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Tinykin has some sweet insect designs, especially if you dig Paper Mario


A fresh look at Splashteam’s adventure platformer

Sometimes, you hear about a game, take a look, come away feeling positive, and put a pin in it. That’s where I was at with Tinykin, a critter-flinging insect adventure from Splashteam and TinyBuild that’s building off some of my favorite Nintendo titles — Pikmin and Paper Mario — in different ways. If you’ve heard of Tinykin before, you’ll get where I’m coming from here; if not, this latest story trailer is the perfect jumping-off point. It’s a polished-up package that’s selling me on a game I thought I was already plenty sold on.

Let co-directors Marie Marquet and Romain Claude paint a pint-sized picture:

As they explain in the gameplay-filled trailer, Tinykin is a journey about a shrunken boy, Milo, in a strange land of insects. Unlike Obsidian’s Grounded, though, this isn’t a surprisingly scary survival outing — it’s a more laid-back exploration-platformer vibe.

And those insect designs! They look so crisp and creative. Let’s run through a few.

*Solaria*, huh? I already want to team up with this hero

Don’t be alarmed, but there are religious dragonflies

And shifty-looking postal workers

Dung beetles can be cuties, too

Someone needs to keep the wine flowing

The orchid mantis aesthetic is top-notch

Even if the visuals were a bit lacking, I’d be pretty into this basic concept of roaming an unfamiliar land while strategically bossing around little pipsqueaks to carve a path forward and return home. But the clean 2D meets detailed enough 3D art direction makes a strong impression. In the tireless war for players’ attention, we’re at a point where good gameplay and good art aren’t enough on their own in so many cases, so it’s nice to see this pairing in a less commonly seen sub-genre. (Here’s to you too, Wild at Heart.)

This isn’t the first or last we’ve heard from Tinykin, but I thought it was worth a refresh.

For more, circle back on the prior gameplay trailer. Splashteam is aiming to release Tinykin in summer 2022 for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, Xbox, and PC.

Jordan Devore

Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.