Tin Hearts is a lovely little game which could be best and easily summarised as a spiritual successor to Lemmings, in 3D (I know there was a Lemmings 3D but this is better).
You play as a ghost who explores the memories of an old toy maker as you move around his workshop. The game is played from a first-person perspective of the ghost, and your objective on every level is to start a wind-up toy box in which several tin soldiers will walk out, and help them navigate towards their end goal to finish the level.
Initially, you pick up blocks and can put them down in certain spaces specific to each block. For example, there will be a triangular block with a cross on it, and that sits on a cross positioning piece in a few different directions, so the challenge is simply aligning these so the soldiers can walk into it, bounce off in another direction and eventually meet the exit. So far so simple.
After the first handful of levels, however, the game opens up. You can move around the workshop freely, and place blocks anywhere. A predictive line is used to help guide where the soldiers will be coming from and where they will be going, so you can do this fairly easily without being punished too badly for getting it wrong. Additional controls let you pause and rewind time, so as not to be ruined by any catastrophic errors (such as the soldiers falling off the table).
The challenge becomes more advanced as the time mechanics come into play as you position, and then re-position the same blocks as the soldiers require for later in the level. Other obstacles can also be positioned to help, such as trains on a track, and drops navigated by helpful drum sets which they can bounce off. You begin to see the entire workshop as a playground, and it’s incredibly good fun to see a seemingly impossible destination get reached by these little soldiers thanks to some cleverly placed items and it all works out perfectly.
Lots of ‘memories’ pop up, as you see and hear ghostly silhouettes of the toy maker and his grandchildren which, coupled with a relaxing and lovely soundtrack helps make this the perfect evening relaxation game. The relaxation may be slightly harmed however by some of the challenges of moving the camera, and positioning pieces as it doesn’t exactly go where you want it to at all times, which is annoying. Also, the frame rate is quite poor at points, which is surprising for a PS5 title but hopefully, this can be rectified with a patch down the line.
Tin Hearts is a really enjoyable puzzle game which, despite looking very different, recalls all the enjoyment I had from playing Lemmings in my youth, and I would heartily recommend it.
Reviewed on PS5