Category: first impressions

My thoughts on Tiny Galaxy

Where to start..

I got a free download of the PC version of Tiny Galaxy by @ArcanePixel when I made a donation to the Epilepsy Foundation during @IndieGamerChick‘s 26th birthday. Looked like a cute enough platformer, for PC and soon WiiU – great!

Quick overview of the game: you run on the outside of planets, jumping from one to the other while being attracted by the next one’s gravity pull, collecting enough stars to open a black hole to get out of the level and go to the next one. All that to get back to a bully who stole your headphones (…yeah whatever).

I played the first world for about an hour… after 30 mins I thought to myself I’ll finish World 1 and that’ll be it.. but I finally got to level 9 (out of 10 for that world) and decided I had quite enough 🙂 I’m not a big fan of tough platformers (for example, I have no love for playing Super Meat Boy while I can appreciate it is really well made) and that probably won’t change much as I just get to be an older and older fart.

I did have time to take down notes of stuff that annoyed me.. Really not to bash the game, but because they all seemed to be things that could be improved (I’d say easily, but maybe I’d wait to have actually made a game myself to push it there :)) :

  • The game should tell you how many stars you have collected on the level so far
  • There should be a sound when the black hole appears / when all stars have been collected
  • The total number of stars listed on the selection doesn’t mean anything, since you have to collect all stars to clear a level (after getting all stars on 8 out of 10 levels of World 1, it didn’t seem to open up anything new)
  • The one-hit-restart-the-whole-level thing was annoying. Maybe allow to take 2-3 hits? Call it easy or grandpa mode.
  • The font used to number the levels on the selection screen.. yikes.
  • There’s NOTHING indicating what levels have been completed on the selection screen
  • PC: play levels with keyboard, select levels with the mouse. Annoying to switch back and forth. Guessing level selection on the WiiU is touch on the pad. Bad translation to PC controls if that’s the case.
  • PC: no controller support ?!?!?
  • Loose the superfluous exclamation points (World 1: “Meadow!”)
  • Seems to be a bit of lag between the camera shifting the whole level view when you start/stop running around a planet, especially noticeable on small ones
  • Controls could be tighter / jumps felt a bit floaty at times (what I called camera lag contributed)
  • On level 6 jumping from a planet to the final one, close to the black hole, I was actually pushed away from it and out the level..!
  • Would have liked the possibility of zooming out a bit to see more of the level to look for remaining stars
  • Graphics are ok but firmly in the programmer art category
  • Could use more music
  • Saws going back and forth in a straight line freely while in the same spot gravity pulls YOU in different directions doesn’t make sense. Mechanically ok, but doesn’t tie in with the theme

So this one is really not for me, but I can see people liking it no problem.. But I still think it could use some more time in the oven to add polish everywhere – maybe as an eventual update.

De Blob 2 cover

This one can be bought really cheap – I snagged it at 15$CAN last month, and it even went on sale on PSN for 10$ recently. I’m two levels in (completed with an S grade) and so far it is a HD version of the first title on the Wii, which is not saying it is a bad thing.

You, again, have to save the city from morosity by painting it over while freeing captive citizens and battling the forces of INKT. This time around there’s more power-ups letting you for example power dash heavy objects or automatically pick the right color to apply to buildings. The trees still need to be reanimated and propaganda posters redone as side objectives in each part of the city.

Really colourful and fun. Jumping with a button press is smoother than making a motion with the Wiimote (I don’t have the Move to experiment with its support) but I don’t remember fiddling that much with the camera in the original, especially to look up searching for collectibles.

I’m still waiting to see if the difficulty ramps up annoyingly quick in the last third like the original, or if the upgrade system helps this somewhat. I also have yet to ask my gf to control the robot to test out the limited coop mode..

Great start, looking forward to playing it again. Looks like a perfect palette cleanser between more hardcore stuff.

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