App developers and gamers alike seem to love slinging small creatures around, so it’s no surprise to see plenty of new games attempting to capitalize on this odd factoid. The latest attempt to fill the void left behind after beating Cut the Rope and Angry Birds for the umpteenth time is Tiny Places. It’s a game that seems mechanically designed purely for this reason.
Tiny Places focuses on a strange little critter named Napoleon the Chameleon who is able to move only by catching his long, sticky tongue on specific points in each level. Why the chameleon is a quadriplegic is never explained, but he’s entirely at the cruel mercy of the game’s physics to reach the exit hole on each board. Along the way, there are three starflies to gobble up in order to score the ever-popular three-star rating.
You’ve got to hold on.
Napoleon is moved by slinging him toward a sticking point and (unless he hits it directly), tapping at just the right time to catch it with his tongue. The slinging mechanic should prove instantly familiar to most gamers, but manually tapping to try to catch a point is rather annoying. The game is also hampered by somewhat unresponsive control and inconsistent inertial effects. Since the little guy can only fling over things (or against the bouncy level walls), landing on anything out of reach of a swinging point means starting over.
There are three different worlds to conquer, each with 16 levels, and the level design is generally decent. Some of the later levels are noticeably difficult, however– especially when trying to catch all the flies. The game’s visuals are solid, if not exceptional, and the developer promises more content soon. While the occasional control issues can be annoying, the main problem with Tiny Places is how completely unoriginal it looks, feels, and acts. If you’re looking for just this sort of game, it’s passable, but otherwise unremarkable.