This real-time strategy game takes away many of the standard genre mechanics and boils it down to tactical play, but after a while, it becomes stale. Tooth and Tail takes what has historically been a PC-centric genre and strips away old conventions, creating a dynamic where players must improvise and react rather than memorize build orders of units, buildings, and tech trees. It's a game designed to feel like you're waging scrappy war for survival at all costs, and indeed, playing any match of T&T feels like that. You're not allowed to get too cocky or complacent -- since you control your faction's scouting general, you have no means to defend yourself and thus must remain ever watchful on your own hold and the rest of the map. Literally, one moment you can be up and assuming you're winning, but while your back is turned, all your holdings will be scorched by your more patient and cunning enemies.
But a game designed like this is something of a double-edged blade. Because it has stripped away complex strategy mechanics, there's a degree of simplicity and sameness at play. While the single-player experience is intended to function as a tutorial, there are some aspects (like how to eliminate certain buildings or units for quick gains and strategy pivots) that are left out of grasp until you learn in the hardest way. Even still, once you have the basics down, that's all there is. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, as multiplayer games can be quite rousing and there's depth around some turns. The main form of longevity here comes by way of unit load-outs and randomly generated maps, along with how fast matches go. Still, it's hard to shake the feeling that the whole thing is a tad like a bag of potato chips. Once you've gotten into it, the last match is a lot like your first one. You might have learned a lot, but you're still doing the same things again and again. Tooth and Tail is great for an afternoon, but you're likely to get bored if that afternoon extends into the evening.