Tinykin, which was recently released through tinyBuild (what’s in a name, right?), is a lovely homage to the Pikmin games that’s available for all major systems. We checked out the PlayStation 5 version.
Despite having its own unique look and feel, it’s hard to miss Tinykin’s resemblance to Nintendo’s classic franchise. With a little bit of imagination, you could even say that the game’s name is based on it. In Tinykin, you play as Milo, an explorer who’s run into a bit of a strange situation. He’s on Earth, but everyone else seems to be gone, and he himself appears to suddenly be tiny. In order to return to his normal size (and home), he needs to start to work together with a bunch of bugs as well that belong to a race called the Tinykin.
But while Tinykin’s design owes a lot to Pikmin, it’s more of a platformer than those games ever were. Sure, you have a veritable army of Tinykin at your disposal who follow you around and perform tasks for you as well, but Tinykin has more of an “adventure” feel to it than Pikmin does while most of the puzzles that you’re faced with are rather streamlined and casual in nature. Milo’s journey will take about six hours to complete, and mixes its platforming well with its puzzle-like Pikmin mechanics.
When working with Tinykin, you’ll notice that there are five different versions you can recruit, each of which has their own abilities. Milo will automatically send the right ones out to each job as long as you have them in your army, so you don’t have to fiddle around and select individual ones while playing. Some of them will be able to carry stuff for you, others will let you reach higher platforms, and ultimately it’s mostly a matter of balancing out which Tinykin members you should have in your group.
Exploring Tinykin’s miniature world, you’ll notice a lot of familiar environments that you see from the perspective of a very small Milo, evoking memories of games like It Takes Two. The visuals here are less detailed and refined, but have plenty of charm nonetheless, especially when it comes to the characters you run into – which also helps flesh out the story and game world a bit. This automatically guides you towards some of the main objectives (usually gathering something important), but there are also plenty of smaller quests and optional objectives out there.
With a lot of hidden extras to find, exploration is encouraged, though as we mentioned you can get through the story in just under six hours – possibly even less. Tinykin isn’t the largest game, but it’s a delight to play, and those without a Nintendo system to play Pikmin on should definitely take notice.