The Pikmin comparisons are writing themselves, so let’s get them out of the way early: yes, Tinykin does remind us a lot of the famed Nintendo franchise. Is it a straight copy? Not at all. Splasher’s new game might borrow a lot of ideas, but in the end, it has more than enough elements to stand on its own.
In Tinykin, players play as Milodane — a space explorer (here we go with Pikmin analogies again) who landed on Earth. He finds himself in a house filled with quirky bug-like creatures. His goal is to understand what is happening and to find his way back.
While borrowing a lot, Tinykin has a lot of uniqueness to it. The atmosphere is peculiar, and the style is unlike pretty much everything else, with characters being 2D cutouts in a fully 3D world. It’s a curious stylistic decision, and it adds a certain charm to the game.
Since Milodane is an explorer, all he can do is explore the new world while taking quests from talkative insects. After a short tutorial, you will open a vast area filled with secrets, stuff to collect, and tasks to complete. The game design is stellar, and the world oozes charm. Soon I was utterly captivated, thinking that this might be one of the year’s best platformers.
But it’s not strictly a platformer since Milodane also utilizes the help of small Tinykin — cute creatures not unlike Pikmin. Differently-colored Tinykin have different abilities, allowing you to solve puzzles and progress through the story. Some Pik… some Tinykin can carry heavy stuff, some blast things, or manipulate electricity. You get the idea. There are five types total, hiding in various levels.
The game looks great on the Xbox Series X, and the controls aren’t bad either, although it takes time to get used to 2D characters who seem to run backward. It’s a simple game control-wise, and I appreciate it for it. I also appreciate the ability to surf on a piece of soap. Who wouldn’t?
The main thing that separates Tinykin from Pikmin is the total lack of stress. There’s no timer, no danger of your pals being violently killed at the end of the day. That makes it easier, but a chill experience is what many of us need, so I won’t consider it a bad thing. Tinykin is also a godsend for a completionist, with the massive number of collectibles to collect and secrets to uncover. Even after you’re done with the campaign, there’s much to do.
Tinykin is a fun, stress-free take on Pikmin. It’s a stellar platformer with loads of charm and clever ideas, capable of becoming a franchise. If you have Game Pass, there’s no reason not to try it. If you don’t, 24,99 USD is a fair price.