Tiny Galaxy, Big Problems
Super Mario Galaxy is one of my favorite games of all time. Now, that was a 3D platformer obviously, but it seems like the idea to make a game that was similar, moving from planet to planet in a 2D plane, should have been made already. Well, now it has with Tiny Galaxy, developed by just one guy! Is the game one that will pull you in or one that will send you off course?
Tiny Galaxy has a simple premise. You trot around miniature planets, (hopefully) avoiding obstacles, and collecting three stars to open the exit portal to complete the level. Levels are made up of multiple miniature planets that require you to jump from one planet to another when you're in their gravitational pull. This boils down to jumping when you're on one planet with the intended planet you want to land on being directly above you.
|The goal of each level is to collect three stars|
and reach the end portal while surviving.
|I came, I saw, I came and got killed by a saw.|
Furthermore, the camera isn't the greatest. Now, while a fixed camera might have been better for Tiny Galaxy to null any players who might become nauseous with the camera moving around a planet as Orion walks around it, what is an obvious problem is how the camera transitions between when you move from one planet to another. When protagonist Orion jumps to a new planet, he's at the bottom of it, so the camera needs to spin around to situate itself right for the player. The main issue here is that this camera transition takes a couple of sometimes crucial seconds to occur. Some hazards can kill you while this process takes places, and while you can move Orion during this transition, moving in the proper and necessary direction when the camera is upside-down is a bit confusing and challenging.
|There's no time to chill out, Orion! Get moving!|
On the presentation side of things, Tiny Galaxy shines. Each world has its own sense of ambiance with planets that fit the theme of the world. Even though the worlds borrow from the traditional, perhaps cliche, tropes of games, such as the ice world and the tropical world, the levels are visually attractive and well themed. The music is passable. It doesn't hurt or accentuate the action that happens on screen. It's merely there. Meanwhile, the opening still frame cutscene is pleasantly done and enjoyable to watch. It's low tech, but it gets the job done.
|The environmental design is rather nice in Tiny Galaxy.|
[SPC Says: D]
Review copy provided by Taylor Hajash.