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Review: Tinykin

This is a simple recommendation for 3D platformer enthusiasts Tinykin is not the Pikmin-inspired Pikmin game I expected it to be, but that's okay...


Review: Tinykin

This is a simple recommendation for 3D platformer enthusiasts

Tinykin is not the Pikmin-inspired Pikmin game I expected it to be, but that's okay. Actually, it's more than okay. It's still an excellent 3D platformer with a quick sense of speed, a fascinating world to explore, as well as a few nods to Nintendo’s creature-chucking strategy series.

It's an excellent tool for anyone who loves collecting collectibles. Tinykin is a good choice for those who are more cautious and don't want to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of trinkets available. It's not unreasonable and you have very little downtime.

This distillation is a great example of the indie gaming scene. It's short and satisfying, but it has some elements that I would like to see expanded.



Tinykin (Nintendo Switch for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One [reviewed], Xbox Series X/S], Xbox One] Developer: Splashteam Publisher TinyBuild Publication: August 30, 2022 MSRP $24.99

Although the story isn’t necessarily the main focus, there are enough elements to grasp onto. There are animated sequences to set it up and NPC chatter to fill in the gaps.

Milodane is an archeologist and researcher who has set out to find the origin of humankind. He left Aegis, his advanced world, to follow an ancient signal to another galaxy. Here's where you come in as players. Milo appears in a messy house, surrounded by colorful insects and stuck in the 1990s. Another shrunken house.

Milo is still searching for human remains. To return home, he will have to complete the construction of a machine designed by Ardwin using six household items. Milo will follow the guidance of Ridmi and use small throwable creatures to solve problems, opening up new avenues for exploration.

This is not a Pikmin clone

This all sounds very Pikmin-esque on paper. It is. It's important to remember that Tinykin does not have a combatno-day cycle and there are a finite amount of Tinykin so death is not a concern. You can instead think of them as another kind of collectible.

This is a 3D platformer that's truly unique. It features little guys who can carry huge objects, open up obstacles, build bridges and conduct electricity.



Traversal is fast and easy

When I saw this was the format I wanted, I was determined to make it my own. It feels so easy.

Soon after the adventure's six hours, you will have access to a soap bar that looks like a skateboard. You can use it to glide across tightropes and whip it out anytime you want. You can use this soap bar to create an insta-ladder with tinykin and have a hovering bubble ability.

Tinykin has the same magical vibe as a Super Mario 64, or Banjo-Kazooie. It's fun to explore every inch of the globe. It's also very simple.

Instead of looking for high-impact stars and jiggies you will be searching for tinykin eggs to hatch, hundreds (to upgrade your bubble), side-objectives, and anything else that's necessary to make the area's machine part. You will need to take multiple steps to get these coveted parts.

There is some flexibility depending on how obsessed you are, but I found that each level took me about an hour. This was a fair length considering their hub-like nature. I was not overwhelmed and never felt anxious about doing the same thing again. Tinykin is a master of movement and flow.



The puzzles feel natural

The puzzles are also easy to solve. Even if the answers aren't obvious immediately, most of the time you will figure them out as you gain a better understanding of the area. You'll find more people to follow you, and more places you can reach. There are a number of zones, including a bathroom with towers made of tissue paper, a carnival that features a toy-filled race track and a church with an electronic canticle. The "DIY" level design was my favorite.

The tinykin are good at holding on to smaller items until they're needed for a quest. In general, you don't need to babysit them. You can run around like a madman, and they will always be right behind you no matter how daring your feats of aerial acrobatics.

The explosive tinykin is a bit of a problem for me. They are used to open doors and unfurl shortcut strings to allow you to climb higher, among other tasks. These tinykin feel more like ammo than any other type of tinykin. It didn't bother me at all -- it was a good game experience, but it did affect my attachment (which Pikmin is great at) a little.

While I loved the character designs, I wasn't always compelled to chat with every insect. Although the dialogue is lighthearted, I found Tinykin's well-constructed factions to be more interesting and...thematic. The main story beats don't have much to say and most interactions are voluntary.



It shouldn't be too long or too short

It's amazing how Tinykin flows with so many directions and so many collectibles. Tinykin doesn't get bogged-down with the minutia that could threaten 3D platformers. It feels like every level is perfectly spaced and almost always draws your attention. It's an absolute joy to zip along, even when there's not.

You can expect to spend six hours if you want to complete "all the main stuff." You'll need to spend a little more time if you are a complete completionist. Some of these pollen pick-ups are very well hidden. The extra challenge was appreciated and the eventual aha moments were a great bonus.

Although I would have liked to see a bit more Pikmin-style horde commanding strategy and perhaps one more traversal ability, Tinykin was a fun and fluid platformer that gotta-find 'em all. It stands out from the crowd and is well-made.

Tinykin is a great choice for those who are looking for a simple 3D platformer.

[This review is based upon a retail version of the game that was provided by the publisher.]


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