Tiny Brains for PlayStation 4 has Big Ideas - Preview

By Matt Ashbaugh, June 12, 2013
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After having worked on AAA titles like Assassin's Creed and Dead Space 3, the founders of Spearhead Games started their own indie development studio to get back to what mattered to them... having fun with friends.  This focus is what gave birth to a little game called Tiny Brains.

E3 Trailer

A four player local co-op puzzle platformer coming to the PS4, it is definitely a unique and charming experience.  This is especially notable in who you control. 

TinyBrains01

Or I guess WHAT is more accurate

These animals are the titular Tiny Brains that have been experimented on to the point of having superpowers.  There is a bat with the power to force push, a rabbit with the power to pull objects towards it, a rat with the power to swap the  position of itself and another object, and then a hamster that can create walls of ice.  

Together, under the watchful eye of their creator/head lab scientist, they are set upon various challenges and experiments to test how well they can work together. 

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Yes, indeed, they are tiny.

In the demo I played, the four were tasked with numerous brain bending puzzles.  Some were as simple as getting a ball in a hole.  Some were more action oriented where you had to protect a small pink chick (of the chicken variety, not of the 50's slang for young woman variety) from other more vicious chickens for a time period.  The animals do not speak but your head lab scientist does talk to you throughout with a GLaDOS-esque dark humor that motivates you through some light berating.  

One of the more challenging tasks required all four to work together.  We needed to bring a powersource that was across a gap and around a corner to a plug by us.  So the hamster had to create an ice platform and before it melted the rat had to hop on to it and be pushed into the gap by  the bat.  This allowed the rat to swap places with the powersource and the rabbit could then pull it towards the plug hopefully before it too fell in the pit. 

TinyBrains03

This would have been a communication challenge (especially since I was playing this with three strangers) if not for the clever use of the Dualshock 4's touchpad.  Touching it would cause an arrow to appear on screen which could be used to indicate where you want people to go.  

This added up to a very simple to pick up puzzle game where the true challenge is working like a team. The aesthetics are bright and the design of the puzzles very clever.  This is definitely a game and a studio to keep your eye on.  

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