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Tiny Solar Review

By , on February 5, 2013
Last modified 1 year, 9 months ago


Tiny Solar
Download on the AppStore
2 out of 5

PROS

  • Relaxing atmosphere; beautiful and understated audio/visual themes keep you calm.
  • Unique open-ended concept that blossoms in to a challenging mission-based ordeal.

CONS

  • Progression is hampered by controls that require constant concentration; makes the game feel slow with little reward for making headway.

VERDICT

Tiny Solar takes its influence from games like Flow, but shows a lack of understanding of the concepts behind these games; there's a potential for something great, but it's crushed by sluggish controls and poorly designed progression.


  • Full Review
  • App Store Info

Editor's Note: It behooves us to acknowledge the source material for this game and the blatancy with which it attempts to not only copy the mechanics, but also the utter failure of its execution. For more information, check out 'Solar 2' here.

Sometimes a game piques my interest, if for no other reason than it fascinates me. Tiny Solar by 6Nice Studio was one such game - whirling stars, planets, and asteroids had me wondering just what was going on; especially when the planets started shooting and attacking each other.

Sounds fascinating right? Well, the truth behind the matter is that the game plays much like Flow and similar 'evolving' style games, only without any sense of smooth progression.

You begin with a tiny asteroid; collide with others and you'll eventually become a planetoid. As a planet you can capture asteroids in your orbit and consume them to increase your mass. Alternatively you could move near other planetoids to slowly chip away and destroy them, but it's a tedious process.

This progression remains true for the rest of the game; from asteroid, to planetoid, to three star phases (small, medium and large), and finally an all-consuming black hole phase that is especially frustrating to play thanks to the immense gravity and masses you're dealing with.

Unfortunately so much of the game feels unrefined; being an asteroid lasts for seconds, while going any higher becomes a labor-filled chore. Similarly, evolving a sentient race that can shield you and deploy powerful ships to destroy other planets only really becomes useful when missions unlock (which requires a full completion of the uneventful basic game).

Even when the game does hand you something more to do than 'grind' your way to becoming a supernova, the tedium returns as you patiently nudge an asteroid in to becoming a planet, or try to knock off specific asteroids from a giant sun cluster.

It's sad to see such a great idea go to waste, but it's a reminder of how unfinished concepts hurt just as much as poor design and controls.

Screenshots

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Comments

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FalloutNewVegas 1 year, 9 months ago

Wow, this looks remarkably similar, if not identical, to Solar 2. Is this a knock-off, or is it actually made by the same devs?

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FalloutNewVegas 1 year, 9 months ago

Nevermind, I just read the Editor's Note. Seriously, how does this even arrive on the App Store with Apple's consent!?