posted a minute ago by Matt Paxton


 

After finally acquiring a computer powerful enough to run this game (I had a pretty old computer), I decided to finish what I started, and review Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers!  This game is definitely not something you come across everyday.


Tiny and Big: Grandpa's Leftovers is presented to you by Black Pants Studio, a game company out of Kassel, Germany. Using a home-made physics engine, known as the Scape Engine, the six people at Black Pants Games created a wonderful combination of exploration and platforming.


Story:

The story is not a head-scratcher.  You are Tiny, an inventor who travels around with his robot creation, The Radio. Underpants that were given to you by your grandpa (hence the title,Grandpa’s Leftovers), They were stolen by Big, and you have to get them back in order to redeem your family’s honor. 


The exposition is not long or droning.  Short dialogue between Tiny and The Radio will occur at the beginning of each level, and stays short and to the point.  The dialogue between each of the characters is charming. Exchanges between Tiny and Big are never too dramatic or serious, with petty insults such as “nerd” or “loser” being thrown back and forth during confrontations. 

 

Near the end of the game, there is a short backstory of the underpants that feels extremely dark and out of place with the rest of the game's tone.  That being said, the way they tell the story is captivating. Instead of a flashback, the screen pans across murals on the walls. There is some commentary by Tiny and The Radio, but most of the reactions are left up to the player.



Level Design:


While the levels are not long, they are extremely large.  Combined with the ability to manipulate almost any object, the level design gives off an aesthetic of wonder and exploration.  There were many points in the game where a distant ledge caught my eye, and I spent the next 20 minutes stacking rubble in order to reach said ledge.  Most of the time, my curiosity was rewarded with a new tape track or a boring stone (the stones are more exciting than they sound).




Boring stones are scattered throughout the levels and act as markers, so if you get lost, keep an eye out for glowing rocks. 


There are only a few structures in the game, but the level you are able to explore them is incredible.  While there are a few classes of objects (pillars, walls, floors), they vary in design, so most pieces feel unique and can make you believe the object was once part of a larger structure.


Exploration levels are broken up with fights between Tiny and Big.  The way the fights are approached is exciting and unique. Big will use his pants magic to throw rocks, boulders, and other debris at you, and you have to cut them down and destroy the platforms he stands on. Cutting objects flying at you at high speeds is exciting, and gives the fights a fast and frantic pace. 


However, this concept is used in every fight, and   quickly becomes tiresome, even if the action is still at a fast-pace.

 

Overall, the game is pretty short.  Most people should be able to complete this in around three hours.  Getting 100% in the game is a different issue.  There are tapes, stones, and arcade machines that are scattered throughout each level, and you’ll spend a bit of time trying to track them all down.


Also hidden in each level is an arcade machine. These wondrous devices take you to a shot mini-game that challenges your reflexes and mastery of your tools.



Mechanics:


You have three tools in your arsenal: The Rocket, The Grappler, and The Laser Cutter. All three will help
you push, pull, and cut rocks down.


The physics engine makes sense in most cases.  Columns tip over, and stones roll (as well as play awesome rock music).  Every so often, a piece of rubble will move erratically after a cut, especially when it comes to large objects. For most cases, objects will move how you expect.


The ability to manipulate almost any object gives you multiple ways to solve the games puzzles.  However, most of the time you will find yourself moving pillars over gaps, or cutting a wall in half to ascend it.


Cutting down giant walls and buildings gives the player a powerful feeling, and it is euphoric to watch mighty structures crumble before your laser (just as long as the building does not accidentally fall on you).

 

The ability to solve puzzle multiple ways is one of the biggest highlights of Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers. Stacking platforms and building ramps are just a few of the things you can do to progress in the game. “Oh, I guess that works, too” was a commonly uttered phrase in this game. Unfortunately, some puzzles can only be solved one way. If you mess up, you’ll have to kill yourself since the game does not have an “undo” button for your actions. 



Controls:


Controls are incredibly easy to learn and master.  Your mouse button and arrow keys will be doing all of the heavy lifting.  If mouse and keyboard aren’t your style, Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers supports several types of controllers, including Xbox 360 and Logitech controllers. 


Running and jumping is a bit floaty, which comes back to bite you in times where precise platforming is needed, which thankfully, is not too often.


The biggest gripe I have is how little control you have on the camera.  The camera can be moved in all directions, but it cannot zoom in or out manually.  The camera will zoom depending on your relative position from rubble.  This is good for when you are ducking under large rocks, but when trying to move around various objects, the camera can frantically zoom around, leading you to fall off of the nearest cliff. 

 

 

Let’s Wrap this Up:

 

The game has a few hiccups here and there, mostly from the controls and camera work, but Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s Leftovers is definitely worth your time.  There are two prices to choose from when purchasing this game. The $9.99 version gets you the game, but the $14.99 version nabs you the game, plus the soundtrack to play wherever you go.  I got more than my money’s worth with this soundtrack, so I definitely recommend the $14.99 soundtrack package.

 

The game was a bit short for my taste, but that should not be a deal breaker for anyone on the fence about purchasing this game.  Just like the many possibilities in solving the game’s puzzles, I look foreword to the many possibilities the game mechanics in Tiny and Big: Grandpa’s Leftoverscan be used in future games.