Tin & Kuna, available now from Aksys Games, features two quirky, colorful characters who roll, bounce and careen their way around a cartoonish 3D world of floating islands. Using the characters to maneuver spheres, players solve puzzles in a quest to contain the Chaos with gameplay mechanics that evoke memories of classic puzzle platformers from the heyday of console gaming. Brazilian developer, Black River Studios, had originally set out to solve a physics problem by expanding upon their highly regarded mobile game, Balloma, but soon discovered they were rolling in an entirely different direction and the result is Tin & Kuna.
Inspired by games such as Super Mario 3D World, Banjo-Kazooie and Super Monkey Ball, the developers wanted to mix old-school themes with a more unique and modern approach. A decision was made early on to transform their marble into living characters when they realized how the interactions between the characters and spheres added a lot of flavor to the game; now the player had to maneuver both a fully controllable character and a partially controllable sphere that is also subject to realistic physics. The challenge then became making sure the controls were simple enough to pick up quickly but also gave the players enough maneuverability to have fun.
Once the characters of Tin and Kuna took shape, the artists began designing their vibrant and offbeat planetoid. Taking inspiration from the dioramas in Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, the designers came up with the detached floating islands that make up the game world. This allowed them to create 40 intricate levels on their own and run with whatever ideas sounded fun and intriguing. In keeping with the exuberant and animated natures of the characters, the environment plays with natural and artificial elements as well as fantasy and mythology to give a feeling of chaotic magic and fun.
Known for their groundbreaking VR and mobile titles, Black River Studios engineered an entirely new set of tools that would allow them to develop their first game for consoles, as well as a new production pipeline that coordinated several designers who had to make levels with varying goals but keeping to a unified direction for each world. The end result is a delightful and challenging game that is sure to keep players cavorting along with Tin and Kuna for hours of fun.