You really need to take a slice out of platform-puzzler Tiny & Big
Black Pants Game Studio is a brave collective of developers. If Tiny & Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers, the first release from the studio, had turned out to be a bit rubbish, reviewers up and down the interwebs would be branding it “pants”, having a good old snigger, then moving on to the next potential indie gaming craze.
Fortunately for Black Pants, Tiny & Big hits the mark perfectly with wonderful sandbox-style platforming that can be tackled from a whole horde of different angles. The stuff you can do in this game is quite the revolution.
You are Tiny, a geeky adventurer who is on the trail of Big. Big has stolen your grandfather’s special underpants, and is now wearing them on his head. Unfortunately, the pants appear to be giving Big some pretty nifty powers, which he is constantly using to hinder your progress.
Tiny & Big features a combination of fantastic physics-based gameplay mechanisms that blend seamlessly together. Tiny can pull objects towards him with a grapple, and also attach rockets to objects then watch as they blast away into the distance. Rockets in particular are brilliant fun, especially if you can position them such that an entire stone column starts flipping about in the air.
But it’s Tiny’s cutter that really makes the game a class-A act. By aiming and slicing on screen, you can cut anything in half – and we mean anything. Entire buildings can be sliced if you can fit the whole thing on the screen, and once it has been cut up, you can then proceed to grapple/rocket it to your heart’s content.
There is a goal to the game – reaching Big and getting your pants back – but in all honesty, we spent most of the time just messing about and destroying the world in as many twisted ways as possible. Watching entire walls toppling towards you, then quickly cutting them in half and standing in the crack to survive is a gloriously intense and breath-taking experience.
It’s made all the more entertaining thanks to the game’s pleasing aesthetics. A combination of cel-shading with comic-style words popping up all over the place gives your eyes a real treat, while collectible radio music completes the scene. It’s all a bit magic and stylish really, with great humor throughout, both in the story and in the various setpieces.
The game isn’t too lengthy – it will most likely take you the better part of an evening – but there’s plenty of reasons to go back for seconds, with “boring rocks” to grab, secret rooms to find and bonus levels to master. Online leaderboards and achievements tie it all up in a neat package that’s well worth your hard-earned cash.
The platforming action itself is a little iffy and not tight enough at all, and we fell to our deaths multiple times by falling through silly gaps and mistiming jumps. In all honesty, however, this is just a blip on what is a wholly enjoyable and easily recommendable experience. You won’t have played anything like this before.