This game is dreadful. I know I’m jumping the gun early by starting off with that bold claim, but…wow. What I went through to get this review done is the kind of experience that can only resonate in my mind as utter filth. Tiny Hands Adventure may not have the strongest initial impressions in its public presence, but I was willing to give it a go since I could never get enough of platformers. Even it was half-decent, I still wouldn’t have felt that my time was wasted. But this wasn’t half-decent, as my poor naive soul would later realize.
Take a good guess what this game is about. What could a story for a game called “Tiny Hands Adventure” focus on? Maybe it’s about how the dinosaur has a huge head or something. On a serious note, I don’t expect anything grand from a platformer plot. But at least give me something a little more plausible than going after a bigger set of arms! By the time you get through just a small part of the game you’re given extra tools that are suitable for long reach – rendering the main character’s only goal nullified.
The visuals are nice and cartoon-y on certain minor occasions. More often than not, it’s a barrage of ugly. Mr. Tiny Hands himself is an awkward mish-mash of cartoon-y and realistic dinosaur elements. Some areas also have a habit of looking either too empty or too cramped. Worst of all, the game hides enemies within the environments at times; there are blue enemies that could be lurking on a blue path on an icy level, for example.
Not helping matters is the framerate, which doesn’t seem like it’s capable of running at 30. Only during the faux-2D levels where it tries looking like a comic does it run smoother than that. The backgrounds are nice to look at in those levels but characters like the dinosaur still look disgusting. The textboxes (as well as the cutscenes in general) are also very poorly designed and implemented. Tiny Hands Adventure tries to look like Crash Bandicoot, but has no understanding on what makes that series look good. That also applies to the gameplay, but let’s go through this one category at a time…
Arguably the best aspect of Tiny Hands Adventure is its use of (likely) stock music. There are songs deliberately chosen to reflect the theme of the world they take place in, which is always a neat little touch. I can’t say that there is much that stood out to me in terms of music I want to return to, but I do kind of dig that piece used in the surreal purple world. It’s a decent techno track that sticks out from the more ho-hum stuff presented here. Sound effects seem awfully minimal, though; if it isn’t stock, it’s not there at all. What’s up with that?
Where do I even begin? Well, okay. Imagine you are playing Crash Bandicoot. Except you’re constantly fighting the camera and the level terrain. And the hit detection is completely unreliable. And enemies creep up from nowhere. Not a pretty sight, is it? If you already have depth perception issues with Crash, Tiny Hands Adventure amplifies it by a hundred times and throws even more garbage on top of that. Every single level in the game has a laundry list of problems the biggest one being that they all rely on an appallingly unpolished platforming framework. You know a game sucks when before nearly every enemy encounter, you have to wonder if your spin attack will register as a hit rather than be a fluke. In fact, there were multiple times where both the enemy and I would die from my stomping on its head.
The dinosaur is a one-hit pansy in a game filled with ways to suddenly kill him; I’ve gone through countless lives and continues to slog through the game. Enemies pop up unexpectedly, hitboxes are all sorts of unreliable, the simplest of platforming jumps become a nightmare to deal with, and boy-howdy does that camera love to mess with your judgment. The only help Tiny Hands Adventure bothers to provide is through item upgrades that are only useful when the game calls for them. The exception is the “grabber”, which can be used for a somewhat more reliable spin attack than anything else. That’s not to say it deters anything from the tidal wave of frustration the game thoroughly wades in.
I could go on and on, but I’m going to stop myself from writing a novel on what Tiny Hands Adventure did wrong. This is one of the worst games I’ve played this year. Playing through any level in the game was a constant struggle, and I miraculously managed to beat the game. It wants me to go back and get all the collectibles I missed, but should I care by this point? I’m done. I’m not playing this again. Tiny Hands Adventure is right up there with Ginger: Beyond the Crystal as a Switch game I look forward to avoiding from this point onward.
They charge $16.99 for this game, by the way. $16.99! $16.99!!!
This trash is not worth a fourth of that.
Review copy provided by Blue Sunset Games