Tales Of The Tiny Planet is one of a number of games that have arrived on Switch from the mobile gaming world; by taking games that have found success on those devices, and then adding some new elements or generally sprucing things up a little, we’ve been treated to some very welcome ports indeed. While not every one of these projects feels like a particularly necessary addition to the eShop, we’re happy to report that TOTTP falls into the happy category of games that truly deserve to make it to the system.
The concept of this game is an extremely simple one; as some kind of overlord and guardian of multiple, cute, colourful planets, your job is to guide each friendly face from a starting point to an end goal. You do this by manipulating pieces of the scenery, but this is all done with one button press (or press of the touchscreen if you prefer). There is a standard ‘out-of-three-stars’ scoring system for each level based on the time you manage to complete them in, and you’ll need a certain amount of stars to unlock the next world.
The simple, one-button style of gameplay makes many of the game’s levels really easy to beat and you’ll likely finish off some of the six main worlds rather quickly. This lack of control options actually starts to become the main challenge in the game’s harder level offerings, though; the best levels require you to learn an exact route that your planet must follow, with perfect, precisely timed button presses being needed throughout. Your button press will make multiple pieces of scenery behave in different ways at the same time, so you need to keep an eye on the whole screen.
Depending on your personal preferences, of course, things can get even more enjoyable in the Switch-exclusive co-op mode. If you choose to play with a friend you’ll each take control of some of the movable parts of the levels, adding effective communication to the list of required skills. Similar in a way to games such as Switch launch title Snipperclips, this works best if you haven’t seen the levels before so that players can figure out how to progress together. We’d advise playing in the mode that tickles your fancy the most from the start.
Unfortunately, one negative aspect of this new multiplayer mode is that the sections you each control can be difficult to spot. Each world in the game has its own colour scheme, which is lovely to see in the single-player mode, but causes issues when the movable sections are split between two players; each player’s individual parts are made up of ever-so-slightly different shades of the same colour. For anyone with any sight issues, especially relating to colour blindness or similar, seeing the difference will likely be rather challenging, especially when trying to react fast in harder levels.
The bright colours are just the start of the game’s charm, though; the planets all have strange and (kind of) cute voices as they bounce around the levels, and the main theme that plays throughout in the background is lovely. In fact, we’ve been humming it non-stop ever since we first loaded the game. It won’t take you long to complete the game’s main levels (there are some particularly brutal extra ones to unlock at the very end), and it may all be wrapped up in a very simple package, but it’s an adorable little game to play through.
Perhaps the biggest issue here, though, and one that we see being a concern for many potential players, is the asking price. This isn’t the biggest game in the world by any stretch, and even with the included ‘Marathon’ mode (which tasks you with completing an entire world in one run-through without any breaks to set the fastest time), and the co-op mode that is new to the Switch version, the asking price seems a little steep when compared to the pricing on other platforms. TOTTP is a great way for a couple of friends to spend an evening or two together, but the price doesn’t quite reflect the amount of time you’ll get from the game.
Tales Of The Tiny Planet is charming, colourful, and deceptively fun. The single-button approach to the game’s levels means that it is accessible for all players, yet still presents a decent amount of challenge for the more experienced puzzle fan. We do feel that the asking price at launch (especially in European territories) feels slightly out of place, however; while every moment of the game is enjoyable, the amount of content on offer doesn’t quite match the cost. If you’re looking for a new puzzle game that is easy to pick up, and especially if you want to play through it with a friend, TOTTP will definitely fill that void. Just make sure you’re willing to part with the necessary funds.