Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers

Do you know what’s more irritating than a game that keeps crashing? A good game that keeps crashing. I am very much in two minds about my time spent playing this game. While I thoroughly enjoyed every moment I played, when the game crashes every 20 of those moments, you’re left with nothing but bitterness and anger in your heart. I tried re-installing, trouble-shooting and Google-ing, though to no avail. Once I have purchased a new computer, I will try again. But until then, here is a review of what little I did play of the game.

Tiny and Big in: Grandpa’s Leftovers is the first PC game release from German-based Black Pants Studio where you play Tiny, a cutting-laser owning, grappling hook wielding, rocket-booster dispensing kind of guy. You’re accompanied by your wise-talking and seemingly sentient radio you carry around on your back. You’ve gone into the desert to track down Big, another kind of guy who’s taken a family heirloom passed down from your grandfather. This heirloom is a pair of white underpants, possibly magical in nature (it seems Black Pants Studio have a bit of an underwear fetish going on).

Now I can see the sound effects I’m making.

As I mentioned, Tiny owns a grappling hook, a laser-cutter and rocket dispenser. All three are used to manipulate the stony environment that you jump, push, pull and roam around in. This game is essentially a platformer where you create and modify the platforms. While this idea in itself is enough to keep me interested, it’s the game’s style which really captivated me. Tiny and Big is a 3D, third-person platformer with a simple and slightly under-developed cell-shaded graphical style. And by simple and under-developed, I don’t mean anything negative as it only adds to the graphical style of the game. Like no-one having noses… odd. Even the menu displays look like they’ve been sketched.

This could be due to the fact that the CEO of Black Pants Studio is also the main visual contributor of Tiny and Big, a man by the name of Sebastian Stamm. Stamm is also an illustrator and comic artist, currently producing the comic, Lechek’s Flight. Input by an actual artist towards this game had made it so much more interesting to look at, especially considering that it’s a relatively simple game visually. Asides from the visuals of this game being enjoyable, so is the soundtrack that is played through your radio-companion. After some thorough exploring, I even managed to find the room where the soundtrack was probably compiled.

Hmm... can my laser cut everything?
Hmm… can my laser cut everything?

Tiny and Big is full of little easter eggs like this and makes a point of rewarding you for reaching those ‘hard-to-reach’ places. There’s nothing worse than spending half an hour manipulating the environment so you can finally reach that ledge you espied from afar, only to find a big fat nothing that also happens to look like a laughing game developer at the top. The world is divided into several levels which means that if you accidentally slice the wrong bit of rock, you can just restart. One issue is that the checkpoints seemed a bit erratic, sometimes placed exactly where you need them, other times just before 20 minutes of very difficult platforming.

What I’ve pretty much written above sums up the entire 71 minutes I played of this game. Maybe one day I’ll write a review on the full game. Until then, I can cautiously recommend it.

Tiny and Big in: Grandpa’s Leftovers is currently available on their website for $12.99, Steam for $9.99, Amazon for €14.99, GOG.com for $9.99 and Gamersgate for $9.99.

Cover Image: http://kopfstoff.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/fan-art-tiny-big.html

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