Genre: City builder, Casual, Physics, Simulation, Strategy
Developers|Publishers: MeNic Games | Mastiff
Controller Support: No
Price: US $13.49 | UK £9.89 | EU € 11,69
Release Date: August 30th, 2021
Review code used, with many thanks to Mastiff
Last month I had the chance to try out the preview build of Tinytopia, which you can find here. Now it’s the turn of the full game of Tinytopia in a review.
Build toy Cities
Tinytopia by developers MeNic Games and publishers Mastiff is a city building game. However, it is not a normal city building game, like Sim City with heaps of stats and such to keep track of. Tinytopia’s twist is that you build charming toy towns and cities atop tiny terrain. The real difference that Tinytopia offers is physics and building stacks. You are the unseen Mayor of Tinytopia, it’s up to you to build up and stack the tiny buildings in Tinytopia into vast cities.
Each building you set down combines in a different way. So you set down a block of flats, set another block of flats on top of the first, add a house on top and….Hey presto, before your eyes the building mergers into a skyscraper and the blueprint for a skyscraper opens up. A skyscraper can hold so many more residents than a house. By combining the buildings blocks you create new megastructures.
As you set down a building near one of a similar kind, a little blue hint showing the outline of how a building will look emerges. From this, you get an idea of what buildings to combine to build the bigger buildings. There are also lots of blueprints to unlock as you go along. Discovering Blueprints unlocks the building in the Sandbox mode where you can create your own balancing levels to build a city on.
Tasks to complete
On each of the 23 levels, you’re given a task to complete, one main task, which you must complete to continue and two secondary tasks. The main task is usually to build your population up to a certain number and build Special Buildings, secondary tasks can be anything from Build 6 Victoria houses to create your own version of major cities like San Francisco or New York with landmarks.
The levels are mixed with real-life cities making an appearance such as New York and Toyko. Then there are challenging physics-based levels that task you with trying to build cities on quirky foundations. Such as a revolving turntable, a seesaw and bicycle pedals. I found these levels to be the most fun and they provided me with a good challenge in a different way. You have to focus on things like building and height or weight distribution and pray what you have constructed doesn’t tumble over.
It is all a balancing act and if you do hit disaster and your wonderful construction falls over, you had better hope you have built a hospital and fire station beforehand. Buildings that do tumble over usually burst into flames, which of course needs a fire truck to put the fire out. There are other dangers to your city too. A thief can turn up anywhere in a city and steal the money from your budget. Having a police station built will save the day and send the thief away.
Self Inflicted Disasters
Fire, earthquakes, volcanos erupting, and tornados aren’t the only disasters in Tinytopia. Once you have build up your city you actually have the choice to destroy it. You can set a wind-up toy Godzilla like a dinosaur rampaging through your city at the push of a button, causing destruction in its wake. It is pretty humorous to watch the toy Godzilla flatten what you have spent a while building.
A Few Little Niggles
It wouldn’t be a game review if I didn’t have a few niggles about Tinytopia. During the game, warnings pop up when there is a fire or another disaster that is about to occur. I just wish when you clicked on the pop up about a fire in your city it took you to the fire. It can sometimes be difficult to spot a small fire in among the buildings.
The blue hint outline that appears on a building as you move another building close to it, can be hard to see when your city is built up more. It can make placing buildings exactly where you want them fiddly. While the camera for the game works well it could be better, you can move it left and right, zoom out or in, but it’s fixed. I’d much prefer a free moving camera in the game. Visually the game looks well and gives the impression you are building little toy cities back in your bedroom when you were a kid.
Tinytopia is more of a puzzle game than a simulation city builder, that’s not a complaint though. It makes a lovely change from heavy stats, with lots of confusing menu pop-ups city builders that we have seen and played before. Tinytopia is a game to have hours of fun with, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. If you like city-building games that offer something a little different you should check out Tinytopia.
Final Verdict: I like It A Lot