Tinykin review

Tinykin is a 3D platformer, that looks a lot like Pikmin, although plays rather different. It’s fast, there’s plenty to explore and it’s a game well worth checking out.

Tinykin speaks to the collector in you. It’s a game that can be played in short play sessions, it’s pick up and play and you can get right into the action straight away. The gameplay loop is tight, there are lots of treasures to find, plus you have the tiny cute characters to keep you company. The animation style is a strange mix, with a cartoon vibe. The main character’s animation reminded me of Dexter’s Laboratory, plus there are different animation styles, which at first seems a little jarring although you quickly get used to it.

In regards to the story in Tinykin, there’s little to go on. Milodane, an archaeologist, is in search of humankind’s origin. He’s left Aegis, his home planet and followed a signal to a nearby galaxy. Milo turns up somewhere in the 90s, which is run by inspects. Milo is unfortunately also very small, meaning it’s a small player big-world type of game similar to 2021’s game of the year. There doesn’t appear to be any sign of human life and Milo needs to finish building a machine using specific objects that can be found around the house. You are guided by Ridmi, and have the ability to use tiny, throwable creatures to help you solve puzzles and explore the environment.

While the tiny creatures may sound like Pikmin, and it’s an easy reference point for anyone to understand the game, it’s not actually like Pikmin. Yes, there are tiny characters, but the game plays very differently. Tinykin doesn’t have any combat, there’s no day and night cycle, plus there’s a certain amount of them. Tinykin is a great 3D platformer, and these tiny little buddies just happen to be helping you out through opening paths, carrying objects, conducting electricity and so on.

As you make your way through the game you’ll open up new traversal abilities including skateboard-like mechanics with a soap bar. This allows for very quick travel, which you can get out in most situations, allowing you to zip around the game much faster than before. It would have been great to access this from the start, but then again a sense of progression in the game should be earned rather than just handed to you. Other abilities can be collected too including a bubble ability, which is similar to a ladder, allowing you to climb high and get to those hard-to-reach places.

Tinykin is easy to pick up and play and gives off Super Mario 64 vibes. Rather than collecting stars in each level, you are searching for Tinykin eggs to hatch, and loads of pollen pieces (to help you upgrade your bubbles), plus their side quests too to distract you from your main quest of getting the machine parts you so desperately need. Levels involve multiple parts to solve to finally convince your insect friends to hand over the machine part.

The puzzles in Tinykin are great, and much like the platforming and structure of the game, it feels really player friendly and streamlined. There are too many roadblocks out in your way, that’s not to say the puzzles are too easy, quite the opposite, but the game works with you, rather than against you allowing you to make your way through the puzzles in a natural way. The more you explore the game, the more Tinykin you’ll collect and then you’ll be able to get to all the nooks and crannies of levels to find what you need.

The environments are good fun, and what you may expect with a small person, big world game. There’s a bathroom with a huge tower of toilet tissue, there’s a toy race track level, it’s really good fun. Your Tinykin buddies are useful when it comes to helping you out with puzzles, or when you’re on a quest. You don’t need to pay too much attention to them either, just carry on through levels and they’ll let you know info when you need to.

Tinykin has this knack of pulling you in, and getting the flow of the game just right. You have your main quest, you have your NPCs to talk to, the puzzles and the 3D platforming, it all works together really well in this small, but perfectly-formed package. The levels have the pacing just right, there are distractions, but you can stick to the main path nice and easy if you want to. The game isn’t too long coming in at around 7 hours or so, although maybe add on a few more if you want to 100% the game. There are a lot of collectables here, and some of them are pretty puzzling in terms of figuring them out, I’ll be going back for sure.

Overall, Tinykin was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t follow the release schedule for this at all, it came out and I’d not heard too much about it. I’d recommend doing the same. If you are a fan of 3D platformers, all you need to know is that this is a decent one, and something you should try out. It’s also available on Xbox Game Pass and is a perfect game for the service.

Developer: Splashteam
Publisher: TinyBuild
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4/5, Xbox One/X/S
Released Date: 30th August 2022