Tinykin (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)

One of the reasons why the Nintendo GameCube was one of my top favorite consoles was all the 3-D adventures I could sink my teeth into.  I really miss those days.  Fast forward to today where I mostly review indie titles that are average at best.  Sure every once in a while I might play one that’s mildly amusing, but it’s getting rarer and rarer.  Which is why Tinykin is such a surprise!  It reminds me of a cross between two quirky GameCube 3-D adventures: Pikmin and Chibi-Robo.  And I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t want to stop playing it!  Tinykin is available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

In the game you play as Milo, a human from the far future who lives on another planet.  He loves history and archeology, and has discovered another planet where humans may have originated from.  Could it be Earth?  You warp to this planet to find out!  Unfortunately, the device you need to warp back has broken.  Even worse, the house you warp to has no humans in sight, and the house is HUGE!  Luckily the giant house is also infested with bugs who need your help, and might be able to help you find parts to make a device to warp you back home.  You also meet the Tinykin, strange creatures who follow you around and can help you explore the giant house.  And so begins your adventure in Tinykin!

As Milo, you can explore the giant house by running and jumping in 3-D.  You can climb ropes and use a special device on your suit to encase you in a bubble temporarily so you can glide after a jump.  Scattered about the rooms in the house are bits of pollen, and if you collect enough and give them to a certain bug, you can get your bubble move lengthened so you can glide longer.  Another thing you’ll find scattered about are different colored eggs.  When you approach them, Tinykin will burst forth and follow you around.  Each color Tinykin has a different skill.  Pink ones are strong and can lift and carry objects around.  Red ones explode and you can throw them to break down blocked passages or free other Tinykin.  Green ones can be stacked and climbed like a ladder to reach higher areas.  Blue ones conduct electricity and yellow ones can make bridges.  You can throw Tinykin and you’ll automatically throw the right one you need for the situation as long as you aim at it.  This is the part of the game that reminds me of Pikmin.

There isn’t really any combat in this game, so the whole mood is very relaxed and chill.  Most of what you’ll do is just solve puzzles and explore to find more stuff.  You might need to use a certain number of pink strong Tinykin to carry an object, and then figure out how to get it from point A to point B by clearing away anything blocking the path with bomb Tinykin, for instance.  This emphasis on puzzle solving and exploration reminds me of Chibi-Robo.  Other aspects of the game that remind me of Chibi-Robo is exploring a giant house obviously, but also how you interact with other characters.  In Chibi-Robo, you helped out talking toys that came to life at night, but in Tinykin, you must help solve problems that all the different bugs in the house have to get what you need.  Some of these situations are very clever, too.  In the bathroom level, the dung beetles are annoyed at the silverfish bugs for partying all the time, but they realize the need the silverfish to party so they can clean up after them.  So you must help them make a compromise to keep the tub side pool party going.  The kitchen level is set up like a farm (the fields are just scrubbing sponges with the green or yellow sides up).  The ants in this level are revolting at the upper class dragonflies in the cabinets above, so you must gather ingredients for a cake for all classes to share.  And the final stage is a grand finale kid’s room set up like an amusement park!

There are a few problems with the game, but nothing that detracted my enjoyment of it.  Sometimes I would miss a jump because of wonky camera angles and controls, and you do take fall damage.  But you always start out where you left off.  You can also take damage if you get in water, but again, you start out where you left off.  Sometimes it wasn’t clear how to use the Tinykin at first, especially the ones that conduct electricity.  Also this is definitely a collect-a-thon type of game, which usually doesn’t bother me.  But you really have to scour the whole house and search every nook and cranny to get the Tinykin you need, but it was only annoying once in the last level.  But really the worst offender is that the game is too short, as I was able to beat it in around six hours or so.  But I guess that means this game didn’t wear out its welcome, and I just wanted more of it to enjoy!  So if you miss the quirky GameCube and PS2 days of 3D adventures like Pikmin, Chibi-Robo, or even a bit of Katamari Damacy, then you should definitely try out Tinykin.  It’s one of the best indie games I’ve played in a long time!

Kid Factor:

Tinykin is rated E-10 with ESRB descriptors of Fantasy Violence, Mild Language, and Crude Humor.  If you fall too far or sit in water too long, you’ll just disappear with a splat and reappear near where you left off.  There are also exploding Tinykin that you can throw at things to blow them up.  But that’s about as violent as it gets.  I didn’t notice any bad language, and the only crude humor I could see was that you can climb into a toilet and talk with dung beetles.  Reading skill is needed for the text, and younger gamers may need help with some of the trickier objectives and jumps.

One Response to “Tinykin (PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, X/S, PC)”

  1. I really enjoy this game too. I like that you can carry so many Tinykin at once. I was always running out of pikmin in Pikmin.

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