Tiny Passengers in Review – Clay Characters Catching Cabs (sort of…)


Tiny Passengers is about cute clay characters, budding friendships and the need to pile as many people as possible in quirky rides.  It’s primarily a quick reflex game, but even when you’re not playing puzzle mode it helps if you can plan ahead a little bit.  The atmosphere is clearly geared towards children, but as an adult I can say that the older set should get some enjoyment out of it as well.  Plus, if you happen to have kids then it’s something you can share with them on your iOS device.  The game can get repetitive over longer play sessions, but for small bursts of time it’s a nice diversion from the typical fare you’ll find on the App Store.


Tiny Passengers is a game about getting adorable little characters on their way by dragging them from the waiting line into the transports at the top of the screen.  There are three lanes available, each containing a vehicle or animal of a certain color.  Drag passengers to a transport of the same color to get them a ride.  In Time Mode you have 60 seconds to launch as many vehicles as you can.  A number on the vehicle indicates how many passengers are required, and as soon as the vehicle is full it takes off.  Kids Mode is similar, except that you get 300 seconds and there are no passenger quotas.  This mode might be fun for smaller kids that are first learning games or aren’t into them all that much, but anyone that can handle a simple console game is going to be bored before long with it.  The final mode is Puzzle Mode, and in this one you’re back to having a passenger quota.  Instead of a timer, however, you are limited in the number of moves that you have.  Puzzle Mode requires you to plan ahead, because eventually you’ll need to drag more than one critter at once in order to make the constraints on number of turns.  This mode can get frustrating because even with careful planning the line configuration can sometimes work against you in a big way.

One cool feature of the game is that when you drag a critter or group of critters out of line the rest of the line shifts, and if like colored critters end up next to each other they form a group.  That’s the circular way of letting you know that when critters form a group you can drag them all at once.  In the two timed modes this mainly helps you get through more vehicles and also earns you group bonuses.  In Puzzle Mode this is essential, because you will run out of moves well before you’ve met your passenger quota on the later levels.  To move the critters you simply drag them towards the vehicles, which couldn’t be any easier.  Sometimes this seems a bit sluggish, and I’m not sure if that’s because of my older device (an iPad 2) or because Game Center keeps kicking in all the time.  There are 20 achievements to earn, but I don’t believe it is working correctly because I keep getting “rewarded” with the same ones over and over again.  There are also 3 leaderboards to place on, one for each game play mode.


The visuals are by far the best part of the aesthetics.  I’m not sure if it’s true for everything, but at least the characters are made out of clay, and then photographed and animated on the computer.  It certainly gives the game a unique look.  The sound effects, on the other hand, leave a lot to be desired.  The music is not bad, but there is one track which does get repetitive rather quickly.  It’s a bit puzzling because kids love vibrant sounds and bouncy music, so it seems like the sound would be a bit more acclimated towards that style.

I think Tiny Passengers has a lot of potential.  Game play is fun, if a bit repetitive, and it’s simple to get into so it doesn’t alienate anyone.  There are different game play modes for different playing styles, and the cute visuals will certainly draw in the younger ones.  The game could use one or two more game play modes, or at least a bit more variety in the game play modes that already exist.  The musical selection needs to be expanded and should fit in better with the colorful graphics, and the sound effects are just too blah.  Still, it’s a great start, and hopefully over time some of these things will be tweaked out so that Tiny Passengers can become a top notch action puzzle game.


App Summary
Title: Tiny Passengers Developer: SHAPE MINDS UG
Reviewed Ver: 1.1 Min OS Req:  iOS 8.0
Price: $0.99 App Size: 179.64MB
  • Game play doesn’t feel cliche
  • Different modes for different tastes
  • Cute, colorful characters
  • Needs a bit more variety
  • Audio needs some work
  • Game Center seems flaky


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