148Apps Network Post
Developer: Beijing Tian Yi Xun Ling Tech
Price: 0.99 
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½ 
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆ 
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆ 

 
At my grandmother’s house as a child, I couldn’t wait to crack the glistening, refractive lid off the candy dish on her coffee table. It seems EVERY grandmother has that nostalgic mold etched Depression Glass candy dish purposely poised on a polished surface ripe with possibilities for kiddie consumption. That is, until I lift its cumbersome lid and actually bite into the once oh-so-attractive density of sticky gumdrops sprinkled with stale frosted sugar microbeads. The reality never matched up with what I imagined.

But, being at a grandmother’s house is by its very nature about discovery. Playing in the woods, learning the rules about my grandmother’s antique furniture, finding something entirely new. In Tiny Ray, this is the idea. Sure, there is an objective, and it’s pretty simple. A tower defense game, Tiny Ray offers clear direction about how to choose, build, and defend. Like grandmother’s proverbial house, this game is all about the ride over the river, through the woods, or, in this case, over the Cocoa Plain and through the Candy Forest.

Tiny Ray delivers handsome graphics. There is great attention to detail that triggers memories of the classic board game Candyland. Strawberry ice cream washes of pink and buttermint hints of yellow have precision and depth but are also watercolor-like. The animated blue, yellow, and red gumdrops march and chomp their cartoon teeth to a catchy beat that sounds a lot like a 90s era Gwen Stefani. It’s hard not to bop my happy head along.

Tiny Ray has a vague Japanese quality, too. Nintendo’s cuddly animated icons and the cultish group Shonen Knife pop through my jaunty fingers as they practice tower building and defense.

Tiny Ray lacks a bit of substance. But that depends on how substance is measured. I do not expect sweat-inducing strategics in Tiny Ray. Like unwrapping a pack of bubble-blowing watermelon gum, I just want to have fun! And, Tiny Ray IS fun.

Pushing a button on a dime store claw machine is sort of about the anticipation. I may not like what I get, but while I wait a few seconds, I wonder what it will be. A fuzzy stuffed puppy, a glittering bouncy ball. I don’t prefer either one, but I still like to try my hand. And who can argue with a win–any win?

With lush graphics and a silken thread of upbeat sound, Tiny Ray keeps me building swirly ice cream cone and cotton candy towers. Like a kid in a candy store, I lap up the confection that is Tiny Ray.

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