review
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POSTED 18/1/14


TINY BRAINS

Spearhead Games/505 Games
PS4/PSN (also on PS3/PSN, Xbox 360/XBLA, PC)

Indie inventiveness never ceases to amaze us. A game about a quartet of Placebo singers – brilliant!

What? Oh, ‘Brains’. Oops...

The thinking thingies of miniscule proportions in question are those of a quartet of lab animals, genetically altered so as to be super-powered. Dax Bat can push stuff, Minsc Hamster can conjure exploding ice blocks, mouse Pad can swap spots with stuff and rabbit Stew tastes delightful with a frisky bottle of red. Oh alright, he has a built-in Dyson-like ability – and would likely taste great with a frisky bottle of red.
 
So what? Well, they all converge in the name of liberty, which we would too if somebody imprisoned us and fucked with our genetic recipes. In what’s a kind of puzzletastic The Great Escape, just with less motorcycles and barbed wire and more collectible cheese, those aforementioned powers prove vital in cracking environmental puzzles littered throughout the sprawling laboratory.

Teamwork’s key, and while you can traverse the dumpy few hours of main campaign all on your lonely, flipping through each character as required, it’s much more funtastic with others. This can be accomplished via recruiting strangers from far flung IP addresses, but the best bit is that you and three friends can jam buttocks together on a couch and go old school one room brainbox-teaming. Even better, if you’re not rich in PS4 controllers, you can use a Vita. You just need to be rich in Vita, we guess.

Puzzles range from “well duh!” to “Fuck, has somebody jammed a playthrough on YouTube?”, and can usually be tackled in various ways. Playtime’s embiggened via separate challenges involving everything from playing with balls to a form of soccer. Erm, balls are popular here.

If you’re flying solo then Tiny Brains isn’t the messiah, but if you’ve friends armed with PS4 controllers (and pizza money) then it’s a very doughty buy.

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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2014. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.