The creative minds at Rogue Sun, a studio formed by ex-Lionhead Studios personnel (known for the Fable series), have created a puzzle game called Tin Hearts that pays homage to Lemmings. Players must lead a troupe of mechanical toy soldiers through 50 unique and hazardous levels, ranging from kitchens with large humans to bedrooms with toy cannons and steam-filled basements with clanging pipes. Each domestic environment is artfully transformed into a thrilling stage where the soldiers must be safely guided to the end.
It is said that no mechanical wind-up toy should be neglected, which can be accomplished by premeditating their route. These automatons do not possess much autonomy, so it is up to the player to guide them away from any potential risk. This could be as elementary as making an inclined block to shift them out of harm’s way, or by using trampolines, cannons and inflatable balloons to raise them to safer heights.
Yet, there is a unique element to this game. At times, a brave tin soldier must be trusted to venture away from their regiment in order to remove an obstacle. The player will be able to take control of a single soldier, allowing them to break away from their ranks and do something to alter the variables on the stage. The gameplay instantly transforms into a 3D platformer as the soldier struggles to beat their comrades and complete the task before them.
The game is comparable to Dungeon Keeper, as the player uses their spectral hand to arrange and perfect the environment for the diminutive characters traversing the stage.
Tin Hearts is a visually appealing game. The atmosphere resembles a toybox that has been invaded by a development team with an inclination for fairytales, and the soldiers, driven by winding up their tiny brass keys, are intricately designed and animated. So when something goes awry and one of your soldiers gets shattered into many pieces of cogs, it will have an emotional impact.
Come April 20, Tin Hearts will be available on PC (Steam, Epic Games Store, GOG, Utomik) and Nintendo Switch, PlayStation and Xbox.