When it comes to games that transport you to a different world and have you enthralled from the off, it doesn't get much better than this if you are playing on your tablet. Tiny Big Bang is a hidden object slash puzzle game that, though fairly short-lived game play wise - there are only 5 levels, is well worth the purchase price (£1.99 currently in iTunes, £1.80 on android), for an original, quirky and blissfully in-app purchase free experience.
The game sees a tiny planet having been hit by an asteroid leading to teeny bits of it having been scattered around in puzzle form. This former idyll has to be restored by you by working through 5 different chapters and in between each chapter moving around the puzzle pieces dotted through the game to rebuild the perfect globe. The world in the game is graphically beautiful and ever so slightly strange, the developers call it "steam punk inspired" - so there are lots of little steam trains and people who live in shoes. The characters in the game don't speak as such and there's no drawn out back story, now and then one of the characters will gently point you in the right direction with a thought bubble as you try to solve the puzzles to progress in the game. It's all quite formulaic - collect hidden objects, solve puzzle, find actual puzzle pieces, but at the same time satisfying to play as you get straight into the action and navigate around the world by touch.
The whole game has a fittingly chilled out sound track and there are no time limits to solving anything. The actual finding of tiny puzzle pieces and, for example, small globes or apples can get a little frustrating at times, they are really incorporated into the background and each and everyone must be found before you can progress, but generally I found I progressed nicely through the levels and the puzzles (all of which can be played again freely at the end of the game) were in the main quite interesting too. The puzzles might see you rebuilding a steam train or having to make pipes connect so that a machine worked. There were also a few retro-gaming type mini-games where you had to move a small space ship around on a screen, these were surprisingly tricky in parts but again added to the otherworldliness of the title. At no point are you really told what to do or how to play, and there is a degree of patience required to play this game but having had a go and given up a few times, once I got involved in the game I found it quite enthralling and it's certainly beautiful to look at. There is a hint system to help you in your progress which involves touching and trapping tiny bugs who fill up a meter at the top of the screen and eventually will buzz you in the right direct, sort of - I didn't really find they helped much, although tapping on the bug will highlight the areas of the screen you can interact with, which helps, sort of. Despite hints though there are going to be times when you are hunting the last elusive piece of a picture through multiple screens only to find it was right under your nose, or having to try out every singly possible action to try and work out what you should be doing. When you do put the pieces together it is quite satisfying and I did find my interest maintained until what is, I have to say, a slightly uninspiring end to the game.
If you like hidden object games and puzzle games this point and click should not disappoint. Admittedly the story is a little poor and it has its moments of being frustrating, but for me the charm of a world where a lighthouse is a kettle and everything is beautiful and weird more than made up for any small issues with the game overall. Though it's a once-only and shortlived game I think it's well worth the purchase price, and I would say it's well worth a play.