Will You Love to Hate or Hate to Love The Tiny Bang Story?

Designing a successful adventure puzzler must be akin to perfecting an art form. If the game’s too difficult, then it becomes frustrating and the player immediately sets it aside. If the game’s too easy then the player whizzes through it and never gives it another thought. So, how do developers get it just right?

I’m not sure what magic formula the team at Colibri Games is using, but they are blazing a trail for others to follow. The Tiny Bang Story HD is a perfectly challenging adventure game featuring beautiful hand-drawn illustrations, five different chapters, dozens of mini brain teasers and an immersive storyline about a Tiny Planet that fell apart after being hit by a meteor. As you solve each puzzle, you’ll help rebuild the planet. Just remember: it won’t be easy.

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How to Play

The Tiny Bang Story begins with some animation that reveals a charming little utopia of a planet serenely spinning around. But after a meteor careens into it, the planet breaks into lots of little puzzle pieces — and you get the sneaking suspicion that it’s going to be up to you to put them back together again. And how right you are. But, it’s so much more complicated than that.

Collect puzzle pieces throughout the game to re-create the Tiny Planet as it was before it was hit by the meteor.

Collect puzzle pieces throughout the game to re-create the Tiny Planet as it was before it was hit by the meteor.

The chapters (aka levels) are comprised of fantastical settings, quirky characters, widely varying tasks, and unobtrusive sound effects on top of an enjoyable and complementary soundtrack. But while all the chapters are very different, there are certain elements that remain the same.

In every environment you’ll want to keep an eye out for puzzle pieces. These are scattered around and can sometimes blend into the scene. When you see one, tap it, and it will be added to your inventory, which is displayed along the righthand side of the screen.

The hint button, eye button and your inventory are located in the upper righthand corner of the screen.

The hint button, eye button and your inventory are located in the upper righthand corner of the screen.

As you explore a setting, you’ll want to tap on doors, cabinets, boxes, ladders, levers, and other objects that could reveal useful tools, locations or tasks. Whatever you collect will appear in your inventory, along with a number indicating how many items like it you will need to collect, whether it’s wheels, balls, keys, levers, bottles, batteries, puzzles pieces, or others.

Items in your inventory will remain gray until you’ve collected the required amount, after which they appear in color with a green background. Take that as a sign that it’s time to use the items. Swiping from left to right toward your inventory will expand the inventory sidebar and reveal a clue as to where you might use those objects. Next, navigate to that scene and drag the items from your inventory into whichever area you’re going to use them.

Mini brain teasers are scattered throughout the game and must be solved in order for gameplay to progress.

Mini brain teasers are scattered throughout the game and must be solved in order for gameplay to progress.

Following this, some brand of magic will occur, which usually involves unlocking a mini puzzle that you’ll have to solve in order to continue progressing through the game. These little brain teasers might test your memory or logical reasoning, your reflexes or ability to work through sequences, or your math abilities and other such skills.

For every chapter you complete, you get the opportunity to rebuild a section of the Tiny Planet using the puzzle pieces you collected. Pieces snap into place once you move them into the correct location, and the Tiny Planet starts to come back to life.

Every time you complete a chapter you'll get the opportunity to work on the puzzle of the Tiny Planet.

Every time you complete a chapter you’ll get the opportunity to work on the puzzle of the Tiny Planet.

Additional Information

There are two buttons that are almost always in the top right of your screen: an eye and a question mark. Tapping the eye will fleetingly highlight items of interest in whichever setting you happen to be in. Items of interest could be doors, hatches, ladders, or other modes of navigation within the game.

Tapping the question mark reveals a hint — but you can’t click on this at just any time you want. Throughout the gameplay you’ll notice blue bugs flying around. Tap on one to collect it and fill the hint meter. You’ll need quite a few to fill it up all the way, so it’s a good thing the bugs arrive in a pretty steady stream. Note that tapping the question mark empties the meter, and you’ll have to fill it again before you can receive another hint.

As you explore each scene, look for items you can collect, puzzles you can solve, doors you can open, and entrances to other scenes.

As you explore each scene, look for items you can collect, puzzles you can solve, doors you can open, and entrances to other scenes.

Hints will provide some clue as to what to do next, where to go, or how to solve the mini puzzle you’re currently working on. A finite number of hints are available for each chapter, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself completely out of them at some point in a level.

As you play you will probably notice, as I did, that there is virtually no text involved. I found this to be both unpleasant and pleasant, depending on the circumstances. At certain points in the game I was less stumped as to what to do next and more just downright confused — at those times it would have been helpful to have some actual words to point me in the right direction, as pictorial hints seemed to only add to my confusion.

Mini puzzles might require you to assemble a piece of machinery, for example, this train, which should be made to look like the poster.

Mini puzzles might require you to assemble a piece of machinery, for example, this train, which should be made to look like the poster.

On the other hand, the sense of accomplishment was even more gratifying when I finally did get past a particularly confounding roadblock. And as frustrating as it was, if I did ultimately get past the obstacle, then I suppose I have to concede that text isn’t necessary for successful gameplay.

Final Thoughts

If you love adventure games and consider yourself pretty good at them, then be prepared to meet a real monument to the genre. The Tiny Bang Story is as challenging as any I’ve ever come across — it may even be the most challenging I’ve ever come across.

Get ready for a rollercoaster ride that continuously travels between the pure elation of solving a highly intricate, multistep puzzle, and the kind of frustration that makes you almost want to chuck your iPad across the room (I said almost). In my opinion, being able to induce this kind of love-hate relationship is the sign of a good adventure puzzler. And if I’m right, then The Tiny Bang Story is as good as they get.


Summary

Restore life on the Tiny Planet following a meteor collision by solving puzzles in this steampunk-esque adventure game.

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