Tin Hearts is the newest release from Rogue Sun, a new developer on the block with a considerable amount of experience. The majority of those at Rogue Sun spent a considerable amount of time at Lionhead Studios, the over-promising and under-delivering developer of the Fable series. This should give you a good indication of where the score for Tin Hearts is headed in this review.
Now Tin Hearts is an incredibly wholesome and feel good experience, that has to be said. Not to give too much away, you’ll be taking control of an ethereal character as you undertake a series of puzzles throughout Albert Butterworth’s – a toymaker – house, starting in his workshop attic and working your way further on. As you guide soldier after soldier, the toys take a back seat, as the story of a father with his daughter and a husband with his wife unfolds in front of you. You may spend as much time marvelling over the feelings the minimalist story drags out of you as you do the complexity and satisfying nature of the puzzles the game throws at you, level after level.
Related: Redfall Review – A Toothless Nail In The Coffin (PC)
Tin Hearts doesn’t offer a huge amount in gameplay variety, truth be told. The general idea of the game is to guide a certain number of toy soldiers from their box to a brightly lit door in another part of the room. To do this you’ll employ the standard puzzle game skills, from stopping time, to fast-forwarding and reversing it. You’re given a set of four shapes, each with their own shapes cut out inside of them determining the limited positions they can be placed, as well as some free-to-place-anywhere red blocks. You’ll also be able to direct certain environmental items like trains and cannons so they redirect the soldiers in a more desirable direction… and that about covers the puzzle dynamics. Seriously.
Related: Star Wars Jedi: Survivor Review: Power! Unlimited Power! (PS5)
Tin Hearts – Lemmings in Disguise
The puzzles start off very, very simple and really take their time to increase in difficulty beyond ‘put this clearly shaped piece here, then this one and oh, you’re done. Good job’. The puzzles do make good use of the environment itself, with tables, shelves, books and entire rooms becoming a puzzle playground you’ll need to traverse for the betterment of the soldiers. Sometimes you’ll even have to avoid deathly obstacles that thanks to the reversing time mechanic, are little more than an annoyance.
For a game that looks as gorgeous as Tin Hearts, it’s a criminal oversight by the developers that upon attempting to take a screenshot, the game. Inexplicably pauses, meaning you’ll end up with a nice collection of menu screenshots. Add to this the complete lack of a photo mode, the budding virtual photographers won’t be able to spend much time posing their little tin men on their journey to escape.
Tin Hearts doesn’t reinvent the puzzling wheel, but it is good fun for it’s six hour length, which may in fact be a little too long for such a game, with it feeling a little monotonous come its end. However, in a world filled with massive, bloated open world RPG’s, this little puzzler is exactly the palette cleanser needed when you just want to relax and take in some cute toys.
Follow us for more entertainment coverage on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.