Once announced in 2020, Tinykin was given the “French Pikmin” label. If the title signed on Splashteam takes the concept of licensing created by Shigeru Miyamoto (Exploiting the Extraordinary Abilities of Cute Little Creatures), it adapts nicely to the 3D platform game.
Archaeologist and researcher emeritus of the planet Aegis, Melodan is particularly interested in the origin of his people, the humans. His research will make him locate a distant planet that could be the cradle of humanity. Listening only to his thirst for discovery, Milo decides to teleport to this mysterious destination!
When he wakes up, Milo is dumbfounded to discover that in a huge house the smallest everyday objects are several hundred times the size. A strange hairy creature named Redmi greets him, like The other one-of-a-kind, little critters seem to love it. Redmi is surprised: the little things usually don’t interact with anyone. Redmi, which like Milo Alem, sees an opportunity here. He offers the young explorer to use the small pieces to make a machine capable of bringing him home, following a mysterious plan that would have been devised by the human living in the house. Milo accepts and who knows the adventures that await him may answer his questions about the origin of his people…
Accompanied by the Minkins captured along the way, Milo sets out on an amazing adventure. His goal is to get his hands on the five things needed to build a machine that would likely bring him back to Earth. A more difficult task than it seems when you are only a few centimeters tall. Fortunately, Milo can count on his new little companions with extraordinary abilities. There are 5 types of mini pieces, each with their own abilities. The first thing we encounter is the little purples, which can be called “porters” because they are the only ones who can lift and carry things. Then quickly, we meet the red samples that are explosive and practical to destroy obstacles. Small pieces are easily used by targeting the object we want them to interact with. The type of small pieces to be used is automatically selected according to the type of target object, a welcome mechanism that makes the procedure more smooth.
Tinykin is a 3D puzzle oriented platform game. In the mix, the little bits are designed to be our only advance tool. With each new problematic situation, a new type of solution is introduced. Milo can move quickly on his skateboard, and even fly in a bubble, his great mobility would be useless without his companions. They are the ones who open up situations by interacting with the environment.
To get the things he wants, Milo must complete several quests, pretexts for small puzzles, with the insects that have taken over the house carrying the said things. Help them organize a big party, follow a cooking recipe, the orders are multiple and crazy. As we progress, the puzzles get richer (without being too complex), requiring synergy between the different types of little pieces at our disposal.
In the end, the Pikmin-like gameplay along with the platforming and puzzles works perfectly and makes for an original revisit of the genre. The variety of game sequences and their constant renewal can be appreciated. And it must be said that it is very satisfying to put all our little monsters in their place and then just have to think about the outcome of the operations.
Exploration in the heart of Tinykin. Milo’s adventure will lead him to discover the different rooms of the house. They are designed as large open levels filled with puzzles to solve and side quests. Each room is filled with different tribes of assorted insects, it’s a complete microcosm that grew up there! Very careful work has been done here to make everything hold together. It’s also fun to see dung beetles obsessed with cleanliness in the bathroom and revolutionary worker ants. It really gives me great pleasure to discover the universe that the Splashteam team envisioned. These discoveries are accompanied by an almost childlike feeling, a form of amazement to discover the world from another perspective and above all to live an adventure within this small community. Feeling reminiscent of other works with miniature characters such as Toys Story, Arrietty: The Little World of Pilferers or It Takes Two, which alone is an important impetus to explore every corner of the game.
The immersion and cohesion in all this small world is enhanced by an excellent narrative. The characters and dialogues are full of humor and cultural references abound (video games, cinema, history, politics…anything goes!). Secondary tasks, distributed here and there in levels, make us obtain objects (called “memorabilia”) that belong to Ardwin, thus detailing the scenario and enriching the science. For the more observant players, Tinykin has a strong storytelling environmental force that will delight them. These narrative elements make up many points of interest which prompt the player to explore every corner of the house to reveal every secret. In general, the artistic direction is a real success. The cartoonish look gives a “cartoon” feel that fits in perfectly with the colorful and homely universe of the title. Displaying 2D characters in a 3D environment works well. A scalable audio track (which adapts to the action) is a great idea.
All Tinykin game design options serve exploration. This can be seen especially in the way the Milo movement was thought of. The levels are vast, but with the soap of the surf, Milo can move fast. The room can be crossed in a few seconds by slipping on the silk threads that are all over the place. Like a carrot that encourages us to explore, pollen collected like coins in Mario is scattered throughout the levels. The labor that will be rewarded by the increase in the length of time during which Milo can hover in his soap bubble, enough to reach the hardest-to-reach places and explore further. Finally, there is a strong choice of Tinykin which shows the importance given to exploration is the lack of confrontations. An absence that has the advantage of not “cutting” the player in his exploration and who never misses a terribly successful formula.
- The “Pikmin gameplay” is well suited for platform and puzzle games.
- Fun to explore and discover.
- Wonderful microscopic world.
- Humor characters and dialogues.
- Well-written narrative.
- We don’t get bored for a second during 6-7 hours of playing.
- Due to the large size of the levels, we regret that we were not able to “select” points of interest using our binoculars for better navigation.
- We wanted more: a challenging endgame, an extra game mode…
Tinykin brilliantly revisits “Pikmin-like” by successfully adapting it to a platform game with puzzle-game tendencies. A true invitation to exploration, one cannot help but be fascinated by the amazing microscopic universe that the Splashteam team imagines. Generous, teeming with detail, and full of humour, Tinykin’s Adventure will appeal to young and old alike. We want more!
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