Tinykin (PS5): COMPLETED!

Tinykin (PS5): COMPLETED!

Well, what a lovely surprise this turned out to be! It had been on the periphery of my want list for a while, but I was sceptical that it was just going to be a Pikmin clone like the reviews suggested it was, and Pikmin is fantastic so that’s a hard wall to break through and every likelihood it’d be a bit pants. And, while there’s definitely a Pikminny taste to Tinykin, it’s certainly its own thing.

You’re a little man from a spaceship who lands on what seems to be earth and you befriend little creatures who follow you round and you can make them do stuff like carry items and break down barriers and there are different colours that have different abilities and it sounds very much like Pikmin, doesn’t it? But it isn’t quite.

For a start, there are no time limits. You also can’t die. Your Tinykin can’t die either which is just as well as you can’t grow more Tinykin. There’s also a lot of platforming to the game, with upgrades that let you jump – or rather, glide – further.

Your Tinykin don’t work quite the same as Pikmin either. In Pikmin, you usually build a bridge using resources, but here you chain a load of yellow Tinykin together. Or you stack green ones to use as ladders. Or blue ones to act as electricity cables to take power from sockets to devices.

There is much more interaction with other characters in the game too, and no baddies to worry about. Whereas Pikmin is filled with all sorts of creatures that want to eat your carrot people, Tinykin is set in a seemingly abandoned house where the insects have taken over and built towns and shops and even a religion worshipping the missing resident of the house. There are hundreds of insects to talk to, many with names that are film or game references. Two I liked in particular were a whole collection of hornets who race toy cars, and all their names are slight variations on famous Formula 1 drivers, and there’s an ant doctor called Haus who exclaims that it’s never lupus. Some of these insects give you simple missions or challenges, usually of the form of fetching an item or reaching a certain place, but the overall aim of the game is to build a device from parts, with each part held in a different room in the house and there being some sort of issue you have to resolve in that room before you can have it.

For example, in the kitchen you need to get a tea strainer. But you can’t have it until you’ve resolved the peasants’ revolt, which revolves around the ruling class of dragonflies demanding the proles bake a cake for their god even though they’re all starving and they can’t have their cake and eat it. So you have to bake the cake – which involves a lot of platforming and some slight puzzles to collect all the ingredients – and let the workers eat it to resolve the conflict.

So although the “be tiny and collect creatures to get to places and carry things” backbone of Pikmin is here, it’s the world and platforming that, if not elevates it above Pikmin certainly provides a welcome detour around it. Don’t dismiss it as a clone, it’s so much better than that.

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