Within the first ten minutes of Tinykin, I knew it would be a game I wanted to tell all my friends about and why they should play this excellent little platformer. From running through levels that make you feel like you’re in a scene from Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, to amassing an army of tiny one-eye creatures to navigate and solve puzzles. Tinykin makes for one of the most delightfully fun 3D platformers I’ve played this year.
The Pikmin series of games heavily inspired a lot of aspects of Tinykin. You’re a plucky little astronaut who crash-landed in this mysterious house and you’re the size of an ant. Your ship has been destroyed and you must get the help of the residents of this “alien world” to build you a new one. Once you start jumping and gliding, you’ll quickly start building a small army of Tinykin to follow you around and help you unlock paths in their own unique ways. The color of the Tinykin will tell you what they can do and where they’ll be useful. Pink Tinykin can push or lift heavy objects, Red Tinykin explodes on contact to help you clear your path, and Green Tinykin can become a ladder for you to climb and help reach higher platforms. There’s more Tinykin to discover throughout the seven levels of the game and each level is a sandbox for these creatures to show off their stuff. There are even times in later levels where you might want to combine the uses of your alien friends like using green Tinykin to get you up high to reach a weight that the pink Tinykin can grab and weigh down to open a new pathway for you. You yourself have abilities too, and can jump and glide and also perform my favorite ability, surfing on a soap bar, using it to grind on rails.
Since you’re shrunken down it helps make the levels feel larger than life. From exploring under the couch, digging through dust bunnies for hidden collectibles, to taking treacherous leaps across the blades of a ceiling fan, you can quite literally explore all the nooks and crannies of these levels. One level might take you through an office room that’s been taken over by a group of beetles that have made their home in a bookcase. Another level will take into a watery kingdom with a throne to rival any distinguished castle (it’s a toilet). But my favorite aspect is how hands-off the levels feel. Each level gives you your main objective of finding the ship part you need, but then it just sets you free to explore and complete these objectives in any order. You can even find optional objectives for collectibles or just fun little hidden areas like this acoustic guitar lying on the ground that turns out to be a small music club for ants to drown away their sorrow.
I don’t usually have much time to 100% complete games these days, but in Tinykin it only took me ten hours and I’m left wanting more. That might also have to do with the game’s ending. There is basically no mention of the reason you are so tiny or why you ended up in this house really until the last ten minutes of the game. I actually do like the twist that is revealed here and the implications for a potential sequel. I just wish they had sprinkled a little more of these things throughout the game because I think connecting this mystery throughout each level could have made for a way more engaging storyline to follow. It didn’t detract from my overall experience with the game once I rolled credits, but I just wanted more from the story once I knew what was going on.
I hope Tinykin has a bright future ahead as a potential follow-up game could really take all the cool ideas and fun gameplay and expand it even further. I loved using Tinykin to solve puzzles but there was some repetition rearing its head in the later parts of the game. Luckily, it wrapped up before this became too much of a problem but I can already see how expanding with more types of Tinykin could make an excellent addition to an already great 3D platformer. Even with some minor gripes, Tinykin is easily my favorite 3D platformer this year, and probably the last few years. It meshes some familiar ideas in a fun and creative way making for a super fun experience that makes it a must-play in my eyes for any fan of the genre.
A Steam key was provided by a PR representative for review purposes
Gameplay footage in the video version was captured on Xbox Series S