Tinykin is a puzzle platformer developed by Splashteam and published by tinyBuild Games. This game is about utilizing what each area gives you as you explore Earth from the size of an ant. So, let’s see if the game’s gimmick holds water.
The game opens with an animated cutscene, showing how your character, Milo, crash lands on Earth. The year is 1991, and he’s as small as an insect. I enjoyed the animation since it was smooth, and every time you meet a new Tinykin, another animation shows it off. You can skip these animations, but I never did. Honestly, if this game was a cartoon show, I’d totally watch it.
When Milo arrives, he finds these creatures called Tinykin. They respond and listen to him, so he must help solve everyone’s problems and find artifacts using the Tinykin. These creatures come in different colors, each having a unique power. For example, purple ones are super strong, so they can carry items for side quests and artifacts when found. Red ones are bombs. And there are a few more colors to discover in the game.
The red ones go away once they explode. However, others will remain in your party after they complete their task. Luckily, each level gives you the right amount of Tinykin, so you never feel stuck. There’s also no limit on how many of these creatures you can have at once.
In this game, there are six areas to explore. This doesn’t sound like a lot, but these areas are huge. Not to mention there’s a lot to collect and a healthy number of side quests. It’ll keep you busy for a long time. For instance, it took me about an hour and a half to get through the first area. While I completed the main goal, I didn’t collect all the pollen, I was missing a museum piece, and there was at least one side quest I didn’t complete.
The great thing is that everything is optional. You don’t need to collect items for the museum, and you don’t need to collect pollen for the bee. You don’t even need to do the side quests (although some of them might open a new way for you within the area).
The gameplay is easy to learn, too. Milo can run with the analog stick or “surf” on his soap board by pressing Y. It allows you to move a little faster and grind on silk webs as a shortcut to quickly get from one end of the room to the other. He can also jump with A and glide using a bubble by pressing A again in the air.
ZL and ZR allow you to pick up your creatures and throw them into whatever object you need them to interact with. You don’t need to worry about throwing the wrong Tinykin, either. The game knows which ones to choose and will automatically toss the correct color.
The music was pleasant to listen to; it was upbeat and matched well with the graphic style. Exploring a 3D area with 2D characters was certainly interesting and worked well. It was easy on the eyes and allowed for a fun vibe to the overall game.
Overall, Tinykin reminded me a lot of Pikmin, but without the stress. The levels aren’t timed, the Tinykin don’t die, and there are no enemies. It’s light-hearted and fun, keeping you busy for hours on end.