Category: Gaming

Some games stand out for having a quirky, standout graphics style. Some stand out for smooth, natural feeling gameplay. Some stand out because you can zoom around a room on a bar of soap, kickflipping and grinding your way over obstacles. Tinykin is a game that manages to encapsulate all of these.

Tinykin, from developer Splashteam and published by Tinybuild is a puzzle-platformer that puts you in the role of Milo, an astronaut from the future who re-discovers Earth. However, when he is beamed down from his spaceship, he finds the house stuck in the 1990’s, and he is now only an inch tall. And to top this off, no humans are to be seen, but the house is inhabited by a civilisation of a variety of sentient insects.

The graphics are immediately gripping, with a unique blend of fully 3D environments, with 2D cartoon character models. While not like anything I usually gravitate towards, I found them charming and kept my interest throughout.

The alpha demo that we played gave us a short tutorial to get the hang of transversal, then introduced us to the titular characters, the Tinykin. The Tinykin are minion-like creatures with different abilities. The full release is planning on five varieties, but we got to use two in this demo.

The pink Tinykin are useful for moving objects, either by commanding enough of them to lift something heavy, or by throwing them at a coffee mug, for example, until it is no longer blocking your way to another area of the level. The red Tinykin are explosives that will destroy objects around the level to unlock shortcuts, or to get collectables. Solving puzzles with these guys is very reminiscent of Nintendo’s Pikmin, but I found this more instinctive on how to use them.

Exploring the levels is made quite enjoyable with the inclusion of a “soapboard”. This is literally a bar of soap Milo uses like a skateboard to cross terrain quickly. Jumping while riding makes you able to jump over or onto objects, and while it has no impact on gameplay, the little kickflip Milo does is super adorable. All hard edges are also grindable. While I did not find anywhere this was necessary to reach a part of the level, this may be different in the final game and would make for some interesting platforming.

The length of the demo was quite generous, taking me 2-2.5 hours to complete. While this was for just one room of the house complete with sidequests, the final release looks to have five additional rooms, so you should be able to get a decent amount of playtime from this game.

Overall, I am looking forward to getting more time into this when the full game is released later this year.

Are you familiar with the Postal series? I’ll admit, I had a passing knowledge of the series, that included knowing of its over-the-top violence, rampages and niche humour. I was keen to give this one a try, knowing I had friends who raved about Postal 2 back when it came out.

So, when I booted Postal 4: No Regerts up for the first time, I was keenly interested in seeing what it actually felt like to play. Through the intro cinematic, the game set the scene quite nicely, and was a good litmus test to whether I would fit in the target audience for this game. Unfortunately, I don’t think I did.

Postal 4: No Regerts title screen

Postal 4 has returned to the first person shooter style that it moved away from in the previous instalment. The gameplay was…adequate. Nothing glaringly bad, but also nothing that seemed unique or pushed any boundaries of the genre.

Gunplay was quite smooth, and the variety of weapons ensured it didn’t feel super repetitive, the way some games shoehorn you into using just one or two guns for the duration of the playthrough.

However, I did feel the controls for using items was pulled from the code of something from the early 2000’s. The old style previous/next item buttons to scroll through your inventory, and one button to use the selected item. This was fine at the start, but within a half hour of playing I had enough items it seemed like a chore to do.

The also story left a lot to be desired. The player character “Postal Guy” has his car and caravan stolen and loses everything, then must find work to get back on his feet. This story is peppered with some attempts at humour that never hit the mark with me. Going through town seeing some already dated references like a parody of Joe Exotic, or playing off Donald Trump’s misogynistic quote about grabbing women in an attempt for a cheap laugh fell flat. This may be amusing for fans of “Stoner Comedy” movies, but I don’t see a wide audience enjoying it.