There’s something about the world of Tiny Planet that captured my attention from the very first game screen. The Tiny Bang Story HD is not your typical hidden object game; it’s a bit light on story, and it assumes that you don’t need any handholding. It can also get frustrating at times, even with something as simple as figuring out what to do next. Through it all, though, I found myself hardly able to put the game down. That’s even after playing the first chapter 3 times (once on my PC and twice on the iPad). There were only two significant letdowns to the game – it ended too quickly, and the end was actually a bit anti-climactic.
The world of Tiny Planet has been shattered by a meteor, and it’s up to you to put it back together – quite literally – by solving a series of puzzles through five different chapters. Each puzzle must be unlocked by finding a set of objects scattered throughout the scenes that comprise a chapter. The first trick is finding the puzzles that need to be solved because you can’t start collecting objects until you’ve revealed a puzzle. There are also some objects on the screen that when clicked display a sub-screen that can be searched for objects. As a result, there is a bit of “random tapping” involved in the discovery phase.
Objects are sometimes blatantly obvious to find, but more often are cleverly hidden, even out in the open. Once you get all the objects for a particular puzzle you drag the icon for the object set onto the puzzle to activate it. Most of the puzzles are things you’ve seen before like rearranging the parts to a picture, turning pipes to get water flowing correctly, and many of the other mini-game staples you’re used to if you play a lot of hidden object games. There were a couple of puzzles that were new to the genre, and at least one that I actually had to look up the answer to. I have nothing against challenging puzzles, but this game really needs the option to skip a puzzle after a certain amount of time.
In addition to objects for solving puzzles there are 25 jigsaw puzzle pieces to collect in each chapter. At the end of the chapter you get to place these pieces into a puzzle of the entire world, so in a sense you’re rebuilding Tiny Planet. After completing the jigsaw the game just sort of ends, though you can replay any of the mini-games if you like. I expected a bit more of a bang on the ending, to be perfectly honest.
The visuals are beautiful. The architecture often feels like something out of a Dr. Seuss book and what few characters there are manage to exude some personality without even doing much. The sound effects are decent enough and sometimes actually pretty good. Where the audio shines is in the music department, and while you will honestly get so caught up in the game you won’t pay much attention to it, I encourage you to go back and listen to the music after the fact (or just sit on a scene and listen for a while since there is no time limit). You can even download the soundtrack from the developer’s site if you like.
As a reviewer and long time gamer I play a lot of different games, but there aren’t too many that grip me to the point where I have to finish them. The Tiny Bang Story was one such game. Even when I got frustrated with a puzzle, I was still willing to come back for more. The atmosphere is wonderful, and it does a great job of providing both a puzzle game and hidden object game without necessarily feeling like either. I just wish my adventure on the Tiny Planet didn’t have to end so soon.
|Title:||The Tiny Bang Story HD||Developer:||Colibri Games|
|Reviewed Ver:||Min OS Req:||4.3|