While the concept of small estates seems simple enough, it certainly has a quirk. Each scene or level of the game can be fully interactive. You can rotate it, zoom in and zoom out. Rotation and zoom work simultaneously on both game screens, and you can easily find small differences when zooming. Some level changes also cause the default view, so you can only find them by rotating the levels. This creates a more interactive session with each scene in the game, giving you a new perspective on the traditional search for the differences between puzzles.
However, the zoom always goes to the center of the map, and you cannot zoom in on certain parts of the scene. This doesn’t always work, because if the differences are on the sides of the map, only the center of the map will be magnified when you zoom in. It’s not the best specific game mechanics, but the rotation works very well, and you can easily scale the game by rotating the map and sticking to certain zoom levels rather than scaling the whole scene. But yeah, most of the differences in the game aren’t that hard to find, it’s that you have to stay focused at all times.
The gameplay of Tiny Lands is quite simple. On paper you have to find the differences between the two scenes in front of you. In total there are 5 worlds with 10 scenes or levels that you can play. At first, only one world is unblocked. As you complete levels and earn stars, you can spend stars to unlock other worlds. Each world has a different theme, such as horror, beach, ice cream, farms and more. The other levels revolve around the main theme, and each level represents a unique scene to explore. These scenes are very detailed and beautiful, with 3D effects such as rain, thunder or snow. Each level only has 5 differences, so there’s not much to see, but some differences are really well hidden in the levels, which can get you in over your head.
Another important element of Tiny Lands is the sound design. Although each level is accompanied by a soothing soundtrack, each level also has a specific life sound. Whether the level takes place on a beach, on an ice island or in a medieval battle, each level has specific sound effects that really immerse you in the game. For example, if a scene depicts a battle, you will often hear the clatter of swords, the sound of marching soldiers, etc. The spacing and balance between these sound effects is just perfect, which makes the game’s sound design so brilliant. It also ensures that your eardrums are not bombarded with the same sounds that you no longer want to hear.
Some levels really do seem like Zen moments, especially when there is water and rain. These levels have 3D effects of thunder, rain or snowfall that are then accompanied by light thunder, water rushing to the ground or light rain that really calms you down. Ever since I received a copy of Tiny Lands magazine, I keep coming back to the game, not because I still have levels to complete in the game, but because it really helps me relax after a day of work. Hearing the light rain while shooting quiet scenes and discovering the differences between them can really exercise your brain and relax at the same time. There are very few games these days that offer this level of peace.
Video games have become very competitive these days, and even single-player video games are quite complex and usually involve fairly intricate game mechanics. At a time like this, when you just want to relax and play something that calms you down, there aren’t many options on the market. Fortunately, Tiny Lands exists, and it brings with it a simple game design and soothing concept that will give you the rest you deserve after a busy day. There is no rush here, and the game gives you enough time to look at very detailed scenes to find 5 simple differences and then move on to the next level. The accompanying soundtrack adds to the simplicity of the game, and the characteristic sound effects of the minimal scenes provide an enjoyable experience for players of all ages. Whether you’re looking for a simple game to play after a busy day or just want to relax and watch beautiful scenes and minimalist gameplay, Tiny Lands will not disappoint.