Jul 13, 2011

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Review: The Tiny Bang Story

Review: The Tiny Bang Story

Indie games should never take a backseat within the gaming community. Indie game developers put a lot of hard work and heart into creating some things we, as players, have never seen before, or the developers have simply created a good, fun game that appeals to many. This is what Colibri Games has done with their first title, The Tiny Bang Story. It is a simple, single-player puzzle game with a simple story, but the beautiful hand-drawn art and fun puzzles keep you playing.

When you start the game, it takes you through a quick tutorial that shows you the different point-and-click movement controls. You click to select/open an item, and then click and drag an item that is available for use. This works and flows well throughout the whole game. At no point did I feel the controls were awkward.

The game has five levels. Each level gets progressively harder and each has different puzzles to solve. The puzzles range from simply finding puzzle pieces (which you use to reconstruct the world) across the level to needing you to use your brain a little to figure out a code. If you ever feel stuck trying to find items in the level, you have access to a “help” button after clicking on enough dragonflies; the “help” button is also available when trying to solve puzzles. Most of the game, though, I feel, is like a large “I Spy” puzzle where you just need to find different items on the board. This is not a bad thing. It still challenges you to look in every nook and cranny on the board. The mini games and different puzzles are a nice break from all the searching.

Each of the levels are hand-drawn and watercolor. It looks as if you are playing this game on a painting, and the background music for each level is soothing. You will not find any dialogue or fancy graphics. The simple design is all you need to enjoy this game. Do not think that Colibri Games did not pay attention to detail. The small things, such as hanging ropes and strings moving as you mouse over them capture your eye.

The Tiny Bang Story really does have a tiny story. Tiny Planet was hit by an asteroid, and you must piece together and solve puzzles to make the planet whole once more. You encounter different characters in each level, and what the character needs you to accomplish is the main goal of the level. For example, in the first level, an old woman wants you to find a couple key items. These items are essential to completing the level.

The game is rather small, only about three to four hours long. And while the game does not have much of a replayability factor, you are able to replay any of the mini-games and puzzles that you have encountered after you complete the game. The PC requirements for the game are also small. You only need to have 512 MB of RAM and 180 MB of hard drive space available, with a 1.5 GHz processor. Nearly anyone with a PC can play this game (the game is also available on Mac, and a mobile version is in the works).

The puzzles are neither overly difficult or very easy. I found them all to be perfectly balanced, at least for my skill level. Of course, the difficulty of the puzzles will vary from player to player. No matter your skill level, you never feel rushed to complete the levels. You can solve everything at your own pace.

My only complaint would be that a player may not realize when the level is about to end. In the last level, I did not realize that I was about to complete the level and I did not finish collecting the puzzle pieces. Otherwise, The Tiny Bang Story is a pretty and fun little time killer. I cannot wait for Colibri Games’ next title.

The Tiny Bang Story
Platform: PC (Reviewed), Mac
Genre: Hidden Object Puzzle
Release Date: 04/22/11
Developer: Colibri Games
Publisher: Colibri Games
ESRB Rating: NR (Not Rated)
MSRP: $9.99