A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Tiny Bang Story is a downloadable hidden object and puzzle game for Windows and Mac computers, and that it is free of mature content. Players examine colorful pictures of a fascinating fantasy world in order to figure out what they need to do. However, its high level of difficulty and sometimes less-than-helpful hint system may frustrate younger players who find themselves stuck for extended periods.
What's it about?
A small but beautiful little world must be pieced back together again after a meteor shatters it in THE TINY BANG STORY, a downloadable game for PCs and Macs that mixes seek-and-find scenes with about 20 brain-teasing puzzles. Players begin by examining fantastical environments composed mostly of larger-than-life objects like teapots, wine bottles, and boots that have been turned into functional buildings by tiny folk. You click on suspicious looking objects -- hatches, broken panels, levers -- to reveal puzzles, new areas, and groups of objects that you need to find in order to complete tasks. The experience is broken into groups of multiple scenes and puzzles, each culminating with a trip back into outer space where you find appropriate places for the pieces you’ve found in a sprawling jigsaw puzzle of the planet.
Is it any good?
Hidden object games have a reputation for being a bit monotonous, but The Tiny Bang Story provides enough originality and diversity to prove thoroughly compelling from start to finish. Its captivating hand-drawn pictures and animations make the game’s lack of text storytelling seem like a clever narrative decision rather than a weakness. And that you must figure out for yourselves what you must search for in order to complete tasks rather than being spoon-fed a list of hidden objects makes your eventual success all the more satisfying.
The only downside is the hint system, which does a good job of providing assistance in most of the contextual puzzles, but is of no help when looking for hidden objects. Cleverly concealed items like wheels and balls can be devilishly difficult to find, and since objects are scattered across many scenes in a group, sometimes you don’t know if you’re even searching in the right picture. This one blip aside, The Tiny Bang Story stands out as one of the prettiest and most original little seek-and-find puzzlers in recent memory.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the importance of patience and perseverance when attempting to discern the solutions to problems, both in games and the real world. Do you find you get frustrated when answers prove elusive? Have you tried taking a break and returning with fresh eyes? Do you think it’s okay to ask friends and family for help?
Families can also discuss how it feels to solve problems. Do you feel satisfaction, relief, or both? If satisfaction, does this feeling of gratification make you want to try to solve more problems? How do you feel if a problem ends up getting the best of you?
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