Tiny Brains, the action puzzler by Spearhead Games, will offer players varying levels of challenge depending on which game mode they choose, according to its developers.
During a demo of Tiny Brains' new levels at PAX Prime, Spearhead Games demonstrated how the same game could be played in different ways to yield different challenges.
In four-player co-op, each player controls a rodent with a super power: one rodent has the ability to attract objects, another can repel them, the third can teleport to switch positions with objects and the last can create blocks of ice that can then be thrown or be used as barriers. When four people are playing, Tiny Brains feels like a party game, with everyone calling out instructions to each other as the four rodents work together to solve the puzzles.
All four rodents chased after a giant ball, zapping at it to teleport it to other parts of the field and accidentally zapping each other.
If one or two of the players drop out, the remaining players take on those abilities. In two-player co-op — still in the same map — the players can decide which rodents will control two powers, and it will be up to the player to switch between them as they see fit. When there are two players, Spearhead told Polygon that it become less chaotic, but significantly more strategic. The two players need to always be communicating with each other so that they can both effectively utilize the four powers at the right time to clear the puzzles.
When playing the same maps with only one player, the developers say it becomes a super difficult, twitch-based game that mostly seasoned gamers will be able to manage. There will only be one rodent on the screen, but the player will have to toggle between the other rodents to access their abilities.
Spearhead also showed off a new competitive mode where all four rodents play soccer on a field using their powers. In this mode, all the rodents have access to every power, which are mapped to the controller's trigger and bumper buttons. Playing in a two on two match, we had to push, pull, teleport with and put down barriers in order to stop the ball from rolling into our goal, and to push it into the opponent's goal. The experience was frantic and chaotic, as all four rodents chased after a giant ball, zapping at it to teleport it to other parts of the field and accidentally zapping each other in the process.
Players can employ as much strategy as they like. Our early matches in competitive mode where a chaotic spectacle of four rodents fumbling around and losing the ball. As the matches progressed, some players started laying down ice blocks to defend their goal while others teleported the ball every time it was close to entering their goal.
In the matches Polygon took part in, there was yelling, there was (some) strategizing and there was almost some controller-throwing. Mostly, there was fun with super-powered rodents.