Small Radios Big Televisions Review (PS4)
Small Radios Big Televisions, developed by Fire Face and published by Adult Swim Games, is an adventure puzzler that takes place in a series of buildings, each with multiple doors to alternate areas that only become apparent through exploration. Players move through a series of closed doors in each building by clicking around, with the goal being to navigate through each area fully before moving on. In order to open certain doors, players will need to find gems that are obtained from cassette tapes scattered around each building. Each cassette tape transports players to a different world based upon the title of the cassette. These tapes contain all different types of worlds, including a beachfront area and visualizer type scenes, with each becoming even more bizarre when run through magnets hidden around each stage. Moving around a given building is never difficult, often feeling more relaxing than challenging.
The puzzles in Small Radios BIg Televisions are fairly simple and the game can be quite relaxing. Some of the more in depth puzzles will require you to block light to kill door-blocking weeds or collect missing parts to complete a machine, but these won’t hurt your head. Flowing through buildings in a seamless, smooth manner is what makes Small Radios Big Televisions so mesmerizing and relaxing, so the fact that the vast majority of gamers probably won’t ever find themselves stuck is a good thing.
While the game is relaxing and flows smoothly, there is no real story or plot to why you are navigating through these buildings. This is probably the biggest weak point of the game. As far as the little story you do get, after clearing out a given stage, there is a brief cutscene between two off-screen voices. It’s interesting to hear tales of how the same tapes that hold the keys to unlocking factory doors have also corrupted people, but it’s almost the equivalent of a game about war not including details of why the war is occurring. Being such a short game, it would be much better with more detailed narratives.
The graphics and sound in Small Radios Big Televisions are the strong points of the game. The graphics are great for this type of game and make the relaxation even better. The developers incorporated a great combination of 2D and 3D visuals and having graffiti on a wall of a building mocking you by saying that you will never solve the puzzle ahead of you really immerses you in the environment. The soundtrack of the game is very tranquil and does a great job immersing you in the game as well.
Overall, Small Radios Big Televisions is a decent adventure/puzzle indie game. It is fairly short, roughly 2 hours, which may be a good thing. It is a fun game while it lasts, and a good starting point for what may come in the future of the genre. You can purchase Small Radios Big Televisions for $11.99 on the Playstation Store. It is also available for PC on Steam for the same price.