I now have a new segment since some of our staff have Steam Decks and more and more readers do as well. I’m only reviewing Steam games using my Steam Deck. This means that not only will you get to know if the game is any good. But it will let you know the actual playability of the game on the Steam Deck. Sure, you get a breakdown before playing installing a game onto your Steam Deck, but it’s generally vague and they offer some light resolutions. If I find a resolution with a non-functioning game, I’ll share it, or I’ll tell you to avoid it for the time being! Today, we’re looking at Yars Recharged and Tinykin!
Tinykin Features & Description:
Solve Earth‘s Biggest Mystery! It’s the far future and Milo has re-discovered Earth! He’d go down in history, but as he lands on the planet he encounters a problem… He’s as small as a penny. And everybody’s gone. And it’s still the ’90s.
Get Big And Go Home! Explore a giant house as a tiny astronaut, and meet the society of insects that built a sprawling city inside! Discover the stadium in the bath, revive the nightclub inside the couch, and win big at the casino under the bed! Milo can jump, hover, and skateboard, but the true hook is the mysterious tinykin! Hundreds of alien creatures with special powers to become ladders, build bridges, carry large objects, activate machines, and explode!
- First off, we have to talk about how Tinykin features a large, sprawling…uh…world? Okay, it’s in a house, but when you’re the size of a bug, everything is large in comparison. They managed to take rooms to a whole new level. These rooms are even large to full-sized people, requiring us to walk across them. Here they are the size of Halo levels! Tinykin is able to give you a familiar world in an unfamiliar way. Dust bunnies become nasty obstacles, water is evil, and everything else you take for granted is either rife to explore or to avoid! They cut no corners repurposing everyday objects into story elements, environmental hazards, collectibles, puzzles, and elements that you can traverse. There’s so much to explore from the floor up to 5 feet off the ground!
- The visuals in Tinykin are absolutely fun. You and the characters in the story are two-dimensional in a 3D world. There is nothing that is 2D except the characters. That not only gives the game a cute aesthetic but also helps you. When I was in the game, I realized that I could spot characters from far away because of their look and animation. I’m guessing this is a design choice since it helps you identify tiny creatures. If they were also 3D, you’d need like little arrows hovering over them or waypoint markers. That would have likely have been a distraction. I like what they did with the look of this game all around.
- Music is where my heart was. Every single world had unique music in different areas of it. I really can’t explain it any better than that. There were some areas that were brighter and more playful and so the music changes to matching music as you enter the area. If the area was darker and quieter, the music would dial back and change the tune to a lower, prettier tune.
- Fun platforming and collect-a-thons. This game may render comparisons to Pikmin, but I think its platforming is the bigger gameplay mechanic. The tinykin are more like collecting keys to open doors, chests, passageways, activating puzzle elements, etc. While I love their role in the game, I love the platforming so much more. I can’t get over the fact that there are so many different ways to go up, forward, across, and down! You can run, jump, glide, and best of all, ride soap like a skateboard at high velocities. I almost wish there was a skating level, like Tony Hawk, where it’s just opened up and you can slide around and jump up to and down from platforms.
- The last major point, besides how large and long the game is, is the great price point. Such a large game with a ton of stuff to do and it’s only $25. I really don’t think it takes too much more explaining. You can buy it on sale (as of the time of this writing) for the Steam Deck. You’d benefit to get a large game like this that is affordable. Better yet, it has a small install size is under 4 GBs so you can jump in and play really quickly!
- I feel like side quest NPCs talk a bit too much. Although nothing is forcing you to go up to them and listen to what they have to say. I suppose I can look to see if there is a way to speed up the text in the game.
Tinykin on Steam Deck:
Tinykin didn’t initially work properly. The menus and sounds worked as soon as I started the game. In order to play the game smoothly without frame issues, I had to crank up the settings of the Steam Deck first. After I did that, I was able to play the game perfectly. I also took the time to increase the game’s settings within the menus to not have to rely as much on the hardware.
The main issue that I have, even up to now with all of the current hardware/firmware/game updates, this game still will not play cutscenes. It shows the skip button and it shows what looks like a TV station’s color bars. Even if you let it run to hear the audio, it would automatically end the cutscene after 5 seconds. But if you’re okay with not having cutscenes (as of now), Tinykin is one of the best indie games that I’ve ever played!
Tinykin Purchase Link:
Yars Recharged Features & Description:
The new game marks Atari’s return to the Yars universe, which is based on Howard Scott Warshaw’s classic Yars’ Revenge. Released in 1982, Yars’ Revenge became the best selling original Atari title on the Atari 2600. Yars: Recharged extends the legacy of this iconic franchise, and gives fans an opportunity to experience an expanded, modern take on the concepts introduced by the original.
Yars Recharged Trailer:
Yars Recharged Pros:
- A fun twin-stick shooter. I had to play this game in short blasts. But I still loved it. It controls the way most twin-stick shooters do. The left stick moves the character and the right stick causes the character to shoot. You’ll find yourself trying to get rid of the hexagonal shapes that block the boss. There are a few different ways to do that but be aware that you still have to dodge attacks that are coming at you. Some are straight shots, others will follow you around and require evasion. If you don’t destroy the boss in three hits, you’ve lost the level.
- Once you finish or fail a level, the game keeps track of your high score. You’ll have a high score for you personally that you’ve set on that level. If you’re wondering where that puts you in the world of other players, worry not. This game lets you see scores against other players on leaderboards. Maybe you have a friend or a total stranger who set a score that you know that you can beat. What better way to rub it in their face than to play the level again, and put that higher score on the leaderboards so that they can see you dominated them!
- There is a lot to this game in terms of size. First off, there is lots of replayability since you’re working against 30 total stages. But imagine trying to beat a high score, now you’re giving more time to this game. Best of all, you’re definitely getting your money’s worth. And since the levels get progressively more challenging, beating this game even once through is no easy feat. If that doesn’t feel satisfying enough for you, this game also has mission modes. Still need more bang for your measly $10, then bring a friend to play it! This game features co-op play which may just be what I need to do!
- There are new weapons in this game, compared to the original game. As you work your way through the hexagons, you’ll not only destroy the boss’s protection, you’ll get items and powerups. It definitely causes you to want to push through to the end. I was in a level that was either I got hit one more time or I somehow survived through to the end. It seemed impossible, but I received a power-up off of the last hexagon and was able to use it to stop the projectile headed at me and deal the final blow to the boss. I was just about to slam the Steam Deck down and give up on it too! But I will say it’s exhilarating to find a that that is fun to pick up and play in such an arcade way. The weapons and challenge is perfectly balanced for a quick romp.
Yars Recharged Cons:
- I feel that the look of this game is a bit too flat. Its uninspired look is likely a choice so that there are no distractions to the core gameplay. I also understand that the original Yars Revenge looked much worse in comparison. I just feel like I get sleepy playing it based solely on the way it looks. That’s no lie, either. Sure, the game is fun enough, but no other game makes me drift off. Its looks don’t keep my attention, so I can’t play this for long periods of time.
- I also feel that the initial gameplay needs a few more explanations. What they’ve done is oversimplify the opening of the game so that you think it’s just that simple. I would’ve liked a few more screens explaining the HUD and other gameplay elements upfront.
Yars Recharged on Steam Deck:
It works perfectly out of the box. And honestly, for my one of my first games covered for the Steam Deck, I couldn’t be happier that it’s a classic game. This game just works and I have no complaints about it running on the device. Remember, if you’re reading this later down the road, I can’t confirm the game will always work. There could be a game-breaking bug in a patch further down the road. But I’m relatively certain this game will continue to be both cute and functional for many moons to come.
Yars Recharged Purchase Link: