Behold Tinykin, It’s a perfect blend of Rick and Morty with the essence and style of Papermario animation with a somewhat compelling story, tongue, and cheek writing, along with an experience that draws the player in and does hold your interest for a time or two. The premise and execution of the gameplay are pretty simple, but the exploration and overarching sandbox that continues to innovate and hook the player is relatively redeemable.
Remember the good old days of platformers such as Super Mario 64, Ratchet And Clank, and Pikmin? And that was only the tip of the iceberg. It’s honestly crazy to think and imagine that one genre took over a majority of gaming for a time, but believe it or not, that’s how the ’90s and early 2000s consisted. Now flash forward, and a perfect time killer and palette cleanser were born from the crazy scientist’s geniuses of publisher Tinybuild.
Journey Into The Tinykin’s World
I spent hours checking every portion of the map, including a bathroom where little grasshoppers and dung beetles stacked rolls of toilet paper as mountains to climb or finding the ancient relics left behind, such as a CD, scissors, and a baking pan. Other portions of the house include the living room and kitchen, and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Though when you step back and enjoy the child nostalgia, Tinykin feels like a modern-day love letter to Toy Story 2 that most of us grew up with on the Playstation 1.
The story, in my opinion, is a minor classic animated Disney that harbors elements of Futurama. Of course, the story is simple and looks suitable for all ages, but as the story progresses, especially the end twist, it darkens a tad bit. In simple details, the character of Milo arrives on Earth to find that he’s way too small, everybody’s gone, and a day hasn’t passed since 1991. When you first meet Milo, you almost feel microscopic like you are the size and presence of Ant-Man.
The overarching sandbox is where you find yourself in a normal-sized house, where the player must make it back home by piecing together a spaceship that has had all of its parts spread throughout different rooms of the house. And to achieve his goal, Milo must call on the help of the local “people,” which are ants, dung-beetles, grasshoppers, and various other insects, along with the mysterious Tinykins.
However, the more I played and began to fall into the narrative and let the lore of the world come to the surface and talked to all of the other NPC, you started to peel back the mystery of what indeed occurred, and needless to say, the surprise twist is pretty interesting and makes you wonder if a possible sequel or animated film could be in the works.
Now the Tinykins range from purple, which feels like a muscle that can move objects, and most commonly used until you reach other areas. Where other colored Tinykin appear from red being used as remote bombs, green can be stacked together to make ladders and other traversal methods. Light blue is electrically infused, and yellow join together to make bridges and their moments during gameplay where you need to step back and think about where each use is required.
Touching upon the map, you can clearly tell the 90’s atmosphere, and the effect is in full effect due to the plethora of easter eggs that reference other games and films. Still, one of the greatest things about the gameplay is how you travel the house by skateboarding on a soap bar, but even crazier, if you look closely, you can notice the rugs in the home are wet and stained with residue afterward.
The leftover residue is another sign of how far the gaming industry has advanced. To add the presence of verticality, you ride on spider webs to reach higher portions of the house. Once you get a handle on the controls, you notice that almost nowhere is impossible to explore, with only one downside. Sadly, you can’t do jumps or tricks.
Other aspects of the gameplay that add and feel oddly familiar are the air bubbles Milo can find through various sidequests or getting an amount of pollen which acts as the game currency. Still, the customization did feel like it was lacking.
I was hoping for more cosmetics or other new abilities besides being able to jump and float longer in the air. Not saying that mechanics are bad, just that there could be an improvement if the series goes forward. Of course on the other hand the different levels all felt unique and were a ton of fun to play, gave variety to the player, and allowed other areas of the home to be explored, and interacting with the NPCs and seeing the arcs were taking place, and wondering where your place was, just added to the appeal and enjoyment.
Though it’s a great time killer actually to play on the go, preferably for the switch, the quality and performance of the PS5 do make a difference. Then you add in the zany, sci-fi-inspired soundtrack, which adds to the toy-inspired intrigue and environment, building to another reason why it’s clear why Tinykin would make greater sense playing on consoles or even pc especially if you can get it on game pass.
Now that being said, I would highly recommend fans of classic platformers or other genres to pick up this title even though there are some flaws, but overall it’s a solid 8.5/10.
Tinykin is a futurama-inspired platformer with clever writing and a sinful and satisfying twist that will make you question the entire purpose of the game. It’s a blast of nostalgia wrapped together with subtle darker elements and pulls from the greatness of iconic tv series that continue to amaze and elevate source material and ingenuity.
Will you be playing Tinykin? What do you love most about the game? Let us know in the comments. If you like what you read, there’s more where that came from. Follow us on social media so you don’t miss a thing.