Android Amusements: The Tiny Bang Story

Sections: 2D, Adventure, Columns, Developers, Exclusives, Features, Game-Companies, Genres, Handhelds, Handhelds-Other, Indie, Originals, Puzzle, Smartphones

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Well Android Amusements readers, I promised you The Tiny Bang Story and here it is. I picked up the $2.99 app so I could go over what this hidden object adventure is like and if it’s not only worth the money, but the space it would take up on your Android tablet or smartphone.

Before I get into the whole summary/impressions/playtest thing, let me tell you that The Tiny Bang Story isn’t an app for small screen devices. My tablet is an 8″ V-Tab and I’d say even that was almost too small for the game. There will be times you need to find objects. The bigger the device, the better. So people with Android smartphones should back off right now and go grab something more suited to their device, like Fruit Ninja.

Anyways, I have to admit that my labeling The Tiny Bang Story as a hidden object adventure isn’t entirely accurate. Yes, Tiny Planet is in need of some dire restructuring. An asteroid fell and messed everything up, leaving the player to explore this wordless world to collect puzzles pieces, pipes and other miscellaneous items. Players have to find objects in areas, which usually unlocks puzzle mini-games, and eventually restore the entire planet. However, players spend a substantial amount of time on puzzles and mini-games. You could be reconnecting pipes, solving jigsaw puzzles, shifting tiles to their proper positions, remembering patterns, shooting balloons or moving a vehicle around a field towards a goal. It adds quite a bit a variety.

Herocraft also did a fantastic job of making The Tiny Bang story look pretty. Everything is hand-drawn and absolutely gorgeous. The environments are filled with tiny details and it’s quite a pretty app. Everything is mostly crisp and clear, though some of the objects you have to find blend in a little too well at times. It’s one of those games where you enjoy savoring the art and might even spend more time than necessary in an area just so you can look around.

Of course, there’s a reason for the focus on visuals. The Tiny Bang Story tells its story without text. You proceed through the adventure with only visual cues, in a manner similar to Machinarium. Hints appear to tell you which puzzle to go to next and also appear in picture form. In a way, you could say this contributes to the game’s downfall.

Let’s get into why The Tiny Bang Story isn’t worth your money. As I said, this is a game that’s somewhat similar to the utterly fantastic Machinarium in execution. You go on an adventure through gorgeous areas, exploring different areas, solving puzzles and finding stuff, in the hopes of reaching the happy end. That’s where similarities end. While Machinarium‘s characters manage to feel lovable, the journey interesting, the hints actually helpful and the puzzles always challenging and interesting. None of that happens with The Tiny Bang Story. You never grow to care about any of the people you encounter, the puzzles eventually feel tedious due to their nature or control schemes, the hints only tell you what puzzle to visit next and don’t provide clues as to solving the current puzzle and I honestly stopped caring about restoring Tiny Planet about halfway through. If you’ve played both games, then The Tiny Bang Story will constantly remind you of how good Machinarium is and how this game can’t compare.

So here’s my recommendation. If you only want to buy one adventure game with mini-games, puzzles and even some hidden object elevements, then go buy Machinarium instead. It’s $2 more at $4.99, but I’d say it’s definitely worth it. If you already own Machinarium, but really love adventure games and are willing to overlook a flurry of frustrations from a game that’s still pretty and ok, but not as good, then go ahead and give The Tiny Bang Story a try.

Product Page [Google Play]

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