I hadn’t seen my iPhone in about 3 hours. All I heard was farting.
Sometime after we left Detroit en route to Chicago I had reached around to the child seat and handed it to my daughter to keep her occupied. Usually she’ll play Angry Birds or watch Youtube videos of Disney Princesses, but this time… all farts. It wasn’t until we had made it to our destination that I finally saw what she was playing: Tiny Toots.
We had received Tiny Toots as review code earlier this month, and I had hoped to spend the weekend trip with it as my main iOS time waster. That plan fell through, almost instantly. Not only did my 2-yr old enjoy it, but she was pretty much glued to it the entire time — in between naps and trips to the Brookfield Zoo.
To my daughter the game is funny and cute. It’s lead, a flatulent Dinosaur named Houston, runs, jumps, eats, and farts its way to a goal. The levels have little variety — they’re just hills of a few different sizes — but the visuals are colorful and crisp, and the multiple layers of scrolling and weather come off pretty. The sound effects and music are best described as bubbly and happy, and the farts are loud and frequent.
The allure of Tiny Toots is its simple and accessible control method. Touching the screen puts Houston’s weight behind his run; letting go puts the game into a sort of cruise control, where inertia takes precedent. Houston runs up and down hills, sliding and launching into the air when possible. Collecting enough beans allows for a gassy explosion, rocketing the dinosaur into the clouds before ultimately reaching the door at the end of a level.
The game draws a lot from auto-runners like Canabalt and Tiny Wings — the latter of which it seems to draw quite a bit more than a lot from — but it bests both in the amount of content and quality of visuals and audio. It’s more of a refinement of the template, if anything. The only real downfalls that I could come across were the abrupt stop to each level breaking the game’s natural flow, and the lack of GameCenter support in favor of OpenFeint. OpenFeint is nice, but GameCenter has become the de facto social network for igaming.
Tiny Toots doesn’t come aways as being anything blazingly new for me, besides a short diversion in between turns of Hero Academy or Words With Friends.
To my two-year old, though, none of that matters. It’s a dinosaur, it farts, and it’s brilliantly easy to control. And for a dad who’s driving and needs to pay attention to the road, it’s a blessing.
This review is based on a copy of the game for iOS sent to SideQuesting by the publisher. Several hours were played, mostly by my two-year old. Tiny Toots is available now in the iTunes App Store.