Game: Tiny Lands
Genre: Puzzle, Education, Adventure, Study
System: Nintendo Switch (also on Steam)
Developers | Publishers: Qubic Games
Age Rating: US E | EU 7+
Price: US $5.99 | UK £5.39 | EU € 5,99
Release Date: June 4th 2021
Review code used, with many thanks to Qubic Games
Tiny Lands by Qubic Games is a cute and relaxing puzzle game. If you remember playing Spot the Difference games in a magazine when you were a child and enjoyed them, then you will feel right at home with Tiny Lands.
Tiny Lands is a 3D spot-the-difference game. You as the player are presented with two almost identical dioramas where you have to find five differences between them. The tiny dioramas are filled with many details which you have to search around to spot the differences. Easy enough then, and it is up until the point when you can’t find that one last difference in a puzzle.
Grouped in sets of Ten
The puzzles in Tiny Lands are all grouped in sets of 10 and follow themes. Such as beach, polar, and even Halloween. Differences can be size, colour, or even an object facing a slightly different direction. Puzzles at the beginning of each set tend to have more obvious differences, while the puzzles near the end tend to have more challenging differences to find.
You can change the way you look at the islands. You play in a 3D environment, which means you can interact with the scene to adjust the angle and zoom your view. When I say adjust the angle, you certainly can, but it is limited as the camera is fixed on the left or right axis and both scenes move at the same time. You can zoom in closer into the isometric environment which is great as some of the items you must find are teeny tiny!
The best thing is that the game is totally relaxing as there isn’t any time pressure as you are not up against a timer. I like this as I must admit I do not like time limits and hate feeling rushed. So you can take as long as you like to solve each puzzle.
But be warned, by an odd decision by the developers there’s a catch. Say you find four of the five differences in a puzzle and take a break, then when you come back to the same puzzle to try again, you’ll have to begin again and identify all five differences, despite already having been awarded the stars. It’s a strange oversight that the game doesn’t quick save and remember your progress.
Visuals and Sounds
Tiny Lands is colourful and the environments of the dioramas sound alive when you are playing. From the beach scene with the sounds of the waves and seagulls to the graveyard night time scenes and the twit-twoo of the owls at night. Each tiny land sets its own scene and presents it well right down to the weather. You’ll hear the crack of thunder and see the lighting, and the sound of the wind blowing. Makes each puzzle a little world of its own.
You can control Tiny Lands by the joy-con buttons and stick or if you prefer there are touchscreen controls too. Both work equally well, I personally preferred the joy-con controls.
Tiny Lands is a fun and enjoyable puzzle game, nice to sit down with for a coffee break and a few minutes of play. This would be a great game for parents to play with their children. I can picture them sitting around the TV, playing the game and the children shouting out the differences they had found in the puzzles. It would be a good help to fine-tune a child’s observation skills too. Adults will enjoy the game too, which leaves me only one thing to say.
Final Verdict: I Like It A Lot