Tinykin Is One of the Most Unabashedly Charming Games I've Ever Played

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Many moons ago I bought a game for my son on his ninth birthday called Pikmin that had been recently released for the Nintendo Gamecube. That little slice of real-time strategy whimsy was designed by the great Shigeru Miyamoto himself and his deft touches showed through in both its colorful and elegant design. And while my son liked the game well enough, there was a friend of his who lived down the street named Jimmy who became absolutely obsessed with the damn Pikmin and was knocking on our door every day to play it – the game had that kind of magical pull about it. 
Fast forward several years and my son wound up buying Pikmin 3 on the ill-fated Nintendo Wii U for his youngest sister (they are twelve years apart) for her eighth birthday. Weird how these things come full circle sometimes.
Here we are now, a good nine years later and Splashteam/tinyBulid has released a rather similar slice of whimsy which has a comparable pull to it (and I would definitely call it a spiritual successor to the Pikimin franchise) called Tinykin. The best way to describe Tinykin is: It’s as if the worlds of Steven Universe and Pikmin somehow collided into one another, causing a “new” Big Bang which births a new universe that’s named Tinykin. 
So, what is this Tinykin really about, I can hear you incredulously asking. Well, it’s set in the distant future and a scientist/astronaut/time-traveler named Milo (akin to Pikmin’s adorable Captain Olimar) has “re-discovered” Earth. He'll go down in history with this discovery for sure, but as he lands on the planet, he has to grapple with a few problems: He's now as small as a penny. And nobody is around. And it's the mid-’90s which is driven home by the prevalence of cassette tapes, 3.5” floppy disks, and music CD’s that enhance the décor of many of the levels.
Milo will then have to investigate a giant house as a tiny being in a BIG world, but he can jump, hover, and skateboard (well, soapboard, really) around platforms and obstacles. He comes across a society of insects that’s built a sprawling city inside this house replete with a stadium in the bath, a nightclub inside the couch, and a casino under the bed. But the true draw here are the mysterious Tinykin which are alien creatures with special powers, and much like in Pikmin the different colorations of the Tinykin denote different abilities to become ladders, bridges, carry large objects, activate machines, and even become explosive devices if need be. And hell, the names Pikmin and Tinykin even look and/or sound the same…I don’t think that happened by any surreptitious “accident.”
Regardless, this game is as charming as all get out. Beyond its certifiable cuteness and distinct nods to the classic Miyamoto design paradigms, it has sly references to Star Wars, Doubting Thomas from the Christian Gospels, the rivalry between Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla, and many, many more. All of this is punctuated by a sublime musical score by Alexis Laugier that rivals the best of what any of today’s animated films or TV shows offer.
I’ve written this before about other games (most recently Huntdown), but I’ll write it again here because it’s very true in Tinykin’s case as well: If you don’t dig Tinykin, then you don’t dig fun, and I feel sorry for you.
Tinykin is currently available on pretty much every viable platform (PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch) under the sun, but there’s no talk of a mobile release as of yet, but I think it would work exceptionally well on mobile platforms...so, who knows? In the meantime, if you are looking for an experience like Tinykin for mobile devices look no further than Pikmin Bloom which I honestly haven’t played but a good many people seem to dig…no pun intended.
 
💬 Have you played Pikmin, Tinykin, or any “cutesy” RTS before? If so, what are your favorites? Also, what are your favorite Miyamoto designed Nintendo games? Please share them in the comments down below!
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Niko Busch
Niko Busch
1
it NOT PIKMIN IT TINYKIN
10/24/2022
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JB
JB
TapTap Editor
JB
Author
I know. Relax...jeez. 🙄
10/24/2022
Edward Hawkins
Edward Hawkins
1
not too bad of a game did not like the graphics you're not like to ask you
09/10/2022
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JB
JB
TapTap Editor
JB
Author
1
What didn't you like about the graphics?
09/12/2022
shad the box
shad the box
2
This game reminds me of paper Mario but cartoony :)
09/11/2022
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JB
JB
TapTap Editor
JB
Author
2
Yeah, that's a good comparison in some ways.
09/12/2022
Eugenie sylvia Luma
Eugenie sylvia Luma
1
what is so game
09/09/2022
JB
JB
TapTap Editor
JB
Author
1
What so good about it? Well, it does everything right, is a blast to play, and for good measure does all of this in a super cute, well-designed world. Trust me.
09/09/2022
hRichie Delayo
hRichie Delayo
1
I love all games
09/16/2022
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