When your arms and hands are awkwardly proportioned compared to the rest of your body, simple tasks are difficult. Borti, the happy-go-lucky T-Rex, decides to take matters into his own hands to find a solution to his itty-bitty arms in Tiny Hands Adventure. Displaying a combination of both 2D and 3D crafted worlds, wonky controls, and unforgiving environments, Borti’s adventure charms when simultaneously tugging at your nerves. You’ll want to throw in the towel, but Borti’s quest to a better way of life does its darnedest to reel you back in.

Borti’s path to self-discovery begins with a minor tutorial introduction. Blue Sunset Games walks you through several key components and, most importantly, how to make Borti move. Due to the partial controller support feature, the tutorial demonstrates the controls via the keyboard. Platformer games feel more natural with a controller locked in my hands, so button-smashing through Borti’s obstacles seemed like a no-brainer. In many instances, the controller works just fine in Tiny Hands Adventure. Regrettably, you aren’t able to map the buttons to your personal taste.

tiny hands adventure comic

Here, the level design in Tiny Hands Adventure changes to a 2D side-scroller. With the layered grass and miscellaneous items covering the bottom of the screen, it’s tough to tell what lies ahead in Borti’s path.

Following the tutorial, Borti converses with Lady Florella. The fairy-like spirit appears to possess the answers to Borti acquiring the tools to improve the use of his hands and arms. Collecting an orange gem from each stage unlocks the confrontation with the elemental Guardian boss. If and when the Guardian is defeated, Lady Florella reveals a nifty new enhancement for Borti’s adventure. Buckle in, it’s a pretty bumpy ride.

After interacting with Lady Florella, Borti finds himself at the core of an environment encompassing four distinct stages. The setup immediately emitted a Crash Bandicoot 2 vibe where leaping into a glowing pit warps the main character into a stage. The camera angles, boss battle designs, and running from a giant boulder also mirror what you’d see in the PlayStation classic. However, the differentiated environments add an inventive twist to the platforming experience. The stages vary from a comic book setting to climbing to the top of a lighthouse. Though innovative in level design, the awkward camera angles throw you for a loop. One minute you’re side-scrolling, the next you’re at a perplexing sideways angle, and suddenly you’re viewing Borti at a top-down perspective. You do learn fairly quickly from your mistakes, but it might take a handful of lives to finally get it right.

tiny hands adventure boss

After eventually defeating the elemental Guardian boss, Borti now gets to visit Lady Florella to receive his first upgrade.

Enemies exist in Tiny Hands Adventure but aren’t exactly interactive. Most of them are simple to bypass or obliterate with Borti’s radical spin move. Like many platformer games, any enemy can one-hit kill you. Fortunately, destroying crates sometimes exposes lives or a magical barrier protecting Borti. The shields aren’t much help when you’re falling into multiple chasms of doom, though. Most crevices don’t look fatal at all. Some hardly dip into the ground and give the impression that they’re an accessible part of the stage. Do not be fooled, ladies and gentlemen. Explosive crates also make an appearance but they’re easy to spot if you’re paying attention. If I learned anything playing Tiny Hands Adventure, it’s that you’ll want to be cautious with your movements.

Checkpoint crates prove sufficient enough, but they have an odd placement around the levels. Some cluster in close range while others appear on opposite ends of the stage. When Borti faces an embarrassing death, he revives at the most recent checkpoint until his life count falls below zero. To assist the occasional demise, meaty bones occupy open areas of stages for Borti to collect. Accumulate a hundred of these bad boys to tack on another life, you’ll need the spares. Other collectible colored gems remain obtainable in every stage, conferring an extra challenge to Borti’s adventure.

tiny hands adventure review boulder

This stage automatically took me back to the infamous boulder stage on Crash Bandicoot. Unfortunately, the not-so-smooth controls make the stage more of a headache than an exciting chase.

As previously mentioned, Borti partakes in an elemental boss battle once he collects four orange gems. Most follow a pattern that’s effortless to recognize after several deaths, but timing plays a key factor as well. Even if Borti runs out of dinosaur lives, the battle is replayable an infinite amount of times until he succeeds. When all is said and done and you complete your victory dance (which you will do), Borti acquires a new weapon from Lady Florella to use in future endeavors. Afterward, Borti transports to another hub showcasing four new levels, following the same pattern to uncover more radical tools to accompany Borti to a better life.

Tiny Hands Adventure showcases an array of imaginative worlds with impressive visuals. The blend of 2D and 3D environments stimulate the gameplay, but only temporarily. Borti’s gawky movements, however, put a damper on the experience as a whole, along with the abundance of mediocre enemies. Most appear to be present for show and hardly engage in combat. Though Tiny Hands Adventure illustrates some innovative features, the rocky controls and funky camera angles do not do Borti any justice. All the poor guy wants are longer arms, but fulfilling his wish will not be a stroll through the park.

Our Tiny Hands Adventure review was conducted on PC via Steam using a copy provided by the developers. It will so be available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.

More About This Game

5.5
 

Average

Summary

Tiny Hands Adventure practically mimics the Crash Bandicoot franchise, but instead of playing as a bandicoot, you take control of an adorable and young T-Rex. Though Borti's journey to better his life with enhanced arms is quite touching and some stages show originality, the awkward controls make the experience more frustrating than entertaining.

Pros

  • Innovative Level Design
  • Fun Combo of 2D And 3D Visuals

Cons

  • Awkward Camera Angles
  • Wonky Controls
  • Mediocre Gameplay And Enemies

Amanda Bower

Staff Writer

I'm so awkward when I have to talk about myself. I'm an avid video game player (obviously). When I'm not avoiding reality in imaginative worlds, you can find me trying to master a kamehahmeha while simultaneously devouring buffalo chicken wings.