Most helpful critical review
Quite fun and creative, if a bit too short and rough around the edges
on August 26, 2013
Tiny & Big in Grandpa's Leftovers has a lot of really good stuff going for it. The bizarre humor and charm in both the writing and the art style is refreshing and one of the highlights of this game. I played a large majority of this game with a smile on my face, and that's not something that I'm able to say about a lot of games. The fantastic soundtrack is worth mentioning as well, as the mood of the various songs perfectly match the odd, almost pulpy, style of the game.
The star of the game, however, is the physics. Tiny & Big in Grandpa's Leftovers is a puzzle platformer at its core, but the game's hook is how you are able to manipulate the world with your 3 gadgets. The main item, a laser beam that can cut through almost everything you come across, is augmented by a grappling hook and a propelling rocket, which allows you to pull and push the sections of items that you cut with the laser. This forms the core of the majority of the game's puzzles, and not only does this mechanic enhance the smart puzzle designs, but it also creates a very enjoyable gameplay experience. It gives the player a feeling of power, knowing they have that ability to manipulate the world around them in so many different ways. The core concepts of the game are stellar, and one can't help but feel that this game could have been something truly special if the execution had been just a bit more refined.
While the cutting and physics-manipulation portions of the game feel very tight and responsive, actually controlling Tiny and moving him around the landscape can feel stiff and unwieldy, which is a cardinal sin in a game such as this that requires precise 3D platforming. I often found myself struggling with the controls at times, particularly in the more narrow corridors and sections where precise jumps were required. The camera often struggled to accurately track some of my movements. But most disappointingly of all, is the game's length. It can be completed in about 3 hours, but unlike other shorter gaming experiences like Journey and Gone Home, Tiny & Big in Grandpa's Leftovers actually feels too short. This is a shame, as the game really seemed to be hitting its stride towards the end, and a few more levels adding 2 or 3 more hours to the game would have been perfect.
In the end, I enjoyed my time with this game despite its flaws, and am very interested in seeing what this developer does next. There are a lot of really cool things to be found in this game, and even despite its unfulfilled potential, it's a game well worth playing.