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You’re driving a broken down car through the desert and who else is at the wheel but your personal radio. Why are you here? To chase a thief who has made off with a pair of magical underpants that was given to you by your grandfather whom we assume is deceased. This exposition sounds like quite the interesting setup for a great, bizarre, or edgy book. What we have here isn’t in the pages of a novel but on your screen as you start up Tiny and Big: Grandpas Leftovers.
You play as the hero, Tiny, who is pursuing Big, the scoundrel who is absconding with Tiny’s magical heirloom pants. Along the way you are accompanied by a small radio blasting some seriously sick tunes as you hop, drag, slice, and propel your way through the game chasing after Big.
There’s not very much to a platformer when it comes down to it. You jump on small objects to jump onto taller ones in order to get to a door or goal of some sort. How then can you innovate on this idea to make platforming fresh and interesting to even the most seasoned platforming gurus? You give the player tools to use to give them more options. Tiny and Big does just that giving you not just one but three unique assets to employ as you see fit. Tiny’s tools are the grappling hook, the rocket, and the laser gun.
The grappling hook is relatively straightforward allowing you to grab hold of loose objects and drag them around as you see fit to help yourself jump around obstacles. The second tool, the rocket, gives you the ability to attach a small rocket to objects and shoot them in one direction or another. The last tool is the heavy hitter in this game: it’s the laser gun which can be used to slice virtually anything you see into as many pieces as you can make. Whether you use this gun to make bridges out of ceiling supports, cut blocks into stairs, or destroy projectiles in mid-air, its certain that you’re bound to have hours of fun with this one tool alone.
Even with these great mechanics and unique setting the game wouldn’t be complete without its bomb-diggity soundtrack comprised completely of indie bands they corroborated with. The arrangement they had with these bands is also quite special in that the music was free for them to use but any sale of the soundtrack goes directly to these bands. Everyone wins in that setup and it’s worth the money to help fuel creative genius at work like this.
Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers has succeeded. It has conquered my expectations of the title and blew away my perspective on what is possible from a small indie developer by creating a third-person platformer that’s excellent. The classic platformer genre is over saturated in today’s market and has been done and redone time and time again seeing endless names pass through such as Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog. This is the reality of the game industry today, rehashed ideas that get dressed up as something else in order to sell copies of the same game to the same people under the guise of innovation or creative development. Tiny and Big is a shining light devoid of the snake doctor tactics you see these days in the entertainment industry and it deserves not only your business but also your support.