Title: The Tiny Bang Story
Developer: Colibri Games
Publisher: Ellada Games
Genre: Puzzle, Point & Click
Available on: Steam, PC, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch
Official Site: The Tiny Bang Story
Release Date: April 22nd, 2011 (Originally), October 4th, 2019 (Switch)
Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
There’s something to be said of a peaceful game that offers you a change of pace from endless hordes, massive bosses, and intimidating landscapes. For those seeking to lower their gaming stress levels from time to time, The Tiny Bang Story just might be what you’re looking for. It’s a simple, relaxed experience that utilizes storybook levels with lovely hand-drawn graphics.
Piecing A Broken World Back Together
In The Tiny Bang Story, you don’t play as a character. You simply play like yourself. Or some god-like essence, if that’s what you want to believe. But your goal is to help a few citizens put their small world back together:
“Life on Tiny Planet was calm and carefree until a great disaster occurred – Tiny Planet was hit by a meteor! The world fell apart and now its future depends only on you! Use your imagination and creativity: in order to restore Tiny Planet and help its inhabitants, you will have to fix a variety of machines and mechanisms as well as solve puzzles in each of the five chapters of this game. Navigation is simple and intuitive. It doesn’t distract you from the witty brain teasers, and you will be able to fully immerse yourself in the unique atmosphere of the game.”
The game begins on the image of the planet seen in the logo above. When the meteor hits, most of the planet breaks into jigsaw pieces which you then have to find throughout each level. But finding the pieces themselves is only part of your adventure.
Finding Your Path
There are 5 levels in The Tiny Bang Story, with each one progressing in difficulty. The main action you can do is click and you’ll be doing a lot of it. You find around 25 jigsaw pieces hidden in each level. Some will stick out among the backgrounds while others are carefully blended in. All you have to do to collect them is click on them. But as I said before, finding all the missing jigsaw pieces is far from your only task. And it’s also the simplest.
You can click on certain parts of each level. Pressing the Y button will highlight them. Some will open small compartments while others take you to a new section of the level. But the most vital clickable elements will present you with a puzzle. Unlocking the ability to solve the puzzle, however, means collecting certain hidden items. This is the main gameplay hook: find hidden items that are pieces to a puzzle, then solve the said puzzle.
For example, in the image above you can see a glass-incased room with four different-colored levers inside. Clicking on the glass (which lights up when you press Y) tells you which items and how many of them you need to find in order to attempt the puzzle. In this case, it’s the four levers. Solving a puzzle will often lead you to another, which eventually leads to an exit.
Once you realize what items you need, finding them hidden throughout isn’t too much of a challenge. If you’re stuck, you can collect blue dragonflies for hints. There are always 2 on-screen at a time. Clicking on them fills up a sort of meter. Once it’s full, you can press X to bring out an orange dragonfly who will circle a hidden item if there’s one to be found on your screen. This also works for jigsaw pieces. Unfortunately, you have to collect 20 dragonflies in order to get a hint, which isn’t very fun to do.
Once you find the exit, you return to the global map. This allows you to place all your jigsaw pieces and advance to the next level. The game is rather short; you could probably complete it in a lazy afternoon. It also ends rather abruptly with no final puzzle to test you. Once all of the jigsaw pieces are back, that’s it. This isn’t a big deal for a $5 game. However, for reasons I’m unaware of, it’s twice as much on Switch as everywhere else.
Picturesque and Serene
It is immediately obvious once you begin that the most special aspect of The Tiny Bang Story is its presentation. The graphics are entirely hand-drawn and they seem plucked straight from a classic picture book. In fact, I’m certain that if artist Eduard Arutyunyan ever released a children’s book with this art style, kids would eat it up.
Interacting with this art provides the game with its most charming element. Constructing a train from hidden pieces around the room; searching for necessary items insides chests and shelves among knick-knacks. Each space feels lived in, which made me want to continue much more than the gameplay ever did.
Verdict: The Tiny Bang Story has plenty of charm, with hand-drawn visuals and peaceful music. Solving puzzles gives you a great deal of “Aha!” moments, though clicking your way through the environments to get to them can get a bit stale.
- Fantastic Artwork
- Great Puzzles
- Very Relaxing
- Repetitive Clicking
- Switch Price is More Expensive
- Abrupt End