Grab The Games: Tiny Barbarian DX

 Tiny Barbarian DX is a throwback to a simpler time in gaming. Back when there was no objective other than reach the end of the level and beat the boss. Other objectives were secondary as all you wanted to do is get to the next level and test your skills against those of the game programmers and prove that you were the best.

As the name suggests you play as a Tiny Barbarian, or at least he looks tiny. Compared to everyone else in the game he's fairly beefed up and you wouldn't want to run into him on a night out. There's no complex levelling up system or micromanaging items in this game it's a test of your determination and skill. You run to the right dealing with platforming challenges and beating up the bad guys.

The game has two modes. A four episode adventure mode, the first of which is only available as of yet, and a vs Horde mode in which the player fends off monsters on the summit of a mountain for as long as possible. Both modes are simple and satisfying, move the right and beat stuff up or stay where you are and beat stuff up. No complexity needed.

It really reminds me of classic late 80s and early 90s games on the NES like Castlevania in that you've got nothing but the weapon the game gives you and your own skill to best the obstacles and tricky jumps which lay ahead of you.

The simplicity of the game is mirrored by its challenge. Surprisingly the game has a nice amount of challenge to it and the frustration factor is on par with games like Rogue Legacy and Castlevania. It annoys you enough that you want to keep playing to best it but not so much that you'll break your keyboard over the your head in frustration.

The controls are simple. There's one button to attack, two to move left or right, one to jump and one to hang onto hanging items such as rope, chains and vines. They're not clunky or unresponsive, they're actually quite sensitive which allows for precise movement when trying to make some of the games jumps and leaps.

Of course this same simplicity can bring it down a little. As I've said the game doesn't bring you down with complex items or a levelling up system but to me this feels like the kind of game that could have done with a throwing axe or two, I mean that's a barbarian weapon.

That's not to say that the whole game is simple. It's incredibly colourful. Whether you've just started the horde mode before the credits or you're slashing you're way through the buzzard and snake infested desert you'll find that the level design is quite varied and the routes you can take sometimes require a bit of thought.

The enemy count might not be high and snakes might not seem that threatening, but when they're spitting poison at you as you're trying to climb your way across a chasm you'll appreciate how satisfying it is to smack it into next week.

Overall this game is fun while playing but it does strike me as one of those games which once you stop playing you'd forget if you didn't check your Steam library to see what was taking up hard drive space.

Nathan The-Hedgehog Dack


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