“There's life in the old dog yet”—an idiom which may be applied to point and click games. For years we've been reading about the demise of this game genre, and while this may be correct as far as big publishers go there's still a decent fan base and indie developers bringing out lovingly made games.
Does this hold true for The Tiny Bang Story? Find out in today's review.
Features & Use
The Tiny Bang Story is not your every day, run-of-the-mill kind of game. First of all, the genre isn't the most widely spread and it doesn't really fall into any typical game slots (i.e. quickie time killers, adventure games...).
A very unique aspect of the game is that there's hardly any dialogue at all. Rather than alienate players, this makes the game very charming, although the characters that inhabited the (lovingly designed) world are rather one dimensional as a result. This also means that it's difficult to get attached to the characters, including one's own alter ego. The main character seems interchangeable and this is a bit of a shame—in fact, it is my main bone of contention with the game.
As the app name indicates the game starts with a big BANG. This shakes things up for Tiny Planet, leaving puzzle pieces all across the world. Faceless protagonists must now wander around and find these pieces.
At the beginning of the game elements such as arrows make it easier to find the missing pieces, but as the game progresses less and less clues are provided.
The soundtrack is nicely made and adds to the atmosphere. The wonderfully done illustrated setting – reminiscent of Steampunk – helps set the tone.
The goal is to find puzzle pieces and successfully solve other tasks. I don't want to ruin the riddle part of the gaming experience so I won't give away too much, so let me just say that things are not always as complicated as they may seem, which is good news for users who don't have much gaming experience with this app genre.
Having said all this, to my mind the application is a few beats short of being a really great gaming experience due to a few factors, which is truly a shame because The Tiny Bang Story has a lot of potential of being a wonderful adventure game as well as a relaxing pass time.
Firstly, the game can come across as trying too hard or rather dragging things out too long. For instance, sometimes finding the next puzzle piece can take ages because it is a) tiny and/or b) completely covered up by other objects. This got my goat once or twice. And while there are hints that tell you which pieces you're looking for and where you'll find them the whole gaming experience feels somewhat dragged on and out.
Furthermore, I was a bit miffed by the inconsistencies in the overall narrative structure. I mean, an asteroid smashes into the planet which as a result splits in countless pieces, but none of the inhabitants seem to be very interested in what's going on. They seem somewhat apathetic towards the goings-on in their environment, which of course rubs off on to the player.
The Tiny Bang Story is unlike other games and I greatly enjoy and appreciate this.
There are no dialogues; the main focus is discovering the strange new world you find yourself in. While this strategy works for the first few minutes, it's difficult to get into the game because there's no connection to the characters.
I would say that The Tiny Bang Story is an experience and certainly worth your while if you appreciate fun graphics and soundtracks. If you're a fan of this game genre I predict you will be absolutely delighted with The Tiny Bang Story.
Screen & Controls
As mentioned, The Tiny Bang Story is an absolute feast for the eyes. It's beautifully made with hand drawn landscapes and a fun soundtrack that adds more depth to the whole thing.
Controls are nice and simple and we didn't encounter any issues on the Sensation or One X.
Speed & Stability
This is where The Tiny Bang Story falls short. After several crashes – which we were able to reproduce – we came to the conclusion that the Tegra 3 chip on the One X must be the culprit. To make sure we did a few test runs on the Sensation and lo and behold the crashing continued.
That said, once you've managed to make it passed the intro sans crashing the gaming experience that awaits is thoroughly enjoyable. However, The Tiny Bang Story is testing a user's patience in a big way seeing as it can literally take up to 15 minutes to make it past the buggy initial stage.
After getting off to a bumpy start the rest of the game runs smoothly enough.
The Tiny Bang Story is available for EUR 2.40 from Google Play.