PlayStation 4
enfrdeitptrues
boxart
Game Info:
Tiny Brains
Developed by: Spearhead Games
Published by: Spearhead Games
Release Date: November 15, 2013
Available On: PC, PS4 (reviewed)
Genre: Puzzle
Number of players: Up to four players multiplayer
ESRB Rating: E 10+
Price: $19.99
(Amazon affiliate link)

Thank you Spearhead Games for sending us this game to review!

Tiny Brains is a 3D multiplayer puzzle game developed and published by Spearhead Games.    The premise is relatively simple but the puzzles within require teamwork and some patience.  A mad Russian scientist has mutated four rodents and has given them unique abilities including making exploding ice blocks, teleporting, and pushing or pulling objects.  These critters are tired of his experiments and are trying to make a break for it.

While this game is designed for multiple players, it can be enjoyed solo since players can switch to an unused character at any given time.   (Trying to get my children to switch characters in a timely fashion was an exercise in futility.)  The levels dynamically adjust to cater to the number of players in the game.

Highlights:

Strong Points: Unique characters with special abilities required to solve the various puzzles
Weak Points: Multiplayer practically required; frustrating controls
Moral Warnings: Cartoon violence

Besides the main campaign, there are minigames and challenges to unlock.    One of the challenges was to see how far we could move the ball down the tunnel in the limited amount of time we had.  There is also a soccer minigame that is available from the get go.  The controls are a bit confusing in this minigame.   I expected to be able to kick the ball in the direction I wanted it to go, instead I had to be in front of the ball and teleport it in my desired path.

Most of the story mode levels require you to provide power to or depress buttons to unlock the exit to the next area.  This aspect of the game reminded me of Portal with more abilities and no GLaDOS.  My kids and I did not like the levels or the challenge where you had to help a pink creature survive waves of incoming bunny chicks and angry roosters.   Fortunately many of the puzzles have multiple solutions, so that's nice.  After you complete a level or sometimes half-way through it, your progress is automatically saved.

I was pleasantly surprised that my Vita via Remote Play was able to be used as a primary controller.  This freed up our (only) two PS4 controllers for my kids to join in.   To allow them to play, we had to set the game into "offline" mode and create guest accounts on our PS4 for them.   If your PS4 already has guest accounts setup, this will not be an issue.    

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 68%
Gameplay - 12/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 3/5

Morality Score - 96%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

The characters and levels are unique and colorful.  I like how everything is so big and makes you feel as small as the rodent you're playing.  There is some cartoon violence, but there is no blood, even when you fall down into a pit of moving gears.  

The background music is pleasant but forgettable.  The cartoon style sound effects are fitting and don't seem out of place.  I like the silly puns and accent from the mad Russian scientist.

While Tiny Brains is family friendly and cute, the controls and gameplay can be frustrating at times.  If you like cooperative multiplayer puzzles like those found in Portal 2, you may enjoy this game.  If you don't have enough friends, patience, or controllers to play with, I would skip this title.  If you're still tempted, I have seen the PC Steam edition of this game available for half the price of the PS4 version.    

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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