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Truly One of a Kind: Tinykin Review

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Tinykin Game Logo

Walking the boundary between genres is a tense game for developers and artists alike. Err too much on one side, and you cheapen both experiences, making a potential pot of gold into a flop. Luckily for fans of Banjo Kazooie, Pikmin, and, strangely, Tony Hawk, there is a game out there that combines the best of all three games into a unique package: Tinykin.

Platforms: Switch, PS5, PS4, Xbox One, Windows, Steam [Reviewed]
Developers: Splashteam, Splashteam S.A.S.
Publisher: tinyBuild
Release: October 7, 2022
MSRP: $24.99

Press Copy provided by tinyBuild

Tinykin Gameplay

Tinykin isn’t revolutionary by any stretch of the imagination. In its simplest, most watered-down form, it is a 3d exploration adventure game. You gather Tinykin, who then help solve puzzles, but this does not grasp the fundamentals that make this game great. So, let’s start from the core. Accomplishing goals in an adventure game requires moving around. Some games are stiff in their execution of this mechanic, relying too much on gimmicks or slowing you down to pad content.

Tinykin Movement Controls

For the creators of Tinykin, this must have been a seriously fun challenge to overcome since the movement is both innovative and satisfying. You ride a bar of soap like a skateboard. Edges of level geometry can be ground to speed you up, and wires can be created using Tinykin that you can then ride across entire levels. The level design is set up in layers, sometimes vertical and sometimes not, that challenge you to take big leaping steps and then return to the details, looking under every newspaper tent and bookcase for collectibles you may have missed. It is intensely refreshing and profoundly fun.

You have skateboarding movement with Pikmin-style puzzle solutions, combined neatly with a huge collectathon that challenges you to use the tools put in front of you. All of this can fail if the presentation is not taken into account. Put simply, the presentation is a work of art in and of itself. Its cutscenes are reminiscent of cartoons from the 90s or point-and-click adventures like Day of the Tentacle.

Tinykin Movement

The music is subdued but optimistic, and in classic style, your Tinykin brethren will sing along with it as they carry items. This fits the theme as well as compliments the incredible visuals by not taking too much attention. While you may have seen the trope where people shrink and have adventures in a world that is suddenly huge, many attempts at this in gaming fail to take into account the various nooks and crannies that make big objects seem real. It’s impossible to summarize, but when you open a drawer, normally, you expect there to be something in there. In a game like Grounded with a similar theme, it’s empty, but in Tinykin, it’s not just full; you have to move stuff around to see it all.

Tinykin’s house setting seems real to me, but with modifications for gameplay that feel natural to account for the ins and outs of the story. The setting, vibrant colors, and charming but simple cast of characters, combined with satisfying and adorable sound design, ensure that the gameplay isn’t the only thing you notice even within the first hour of play.

Tinykin Forest Area

Taken together as a package, this is an unforgettable and adorable glimpse into a bright future for 3d adventure games. Many are understandably left disillusioned by similar games kickstarted into launch-day obscurity by bad team management and financial difficulties or, just frankly, bad game design. But you can find sincere comfort in the genre's future in this quirky little gem of a game. Pick this one up on sale or not, and you won’t regret it.


  • Great performance even in large world
  • Progression is fun
  • Movement is tight and addicting
  • World is fun to explore
  • Writing is cute and funny
  • Presentation is unique and beautiful
  • Level design is immaculate
  • Great music


  • Items are sometimes too well hidden
  • The next objective is often confusing
  • No combat (this could be a pro)



Excellent games have our official recommendation and are examples of what every game should strive to be. These games feature exciting gameplay, engaging stories (when applicable), intuitive controls and movement, polished and fitting presentations, and good value. Above all else, these games are truly fun to play.

About the Author: Collin Westbrook

Collin Westbrook joined in 2010 to help with Zelda Castle, and has since rejoined the staff multiple times throughout Nintendo Castle's existence. He is a lover of strategy games, platformers, and everything Nintendo. Look out for him editing guides, writing articles, and helping the site in whatever way he can.

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