Tiny Brains definitely isn't great. In fact, it's not even very good. However, for the group of friends that opt to enjoy it together, it may just provide enough laughs for a decent night in. Technical issues, an extortionate price point, and a slender running time mean that you should approach with caution – but if you're looking for something to play with your buddies, then you may enjoy the experience all the same. Just like Facebook and instant soup, this experiment is very much what you make of it.
Tiny Brains is short, messy, and relies heavily on reusing its ideas, but it's also a funny and clever little game that can delight as much as dismay.
Tiny Brains is well-designed and uses four mechanics for combat, puzzle solving and tower defense, which is a commendable feat. The writing is sharp, and the aesthetics may not be the best next-gen showcase, but are gorgeous. The game gets the majority of everything it tries undoubtedly right, but somehow is forgettable in the sea of other games that came out this year, and I can only attribute that to its reliance on "thinking with portals".
A promising but not-quite-there effort from indie newcomers Spearhead Games, Tiny Brains offers decent couch co-op fun, but suffers from technical issues and some uneven design.
On the presentation side of things, the game looks solid, yet unremarkable. It is far from an ugly game, however, there is nothing here that really screams PlayStation 4. The world is nice and bright and the character models are kind of adorable. The audio side of this game is pretty good, with quirky dialog from the mad scientist and a mildly addictive main track that plays throughout. It is that sort of tune that is just perfect for an addictive puzzle game, which this is through the challenge modes.
While not perfect, or particularly next-gen beautiful, Tiny Brains does offer up some intellectually stimulating puzzles. The addition of co-op definitely makes it a solid purchase.
Tiny Brains succeeds in providing a resurrecting to the on-the-couch party genre, which I haven't enjoyed since the original Mario Party. Although the game is functional with less than four players or when playing online, the experience is completely different. I'm a huge supporter of online multiplayer, but Tiny Brains is the perfect game to spend a weekend playing with friends and family squeezed together in the same room.
All the elements of a fun and creative co-op puzzler are present in Tiny Brains, but there are nagging issues or slight missteps that keep the game from reaching its potential at every turn. The powers are creative and fun to use, but the puzzles are far too easy.
If a price tag doesn't bother you, and you have four controllers and friends, AND you don't mind a game that you'll never want to touch after a solid evening of fun, then Tiny Brains is still a worthy recommendation. That's a lot of caveats, though, and when there are games like Super Mario 3D World offering similar chaotic fun with hours of additional gameplay and challenge, Tiny Brains doesn't make the grade.
Some clever puzzles are interspersed with more exciting challenges that are interesting when playing both alone and with friends. There's nothing particularly new on offer here, but it's a decent platform puzzle game, especially on the software-short PS4.