The story in Tiny Hands Adventure is rather a hilarious one. A young T-Rex called Borti lives in DinoBurg and is quite a popular guy or should I say dinosaur. However, every time he plays football with his friends he’s put in goal. Which is a problem as the T.Rex isn’t well known for their long arms or big hands. So Borti goes on an adventure to meet a magical fairy to see if she can help him somehow overcome these shortcomings. She tells our young hero that if he collects all the red shards and defeat’s the guardians in each area she will grant him a variety of different tools. These tools will help him in what he seeks.
So with the story set, the adventure begins and this is the one area where I think Tiny Hands Adventure shines! You have 20 levels spread across 5 areas. Each area has 4 levels and a boss battle. To access the guardian e.g. boss battle. You will need to collect a required amount of red shards from the levels beforehand.
Borti has quite a few moves at his disposal, which is actually quite cool. He can move around with the left analogue stick. You can jump with the B button and holding it in a little longer results in a higher jump. You can crouch with the A button and while pressing the A button using the analogue stick pushing down you can crawl. You can attack with a tailspin using the Y button. You can also do a roll attack with the R bumper and using the L bumper will allow you to select which tools you want to use. These tools become available after defeating bosses and allow you to go back through some levels to collect extra gems by using the drill as an example of one of the tools which become available.
My favourite move is the slide ability while running by simply pressing either the A button or ZR trigger to slide underneath lasers or get around quicker. When you’ve picked the tool you want to use, you can attack with it also by pressing the Y button or using its special abilities with the ZL trigger. Borti has a diverse range of moves and it’s one of my favourite features in this little adventure. It allows you to circumnavigate any given situation which is always handy.
Other highlights are the level design which threw up a few surprises. One minute your being chased by a huge rolling boulder Crash Bandicoot style, the next minute you’re playing the game from a bird’s eye view as you scramble through a maze looking for gems. There’s even a level that changes the art style to a 2D cartoon platformer, which is great to see. Trying to change up this typical adventure keeps things fresh and of course, adds a little flavour to the overall gameplay.
In each level there are things to collect and collecting 100 meat earns you one extra life which definitely comes in handy in the later levels. There are boxes to break, checkpoints to hit and TNT to avoid. There are also a few power-ups like shields to protect you from harm. Boxes contain meat but some boxes contain traps also. While running around it’s often difficult to distinguish which is which but that is the point. Nevertheless, it’s frustrating at times because often you will have to redo a section if you perish meaning there is quite a bit of trial and error here.
There’s a handful of enemy types as well, but these don’t put up much of a fight and are easy to defeat. Some can fire projectiles while others walk back and forth. Thankfully a well timed tailspin will make short work of them. Some enemies blend into the background though, especially small toads. I died a few times as I just didn’t see them. Levels are very linear and while this isn’t a bad thing as such it would have been nice if there had been a little more exploration involved other than finding a hidden gem from time to time.
There are some negatives which were annoying and have no place in platforming games. The first is lag when pressing the button to jump. Get too close to the edge of a ledge and pressing the jump button usually results in a fall to your doom. Not cool! Thankfully though it was mostly in the later levels where I encountered this so it didn’t plague the game throughout.
Bosses can also be quite frustrating to fight, as per usual they each have a good few phases for you to learn and figure out the patterns but they are quite tough and after you have died time and time again you end up pulling your hair out. My biggest complaint though with the game and it’s a problem that seems to plague these type of 3D platformers is the camera angles at times. Sometimes your view gets blocked entirely and by not being able to see what you are doing, can, of course, result in death. Very frustrating indeed but be aware this doesn’t happen often.
My last complaint is the fact that this game is probably aimed at younger folk but it’s quite unforgiving seeing as Borti dies in one hit. I don’t mind a challenge but many deaths which occurred were not my fault, either caused by button lag or a camera angle often hampered my progress.
Even with its issues I still enjoyed my time with Tiny Hands Adventure. I get a lot of nostalgic value from it. It reminds me of Croc on the original PlayStation and Crash Bandicoot. The game also supports screenshots and video capture which is always a bonus if you use those features.
The music here is ok, there is quite a bit to listen too but it’s quite generic in my view and there is nothing stand out in the audio design which is a little bit of a shame. The sound effects are all fine but again nothing that stands out.
Visuals and Performance
The visuals are bright and colourful, the game pops off the screen. Borti is quite a nice looking main character and is designed quite well. I mean he looks like a miniature T Rex! and when he jumps his little hat bounces off his head and back again. Nice little touches to bring the character to life. The backgrounds are also nicely designed and colourful.
The performance takes a hit now and again with a little slowdown and the button lag from time to time in later levels. My biggest disappointment was experiencing a game crashing bug. I got to the second last area on a level called Great Ice Wall. I found jumping across ledges nearly impossible due to the delay after pressing the jump button. My character would jump a second later resulting in death almost every time.
I must have tried nearly 20 times with the same result. Once I got across after multiple goes, the game crashed on me. So I tried a few more times and it happened 4 times in a row, which was such a huge disappointment after enjoying the game up until that point.
The development team have said there is a patch in the works but this is a game breaking bug right now, at least in my experience and is something you need to be aware of. There are glitches where you can fall through a level to your death at times especially in the cartoon world. So all in all performance is a disappointment here, especially at this price point.
At £16.99 it’s at the high end of Indie titles on the Switch and there are so many worthy titles that deserve your cash. What’s here is enjoyable for the most part and I did have fun playing the game.
There is extra incentive to replay as some tools that you unlock can be taken back to previous levels to acquire all the shape gems. There are challenges you can complete to add some extra replay value. There are even extra skins to unlock. I feel like it’s worth the investment for younger players who will enjoy what’s on offer. However, for players like myself, who’ve played countless other platformers, they may find this adventure lacks the challenge you are after. Dying from dodgy camera angles do not count!
Nice theme to the worlds
Borti has a good range of moves
Decent replay value
Glitches and a game breaking bug encountered
Input lag when jumping later in game