The game title featuring the main character tiny thor holding his hammer and wearing a blue outfit

Tiny Thor Review

Game: Tiny Thor
Genre: Action, Adventure
System: Steam (Windows & Linux) (on August 3rd available on Nintendo Switch)
Developer|Publisher: Asylum Square | Gameforge 4D GmbH
Controller Support: Yes
Price: UK £16.75 | US $19.99 | EU € 19,99
Release Date: June 5th, 2023

Review code provided with many thanks to Press Engine. 

The Norse is Strong With This One

Tiny Thor is a charming 2D platformer that feels like it has been plucked from the good old retro days of platforming and released today. I’m a big fan of folklore, mythology and retro gaming, so Tiny Thor ticked many boxes for me. It’s a good platformer with excellent presentation and tight controls. But remember it brings that tough retro challenge that might not gel with all audiences. 

You play as little Thor, who has just received his hammer, Mjolnir, for his 8th birthday from Odin. He’s got a little time to play before his big birthday bash, so he goes exploring. Soon he encounters an Elf-looking NPC who needs your help sorting out a Queen wasp problem. However, before Thor knows it the quest turns into something a bit more significant, and he needs to save the nine realms and prevent Ragnarok itself.

Short-to-point Text Boxes

The story is presented in short-to-point text boxes. If you are a fan of Norse Mythology, you will probably recognize many of the iconic characters and even the main antagonist long before they reveal themselves. It may be predictable, but the attention to detail in the mythology is pretty good here, creating a Norse tale that is suitable for the whole family to enjoy. Parents get those funny voices ready if you play with the little ones as the game teaches them about taking responsibility. 

Thor receives his hammer from Odin. They are in a house with a giant mammoth head mounted on the wall and Odins ravens perched in the rafters
Now don’t throw that in the house.

Tiny Thor’s graphics are gorgeous. The feeling I got from the game’s presentation was a title that would sit right at home with the microcomputer greats such as the Amiga. It has a very detailed sprite and environment design whilst exploring three of the nine realms, from lush green environments to dark crystal caverns. It doesn’t just stop at the looks. Even the sounds and score echo like a game from this retro era, tickling some pleasant memories for me. Even the small act of collecting a gem or completing a level has a satisfying tone that took me back to more magical gaming times.

Hammer Time

Gameplay follows a traditional 2D action platformer design. The goal is simply to make it to the end in one piece before progressing to the next level. The main feature is your mighty hammer Mjolnir. This can be quickly thrown in multiple directions where it will proceed to destroy any enemy but also help flick switches and move blocks to solve puzzles. It will rebound off enemies and platforms, creating some instantly satisfying gameplay. You can also stop in place and aim the hammer to get a better look at things. This was fine during the more chilled moments of gameplay, but when on the run from enemies or, say, rising water, it became a bit tough to pause and aim quick enough to keep up with the looming threat.

Collect Gems

Every level is littered with blue gems and three special red gems. The red gems have to be collected by Thor himself. If you collect enough of these, you can unlock some challenge levels to put your platforming skills further to the test. These are hard but not essential to complete the game. The blue gems can be collected with your hammer and used to spend on upgrades from a store. Similar to the concept of the red gems unlocking challenge levels, the upgrades are helpful but don’t give you a huge boost to your abilities. I liked this design because I didn’t feel I needed these upgrades to progress further even if I was behind collecting the blue gems.

The game presents with a traditional level structure, each of which can be accessed from an overworld map. There is no life system so you can retry levels as much as you want. Checkpoints within these levels are pretty frequent, which helps keep the need to stress quite at bay. Gems are collected, and your time is tracked so you can return to a level to find anything you missed or possibly improve your time if you’re one of those speedrunner types. This felt like a nice game to enjoy in small gaming bursts for an hour or two at a time. 

Tiny Thor can be seen aiming his hammer ready to swing. A arrow guide is indicating the direction it will move rebounding off enemies and collecting gems in its path
Aim and throw


That is not to say the game is not difficult; it most certainly is. The first few levels start off chilled enough, getting you used to throwing the hammer and the jumping controls. Before you know it, you’re rebounding your hammer off the wall to take out shielded enemies, running for your life from a looming threat and having your logic tested with some puzzles. The platforming, in particular, becomes very tough the further you progress, leading to a lot of restarts. Veteran retro gamers may tolerate this, but the casual crowd may find this is what breaks the game for them.

Tiny Thor offers quite a variety to its level design. Although, it does have a habit of repeating a design several times over making some levels feel like they drag on more than they need to. Boss fights occur periodically over the course of the game and provide a tough but rewarding challenge requiring the use of your platforming and hammer skills. On completion, you usually unlock a new ability which will then be put to good use in future levels. I totally called it when I unlocked a wall jump move which seems to be a common move to unlock in a lot of games I reviewed recently. Maybe a new Buzzsaw-inspired joke is in order.

A few Niggles

Tiny Thor gets a lot right, but I have a few niggles. The main is the approach to health. Throughout each level, you can collect hearts which turn your outfit from blue to red. If you get hit, you instantly turn blue again, and the heart shoots out of you with a timer ticking down until you recollect it. It feels reminiscent of the health system in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, only minus the crying baby. The trouble with this is you get only a few invulnerability frames following a hit, so you can be hit again pretty quickly and just die, often before you have a chance to reclaim the heart. This can be helped with an upgrade later in the game. Other than this, it’s just mild nit-picks.

Platforming requires some pretty harsh precision at times, and puzzles involving moving blocks sometimes felt a bit tedious and awkward to work through with the hammer. Having said that, this is a solid retro-inspired games with no obvious bugs or glitches to note.

Tiny Thor is in a bee hive where three large bees at the top right of the screen are ready to attack him. Luckily Tiny Thor has his hammer ready
Not the bees!

Conclusion: Tiny but Mighty

Tiny Thor, for me, was a pleasant trip down the retro platforming avenue. Although I enjoyed it, the experience might not be for everyone. The game does bring with it some of the retro baggage. Levels do get very tough, requiring precision platforming to fully conquer. The health system isn’t that great, and levels do feel a tad long, reducing the drive to go back to explore for all the secrets.

Still, the game gets so much right with tight controls, brilliant presentation and a challenge that may be tough but is rewarding if you stick with it. You will likely feel worthy if you decide to take up the hammer with Tiny Thor.

Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot 

I like it a lot

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