Imagine a world in which factories and other industrial facilities are abandon but why? And the only way to find out is by watching memories via cassette tape, well this is wonderful world of Small Radios, Big Televisions.
Small Radios, Big Televisions is a game that is more environmental discovery than anything else. You are going through the levels discovering what is going on via cassette tapes that have imprinted memories on them. With your special cassette player, you can go through the tapes and see the memories and collect stones to help you power doors to move forward in the story.
The background music in the game is very somber and mostly ambient sounds such as doors opening, gears moving and other machinery. The game does have some funky sounds when playing back the tapes but there is not much dialog or even voice over work. The game is a work of art that uses sounds to make better cues for the player to continue forward. As we tested the game on the PlayStation 4 version we played and tested the game with all family members using both a headset and regular sounds from a 5.1 surround sound and the game sounds great is surround sound. Parents there is no need for any special type of headsets or audio equipment needed for this game. Also during our playtest we did not notice any issue with the game audio with any of our gaming family members.
The visuals are a rendition of beautiful colors that make up the world. From the geometric shapes from within the building to the trippy dream like style of coloring from within the cassette tape scenes. Small Radios, Big Televisions does a great job of conveying its visual design. The game is a work of art to see moving and this is what makes the game special. However during our playtest, some of our gaming family members did have trouble seeing some objects from within the game. As this was a minor issue, but parents may want to make sure to change any color settings to balance out this issue. Again for parents be aware that there is no colorblind mode from the options but it is a minor issue that came up during playtesting. Parents know that there is nothing offensive in the game that would be any issues with younger gamers. Also with our playtesting we did not see any issues with our special needs gamers when playing Small Radios, Big Televisions.
The gameplay is center more around a “point and click” style of gameplay with some dragging of the items highlighted on the screen. As the game is designed to be more of a discovery style of gameplay that is very just discovery of what is in the environment. As the game has very simple pick up and play controls there were no issues with playing the game. In our playtest we did not see any issues arise with any special controller’s needs or even custom setup. Also in our special needs playtest there we no issues with the controls, or the default settings in the game.
“Small Radios, Big Televisions does not hold your hand or tell you where to go, it allows you to experience a wonderful story from the eyes of others.”
Small Radios, Big Televisions is a game about telling a story without any voice overs, heavy text reading or even a strong linear path to follow. The game is about discovery and how you as the gamer perceive the game story to be. In the game (without spoilers being said) is about what is going on, and why are these places deserted? This is how the game makes you go onto a journey to find out why. At heart the game is a story driven game. Now if you are in the market for a good story driven game that has you talking about what the ending means, then Small Radios, Big Televisions is the game for you to have in your digital library. Is the game for the whole family? Depends on your gaming family members taste on story driven discovery games, if they are fans of these types of games, they will love the game. When on our playtest with our gaming family, there were many that liked the game itself and its stories ending had us talking about its meaning days after the game was completed.
The big question at the office was that is Small Radios, Big Televisions a family friendly game? The answer is yes, it is. Some reasons why we are giving it the score that we did. The game is not violent at all, have any language or even too hard to play. If anything it is a great family friendly story driven game that is fun for everyone. Again without giving away the ending but it will have you talking to others about its meaning and what others have come up with its meaning. In honestly one of the issues that we did have with Small Radios, Big Televisions was that the game is short (around 4-6 hours of gameplay) and that there is not type of tutorial what so ever in the game. There is no indications on what to do and where to go. This may frustrate some of your gaming family members but to be honest the game itself once you get used to the style of game and controls it does not take long to know where to go and what you need to do. As the game is a short game this may be a deterrent for some to purchase it but I can personally say that the game is a true gem to play and should not be missed. We highly recommend the game as it is a very friendly game for all family members to play. Also with our special needs gaming testing, we did not see any issues arise that would cause anyone not to be able to enjoy this game.
Small Radios, Big Televisions is a great story driven game that invites you to discover what is going on and should not be missed by any fan of adventure games. A must have game for your digital library.