It feels like we’ve officially hit a Renaissance with games that feel like they are love letters to the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis era. I’ve been getting emails about these types of games weekly. All of them trying to make an impression. The latest game trying to make its mark is an action-adventure platformer, called Tiny Thor. Is this game worth adding to your video game backlog? This Tiny Thor review has the answer.
Let’s dive into it.
Tiny Thor was released on June 5th, 2023. It was developed by Asylum Square Interactive and it’s playable on the PC and Nintendo Switch. I played and reviewed the PC version. I was provided a review code.
In this game, you play as a Tiny Thor. A ten-year-old birthday boy/God, who is gifted his trusty hammer, Mjölnir. While out trying his new weapon or I guess toy in this case, you are tricked into doing a bad thing. Now it’s up to you to venture out and make things right again. The narrative isn’t award-winning by any means, but it does its job by laying out what you have to do and why you are doing it. It is nice to see that while this is a platformer the story was still a priority.
As Tiny Thor you select a level on the world map (think Super Mario World-style level selector) and you make your way to the end of the level’s portal. You do so by running, platforming, and throwing your hammer, Mjölnir at all the enemies that stand in your path. Tiny Thor might be the name of the game, but the true MVP is Mjölnir. In a similar way to God of War Ragnorak with the Leviathan Axe, you throw your hammer and you can instantly call in back. You can also angle your throws to bounce the hammer off of surfaces to defeat enemies, solve puzzles, and move objects. You do this by holding down the action button, and dotted lines show up to let you know the trajectory of your throw ahead of time.
Tiny Thor also features really cool boss fights. Each boss fight feels unique and fun. For example, the first boss fight has you fighting a monster all the while tetrix-style blocks are falling down all around you. I haven’t played anything quite like that boss fight.
I said this in my Planet of Lana Review, but I’m not naturally a fan of puzzle games. However, by building the puzzles around the fun mechanic of throwing Thor’s hammer I found the puzzles to be engaging. It also helps that the puzzles feel challenging but also manageable. You immediately come across a puzzle and you know what to do and then the challenge is exciting the right throw or jumping at the right time to progress.
Another pro is the game’s level designs and the artstyle. It features a 16-bit pixel artstyle that showcases the realm of Asgard well. You can tell that a lot of love care and thought was put into each level. Just by looking at each level and the way it is designed, you can see that every section has a purpose. The game’s 16 bit artsyle isn’t that I’ve ever played but it is easy on the eyes.
Another aspect that I want to shout out is the game’s enemy variety. Just when I think that I’ve gotten used to things or that I’ve seen all the enemies the game has to offer it introduces more. The enemies each have their own defenses and ways that you have to beat them. It has enemies you can simply jump on their heads to vanquish them and others wear helmets so you have to use your hammer to either knock off their helmets or just use your hammer to destroy them. The game also introduces new power-ups like double jump, hammer slams, and sliding jumps to add new elements to the platforming. It constantly keeps the game fresh.
One aspect of the game that might be a turnoff is the game’s soundtrack. It feels like it needed more depth in the soundtrack because you hear the same couple of songs over and over again. While the quality of the songs is fine the repetition gets old quickly.
Another aspect that I found irksome is the game’s health system. In the game, you’ll come across hearts. These hearts are life or in this case, the extra hits you can take before you die and respond at the most recent checkpoint. This system would be fine except when you get hit the heart bounces sporadically around the screen and is often extremely challenging to get back with dying. Add that to the fact that the game doesn’t have a difficulty slider and gets progressively harder as go and you get a game that might be too much of a challenge for gamers with slower reflexes.
Overall/Should You Play Tiny Thor:
If you are looking for a challenging and charming platformer then you should check out Tiny Thor. This game isn’t for everyone, for example, gamers that don’t like platformers or gamers that like to play games on easy mode should avoid playing this one. If that doesn’t describe you then you should check out Tiny Thor. The levels are well-designed, the gameplay is addicting, and throwing and using the hammer is really fun. This is an indie game that you definitely should check out if you love platformers.
Where Does Tiny Thor Fit in You Video Game Backlog:
Here at the ProNerd Report and on the Single Player Experience Podcast, we practice the 10 games backlog rule. In this practice, you log down 10 games, those games are gonna be your video game backlog. To be as productive as you possibly can be, we recommend that you only play three games at one time. One single player narrative game, one game that’s gonna be your chill and relaxed game, and another game that’s going to be your palate cleanser game, which is a game that you play when you’re not in the mood for your other narrative. When you complete or get tired of one game, it leaves the backlog list. Then you decide which new game is added to the list, and which game on the list advances to your active three games.
Tiny Thor – This is a good pallet cleanser game. It doesn’t have the narrative for it to be the primary narrative game and it might be too stressful to be your Chill and relax game unless you thoroughly enjoy platformers.
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