side of the screen!
  • Determinator: Star Travel Inc.'s Machines will not ever stop trying to attack the Minirobots' planet. Even after being beaten three times by the Minirobots, they attack again in the sequel.
  • Double Unlock: In order to buy the upgrades for each Minirobot, you need to complete the level that unlocks them for you, then buy said upgrade from the store.
  • Earth That Was: The true ending reveals that the Star Travel Inc. (the humans) lost the "Blue Planet" a long time ago due to their own neglect.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: The very powerful Gatling and Mortar upgrades are the last two upgrades, obtained in the stages before the final boss.
  • Elite Mook: Mega Smashers and Ultra Cyclers.
  • Evil Counterpart: Arguably, the Napalm Airship to the Dropper Bot, and the Knight to the Warrior Bot. Both of them even have similar color schemes compared to their good counterparts, and also attack in a similar way!
  • Evil Laugh: The sound cue that signals the approach of a Reaper.
  • Expy: A lot of them, to the plants and zombies from…well, Plants vs. Zombies.
    • For the Minirobots…
      • Fusor Bots, being your resource-producing machines, are based off the sunflowers. Papa Fusors are similar to Twin Sunflowers.
      • Factory Bots and their upgrades the Mama Factory Bots produce money (metal), like Marigolds.
      • Gunners are like Peashooters. They get a rapid-fire upgrade, which is obviously based off the Gatling Pea.
      • Blocker Bots are similar to Wall-Nuts.
      • Mini-Mines are like Potato Mines without the start-up time.
      • Freezer Bots are somewhat similar to Snow Peas, although their attack stuns enemies for a short time instead of slowing them down. Also, their effects aren't negated by fire.
      • Missiler Bots are similar to Cattails, as they both shoot homing projectiles that hit enemies all over the screen. However, missiles look for another enemy if their target is destroyed unlike the cattail spikes, thus wasting less shots than their biological counterparts.
      • Flame Bots are like Fume-Shrooms, as they use a medium-range attack that hits all enemies in the squares in front of it.
      • The Mini-Bomber is like the Cherry Bombs, both blow up the surrounding eight squares after being placed.
      • The Atomic Bot is based off the Doom-Shroom, except it hits the entire screen and doesn't leave a space unusable for a while.
      • Floater Bots, Buoyer Bots, and Submerger Bots are like Lily Pads and Flower Pots in the sense that they allow you to place land units in the air, on the water, and in the water respectively.
      • Mariner Bots are similar to Sea-Shrooms.
      • Barrier Bots act similarly to Pumpkins, you place it on a unit to give it extra protection.
      • D.Shotgunners fire a triple Spread Shot similar to Threepeaters. It also has an upgrade that allows it to fire 2 extra bullets per shot.
    • For the Machines…
      • Smashers are similar to the normal zombies, Heavy Smashers are like Coneheads, while Mega Smashers are like Bucketheads. Except that Mega Smashers do a lot more damage against a Minirobot compared to a Buckethead against a plant.
      • Ultra Cyclers are like pole-vaulting zombies, in the sense that they can jump over gaps.
      • Jumpers are this game's take on the Pogo Zombies—they jump over everything without having to attack.
      • Drillers are based off the Snorkel Zombie. Drillers will tunnel underground until they get in front of a unit, then they will pop up to attack the unit. However, they can be attacked from the top when tunneling.
      • Moles are based off the Digger Zombie in the sense that they are 'stealthed' when they're underground, and will undermine your units by attacking a vertical column in front of it. Like the Digger, you'll require a unit that causes it to resurface.
      • Rocket Wagons and Blast Tanks are somewhat similar to the Catapult Zombie.
      • Time Bombs are similar to the Jack-In-The-Box Zombie, in the sense that they blow up if not destroyed in time. Unlike the Jack-In-The-Box-Zombie, they drop from the sky without any real warning.
      • Capsule Cages are like Bungee Zombies; they drop on a Minirobot and take it away if not destroyed after a short time. They stay longer than their undead counterparts and can come in greater numbers. They also have less health then their undead counterparts.
      • The Giant is like the Gargantuar (loads of HP, instantly crushes your units, slow), and its upgraded variant the Titan is similar to the Giga-Gargantuar.
      • The Destroyer takes its attacks from Dr Zomboss's Zombot. It has a charge move which crushes Minirobots in front of it (Zombot's stomp), a Wave-Motion Gun that takes out two rows (combination between the fire/ice ball and the Winnebago), and a grab move that targets your Minirobots before destroying them (like the Bungee Zombies).
  • Follow the Leader: Most people would definitely notice the similarity to Plants vs. Zombies.
  • Fragile Speedster: Jetpack robots are fast Airborne Mooks that can take less damage than the regular Mooks. Jumpers are quite fast, but they too die very easily. Somewhat subverted by the Cycler units, they travel fast but are as durable as a Smasher.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: The final cut-scene for the first two playthroughs show the Minirobots on one side, and the wrecked, purple-coloured Destroyer and his defeated minions on the other. However, on the final playthrough, the wreckage of the blue-coloured Destroyer Zero is shown instead.
  • Geo Effects/Weather of War: During the third playthrough (The Last Stand), the enemy machines attack in full force while screwing around with the ecosystem. The result causes the levels to have a hazard that harms your Minirobots.
    • Green Fields: A periodic shower of acid rain damages all topmost robots.
    • Waste Sands: Earthquakes occur periodically, damaging anything on the ground.
    • South Ocean: Whirlpools may rise from areas without floor, damaging an entire column of Minirobots.
    • Glacier Land: A non-damaging blast of wind pushes back all your air units in a row. If your air units get pushed into the ground or off the right side of the screen, they are instantly destroyed.
    • Iron Fortress: "Meteors" rain down on the field, these are actually Mooks. If a meteor lands on a Minirobot, it destroys it instantly.
  • Goomba Stomp: The Mini-games featuring Skipper. Skipper's only method of offense is to bounce on his opponents, damaging them.
    • Goomba Springboard: The second mini-game starring Skipper has him bouncing on multiple enemies... in mid-air. Falling down results in an instant loss, so you're forced to jump on one Mook to the next.
  • Green Aesop: The machines are trying to convert the Green Planet's natural landscape into an artificial resort. The Minirobots do not take well to the environmental destruction.
  • Grim Reaper: There's an enemy called the Reaper. Thankfully, it does not destroy your units in one hit. However, it can freeze the Minirobots around it due to a fear attack of some sort.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: The Flame Bot is described as having this.
  • Helicopter Pack: The Gyrotor. Starting from the second episode onward, land-based enemies can have one attached to them. This allows them to act like Airborne Mooks. They can be removed by an upgraded Radar causing the enemy to fall back down to the ground.
  • Hopping Machine: Jumpers. The Mariner bot known as Skipper also counts.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: They're the ones behind the machines' invasion! Subverted for the humans helping the minirobots out, though.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Destroyer and Destroyer Zero.
  • An Ice Bot: The Freezer Bot and Storm Bot, both of which can slow down enemy troops. The Dropper Bot's upgrade allows it to drop nitrogen bombs that also slow enemies they hit. On the Machines' side, there's the Frost Orca that shoots large ice ball projectiles at your Minirobots.
  • If It Swims, It Flies: The Frost Orca is a large orca-like submarine enemy that operates underwater. In one of the Mini-Games, though, you face it while flying through the air.
  • Improvised Weapon: Some of the enemy Machines use their weapons for construction—the Smasher's maces were made for it to clear forests, while the Driller's main function was to drill tunnels. In fact, only a handful of Machines were explicitly made for destruction—these are the ones that fire at you.
  • In Name Only: The Napalm Airship supposedly drops napalm bombs. Said bombs do not even explode into deadly flames; they only do one hit point of damage.
  • Instakill Mook: Both Giants and Titans will One-Hit Kill any Minirobot they hit regardless of toughness, the latter can do it to three at one go. If either manage to get past your defences, they also end you instantly regardless of your health.
  • Interface Spoiler: You can tell that the first playthrough isn't the last, as there are some enemy Machines that you still haven't seen in the Robopedia yet.
  • Invisible Monsters: The Mole and the Ghost have stealth and need to be revealed by using a radar or special platform.
  • It's Raining Machines: "Meteors" in certain stages rain down on your troops. These are actually Mooks sent down from space. If the "meteor" hits any of your units, they die instantly!
  • Kaizo Trap: One of the Minigames has you use a bomber unit to destroy a Giant. Even if you beat the Giant, you still have to survive the residual enemies- if you die after beating it, it still counts as a loss.
  • Killer Robot: The enemy machines.
  • Kill It with Fire: The Flame Bot.
  • Kill It with Ice: The Freezer Bot can stun enemies for a short time with its ice projectiles. The Storm Bot will cause an icy tornado that repeately damages and slows any Machines within. Later on, the Dropper Bot gets an upgrade that allows it to drop freezing bombs.
  • Kill It with Water: The Bubble Bot shoots bubbles that attack enemies above it. Great for submarines floating overhead.
  • Level Grinding: You'll need to do this if you want to get all the upgrades.
  • Long-Range Fighter: Most of the Minirobots, as well as Rocket Wagons and Blast Tanks who stay at the back to fire shots and only move forward after a long period of time.
  • The Juggernaut: The Giant, which can take huge amounts of damage before dying & kill your units with 1 slam. The Titan is even worse because it has twice as much health & can smash 3 minirobots with 1 attack!
  • Made of Explodium: Averted, even though all the characters are mechanical. Both the Minirobots and Machines just fall down when they die. Even missiles and projectiles do not explode! In fact, the only things that explode are the Mini-Mine, the Mini-Bomber (and mortar shells), the Atomic Bot, the Time Bomb enemies, and Destroyer (Zero).
  • Mechanical Lifeforms: The Minirobots.
  • Mechanical Monster: The Frost Orca. The Destroyer also counts as well.
  • Mighty Glacier: Several of the machines count as this, but the Titan really takes the case. It has twice as much health as the Giant & it can smash 3 units with 1 attack. It's also one of the slowest foes along with the Giant.
  • Mook Maker: Transporters, which deploy ground units (unless it is flying, in which case it also deploys air units) and Killer Whales, which deploy marine units.
  • Nonsense Classification: The "Robopedia" that describes all the different Minirobots and Machines in the game. Unlike the suburban almanac, there isn't too much mix-up of the concept of "individual" with the concept of "species", as every single one of them are technically machines and very few of the entries show backstories. Some of the Minirobot entries give info on what they do, what they're like, reasons for fighting, and so on. For the machines, in addition to showing their primary duties, their entries also give some of their extra duties (Jetpackers also write messages in the sky, Cyclers also deliver pizza, Knights' favorite game is chess, etc.) or fun quotes ("Where's the clock?!" for the Time Bomb).
  • No Self-Buffs: The Fixer Bot is able to heal all units around her, but not herself.
  • Not Completely Useless: An experienced player would be able to beat the first two episodes without needing the Fixer Bot at all. Then the third episode comes with periodic environmental hazards that damage your Minirobots, making the Fixer Bot mandatory for your survival.
  • One-Hit Kill: The Giant and Titan do this to your units. The latter can smash three units at once! And if they get past your defences, you instantly lose no matter how much health you have.
    • The Mega Smasher will kill any non-defensive Minirobot in one hit.
    • The Destroyer also has two attacks that kill instantly, but are easily predicted. The third one, however...
    • The meteors in Meteoric Army, as well as the third playthrough of Iron Fortress. Any of them landing on a Minirobot will instantly kill it, no matter how tough said Minirobot is.
    • Your Action Bomb units can do this to most machines, with the Atomic Bot taking out even the Giant in one blast once upgraded.
  • One Bot Army: Leonid, The Shooting Hero. He's basically a Gunner Bot with rapid-fire and the ability to aim diagonally, and in the minigames where you use him, you get to destroy over 75 enemies singlehandedly.
    • The units under your control that fight the Frost Orca in the mini-games count as well (a Diver Bot and Plasma Bot).
      • For that matter, any other lone minirobot that you take control of during some of the other minigames.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: The Cannon Bot. He could only fire upwards at an angle, and that's it. You get the Copter Bot who shoots straight shortly after, and he is arguably better.
    • And then you get the Mortar unit upgrade… which makes the Cannon Bot a lot more feasible again.
  • Prophet Eyes: Almost every single enemy machine has a pair of evil-looking white eyes. Those who do not either have a pair of evil red ones or in the case of Destroyer (Zero), yellow.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: One can do this just to obtain some of the achievements. Like finishing a stage with just one attack, playing a stage without any energy-generating Minirobots, or playing a stage using only special-type units.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Minirobots bear more than a passing resemblance to Metool, the Mascot Mook of Mega Man.
    • The Napalm Airship's coloration and attack style is very reminiscent of a Kirov Airship.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: The Missiler Bots. Not very strong on their own, but in big enough groups they can quickly destroy even the strongest enemies in the game.
  • Smart Bomb: The Nuclear Bot. Hits everything on the screen, instakills anything short of a Giant or Titan, and even kills Giants when upgraded.
  • Smash Mook: Most of your enemies have an attack pattern of "get in front of nearest Minirobot, attack it with melee".
  • Sniping Mission: One of the Mission stages (Sharpshooter) plays out like this. You use a Sniper Bot, and have to attack the enemy machines by clicking the center of the crosshair as soon as it appears on them (clicking on a machine when no crosshair is on them causes the Sniper to miss).
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: The Machines. You face off their weakest units first, then the stronger ones as you progress. In terms of stages, you will fight a few weak enemy units, before the main attack force.The manual justifies the latter-the Machines send some weak units to scout the area before their main attack force comes.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Threatening Geography: The first chapter is Green Hill Zone, the second chapter is Shifting Sand Land, the third is Under the Sea, the fourth is Slippy-Slidey Ice World, and the final level is an Eternal Engine Mordor.
  • Sound-Coded for Your Convenience: Every enemy gives off a sound cue before they enter the screen. Air Scouts make a helicopter sound, Cyclers make a motorbike sound, Submarines make a sonar, the Reaper gives off an Evil Laugh. If you hear the sound of metal objects clashing, get ready to face a Giant or Titan!
  • Spikes of Doom: Present in the Iron Fortress level. Placing your Minibots on them will cause them to constantly take damage. Get rid of the spikes by using explosives.
  • Spikes of Villainy:
    • The Heavy Smasher and Mega Smasher sport them. The Titan has two on its head, unlike its weaker variant the Giant.
    • Destroyer Zero looks like The Destroyer, except he's blue and has more spikes on his head.
  • Spread Shot: The D.Shotgunner unit fires out a spread of three. Upgrading it allows it to shoot five shots at once.
  • Stone Wall: The Blocker Bot, whose only use is to shield your units from enemies, and the Warrior Bot, who does the same except that it can also attack the enemy in front.
    • The Barrier Bots turn any Minirobot into these. Including the above two.
  • Superweapon Surprise: The Minirobots themselves. Originally too weak and defenseless, it is up to you to save their race, provide them with war tactics, and obtain stronger, more war-capable units in the process. By the end, they manage to smash the invading machines THREE TIMES until the Machines give up.
  • Static Stun Gun: The Plasma Bot's plasma causes a splash stun against most enemy Machines. This is vital against the Mega Smashers, which have a lot of health, come in numbers in later levels, and One-Hit Kill any Minirobot that isn't defensive.
  • The Medic: The Fixer Bot, who heals the units around it troops by throwing a wrench at them. It's also a female.
  • The Spartan Way: The upgrade for the Warrior is called "Spartan Training". This allows all warrior units to take much more damage than before.
  • Unexpected Gameplay Change: Quite a few of the "Mission Stages" are like this, which brings frustration to players. The iOS version allows you to skip the stage if you cannot beat it.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Used by the Marine Striker enemy ships, as well as the Destroyer. The former's takes a long time to charge, the latter's comes out without warning and it kills your units very quickly.
  • Why Won't You Die?: You will probably find yourself saying this at some point. If not at the Transporters and Orcas, at the Mega Smashers, and if not at the Mega Smashers, definitely at the Giant or the Titan.
  • You Require More Vespene Gas: Energy is the form of currency for the Minirobots, produced by Fusor bots and sometimes dropped by enemies.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: Done twice. After beating the machines once, they come back for revenge. After beating them the second time, they come back in full force. The Minirobots regain their peace only after beating Destroyer Zero.
  • Zerg Rush: Basic strategy of the Machines. The ending even states that they use violence and sheer numbers.

Alternative Title(s): Tiny Defense