2D/3D Platformer, Adventure.
Xbox, PS, PC, Switch.
A Tiny Adventure – Tinykin Preview
You awake in a strange yet familiar world but somehow stuck in a time that resembles the 90s. Milo is a stellar explorer that you take control of and must investigate this strange world he finds himself in. As you will soon realise, there are no humans around, only somewhat intelligent insects and of course, the Tinykin.
2D/3D Platformer, Adventure.
Xbox, PS, PC, Switch.
Want to see some gameplay first?
In this early build I played, I was able to play the Hall, the Cellar and the Living Room areas. The Hall is your starting point and acts as a tutorial for the game’s controls and gameplay mechanics. While the Cellar is your HUB and workshop, it acts as your home away from home. In your HUB you will be able to see what you have collected throughout your journey. It’s here where you will see a large blueprint on the wall of all the components. In each of the levels you visit in the game, you will need to figure out how to get each component.
However, what is it you are building? It seems a being named Ardwin lived in the house, or as they inhabitants you meet call him a deity. He was building this contraption that would allow him to travel beyond the house. But to where? We have yet to find out. Ooh, a mystery to unravel it seems.
In Tinykin there are five different types of Tinykin to uncover, each with their own unique abilities. In the build I played, you get to use the pink and red variations. The pinks allow you to carry objects, while the reds will allow you to blow up obstacles and unlock new pathways. There are others that allow you to create ladders and bridges, but we get to use only two for the moment. When the full game launches, we will have five types of Tinykin to help us on our journey.
These mysterious creatures are not the only aid we get in the game. Milo has a glider that is a bubble that surrounds him as he floats in the air. This can help you reach further distances but must be upgraded for those longer jumps. Milo also has a bar of soap or as it’s called a soapboard, which he slides about on like a skateboard.
Honey; I Shrunk the Kids!
Throughout the first area I played in, you will come across creatures like beetles and ants. There are more to meet in the full game, but you will notice that Milo is the same size. You get a sense of Honey; I shrunk the kids as you are playing. A lot of the creatures you meet seem to worship Ardwin and treat him like a god. The rest are just going about their lives and seeking help. Those seeking help are your side quests and in completing them will earn you a treasure for the Ardwin museum.
You will also earn pollen, which can also be collected throughout the area. Collecting pollen can be dropped off to Sikaru, an ant who brews it as nectar. When you have enough, Sikaru has a travel cart in each area that you can visit and drop off pollen. In exchange for the pollen, you will receive pieces of soap and this in turn upgrades your bubble powers.
Simple and Easy
The gameplay mechanics in Tinykin are quite simple and easy to get to grips with. You can move Milo about the world with the Left Analogue Stick, while using the Right Analogue to control the camera. To make him jump you press A, while holding A in the air activates his glider bubble. To ride on the Soapboard, you can hold down either X, RB or LB. Which allows you to pick whichever is more natural to you during play.
The soapboard not only makes getting around the areas faster, but you can have a little fun with it too. It’s not just the silk wires that you can use, you can grind on anything with an edge. If the guys over at Splashteam can throw in some extra skills here, that would be a nice bonus.
When it comes to the Tinykin, they are controlled by the LT and RT. By holding LT and aiming with the Right Analogue while pressing RT to throw them. You can also recall them at any time by pressing Y.
Thankfully these little guys are contextual and all you need to do is aim them at something for the correct Tinykin to be selected. This will be more evident when you are using all five variations of Tinykin in the full game.
A Child’s Imagination
In Tinykin you will notice that the visuals are a blend of 2D and 3D. Which works surprisingly well as you traverse through an area. Milo can explore an area that is all rendered and built beautiful in 3D, while Milo himself is in 2D. The same goes for the Tinykin and the creatures you meet and interact with. Everything is bright and colourful, with the creatures going about their daily routines as you explore and learn more about the worlds. The Tinykin themselves will sometimes take a wee nap as well if you are standing around too long.
The first area we visit, the Living Room, is bright and colourful. From the sun shining through the windows to the overhead lights above. There are cushions from chairs and sofas used to make tunnels and there are soda cans holding them in place. While there are snare drums scattered about for you to jump on to reach higher levels. Then you come across a bookshelf that has living quarters made from cards and matches. Each of the areas you come across seem designed as if constructed by a child’s imagination.
The soundtrack that accompanies you is playful, warm and joyful. It has an upbeat tempo, and it seems to follow you as you go in search of more pollen or searching for hidden components. When riding around on your soapboard bubbles pop and gurgle as you leave a wet trail behind you. When using your Tinykins, they let out little cheers and hollers. This is more so when you free then from behind wooden barriers or cages. I suspect in the full game, each area may have its own theme to tell a narrative.
In the full game, there will be areas like the Veranda, Bathroom, Kitchen, Bedroom and Attic. From playing the first main area, the Living Room, the world has a lot on offer for exploration and discovery! I hope this continues throughout the finalised game this Summer.
Throughout my gameplay I was surprised that I didn’t encounter any issues that would ruin or interrupt my experience. For a build this early, it’s well polished and the team deserve huge praise. There was one minor issue I encounter, which was the jumping/gliding where it would always register me pressing the button. I only encounter this twice in the certain part of the Living Room area while inside the church. Like I said, it’s a minor issue and I’ve played through Tinykin three or four times now without any further issues.
Overall, Tinykin has everything that I could look for in a platformer. It’s a perfect blend of puzzles, adventure, and story. I get happy memories of Land of the Giants and Honey; I Shrunk the Kids while playing. With Summer not too far off, I can’t wait to slide back on the soap and see more of this wonderous world that Splashteam have created!