Well, if you have decided to read this review then you probably already have a slight understanding of The Tiny Bang Story. It's not exactly the most publicised game available today. As is often the case with indie (independent) games, the general quality is relatively low compared to more mainstream titles, however some releases can surprise you. While The Tiny Bang Story isn't quite the diamond in the rough, it still shines through rather pleasantly.
Developed by ColibriGames, The Big Bang Story is a point-and-click puzzle game in which you must piece back together the world of Tiny Planet after an asteroid strike scattered it in to numerous jigsaw-shaped pieces. Unusual yes, but all of the obscurities you encounter on your journey through this game fit in nicely and do not seem out of place. The majority of the game involves you scrupulously scouring each level - collecting various random items that are required to progress to the next area e.g. collecting cogs and wheels to create a train necessary to advance across the bridge. Upon completing each stage (of which there are 5) you are awarded a handful of jigsaw puzzle pieces which are used to slowly piece Tiny Planet back together. Other puzzles range from mathematical equation solving to logic based. They all provide a nice break from the simple concept of searching for camouflaged items.
The first thing you will notice when you play this game is the level artwork. Each stage is beautifully hand drawn with an almost Cubism movement style. Due to the difficulty of finding some of the puzzle pieces, you can't help but pick up on and admire the detail that has been put in to the visuals. A sense of relaxation washes over you. There are no horrible ghouls or sinister entities or dark and eerie environments. It is all very light-hearted and family friendly. Add this to calming and pleasant soundtrack and The Tiny Bang Story stands out rather well against other games of the same genre.
Throughout the game, you are accompanied by (as odd as it may sound) two flies that hover around the screen at their own discretion. At first glance, they appear to be there purely for aesthetic reasons however if you end up becoming stuck on your hunt for a required item then you simply click on the flies a total of 30 times. This then activates what can only be described as the ‘superfly' (stay with me) which once selected hovers over that hidden puzzle piece which has been driving you bonkers for the last 20 minutes. A neat (if somewhat crazy) little feature, which relieves you from episodes of impatience and frustration.
There isn't much by means of a story in the game, other than attempting to repair Tiny Planet. Same goes for the dialogue. Speech bubbles over the heads of a handful of characters are the only means of human interaction you will come across. Adapting for such simplicity actually becomes quite effective as it requires the player to use imagination to piece together (no pun intended) exactly what is going on in each stage.
So, should you bother paying £6.99 for The Tiny Bang Story? To be honest, I am not sure. It's a rather unique experience. Not in terms of gameplay mechanics, but the graphical artistry and the way the puzzles play off this accordingly. Unfortunately there are a couple of graphical errors which hinder gameplay on occasion. I run games at 1920 x 1080 and when activating full screen on this game, it cuts out a couple of centimeters along the bottom. Crucial items are inaccessible. Also, The Tiny Bang Story is rather short with there not being much in terms of replayability. Its addictive qualities become its own downfall as completion is possible in only a few hours. Maybe even less for the eagle eyed among us. Regardless of this, it is an interesting, fresh and relaxing ride for the duration. If you are a fan of point-and-click ‘hidden-item-locating' games, then for the price of a couple pints you may as well take the punt. (Oh and being a fan of puzzle games is also rather important, I would say.)