A Tiny Sticker Tale (2023)
Developer: Ogre Pixel
Surprisingly, now that I've settled into my new house I have had a chance to play a couple of indies at once. I had to decide which one I'd do a review for, and I ended up picking a this short and sweet game that ended up surprising me. A Tiny Sticker Tale is a cozy adventure game where everything is a sticker that you can carry in your inventory. A Tiny Sticker Tale is a really creative and free-form little journey; its lovely characters would've been enhanced if it'd had more interesting and polished dialogue.
You play as Flynn, a young donkey with a magical sticker book on a journey across Figori Island. You have the ability to select basically anything on the screen and pick up as a sticker, then put it in your sticker book for later. Pick up a bridge and take it to the river, pick up a tree to bring some shade, and even pick up characters so you can bring them with you across the map. It's feels really goofy at times, in a fun and limitless way. However, you're not the only one who can use this ability - a mischievous little raccoon is running around the island moving things around and causing trouble for the islanders. As you help out the locals and search for secret items, you'll also find scrolls left behind by Flynn's dad that allow you to see memories of their time together. You'll earn rewards from helping others that will allow you find the last of these messages from your father.
I was partially drawn to A Tiny Sticker Tale due its incredibly cute art style. Its vibrant colors and bold lines allow it to truly look like a sticker book. It doesn't bother me that the actual play area is fairly small and is surrounded by a soft pastel patterned background, because this background actually serves as a place to put stickers when you need some space. It's also extremely satisfying the way the stickers actually look when you "peel" them, not to mention they have a holographic look to them. The music is both playful and cozy, really evocative of this wholesome island adventure. The sound design also adds to the immersion of being able to treat everything as a peel-able sticker.
There's two critiques I have about A Tiny Sticker Tale in regards to the dialogue. The first is the grammar and wording. I'm not sure if the developers' native language is English, so I can sort of forgive some strange wording. However, the sporadic use of punctuation made the tone feel really weird at times. Second, I felt that the dialogue was really dry and uninteresting. The characters seemed to have interesting stories - for example, the raccoon being a bit of a villain or the two friends who wanted to be reunited. Yet, they had very few words to say about something that felt important, so it made the interactions less enjoyable. Regardless, I think the most impactful character moments were the quiet memories you see of Flynn and his dad. Some characters' arcs were also pretty funny and unexpected.
In A Tiny Sticker Tale, you'll solve quests and puzzles by bringing out the right stickers in the right place. Some of these quests are optional to the game's story, and you can even have different things happen depending on what sticker you choose to use. It's not too challenging to get all collectibles in this game, but you'll need to play the game at least twice to get them all. It actually has a really interesting inventory system because the stickers don't actually snap to a grid, but you can still cleverly organize it to fit more of them. Some stickers are huge so you'll learn you need to either put stickers on the very edge of the book or carefully cram them close together. Additionally, Flynn has a house that he can decorate with different items he finds around the world. You can really customize your house pretty freely - the only thing that limits you a bit is that fact that you can't place stickers too close together. Carrying a ton of stickers around can get tricky, but the more you have on you, the more prepared you'll be for different obstacles. If you're ever stuck on a puzzle and don't know what to do next, you just have to remember that basically anything is a sticker.
I enjoyed A Tiny Sticker Tale because its unique mechanic was really as fun as they made it look in the trailer. The story was kept quite simple, but it has qualities that make it very replayable. It's a cool plus that the studio, Ogre Pixel, are based in Aguascalientes, Mexico. I don't see too many indie studios based out of Mexico and I'm happy to be able to support indie games coming out from my home country. I recommend A Tiny Sticker Tale to anyone who enjoys cute adventure games, especially point-and-click, as well as any avid sticker collectors. It's simple for anyone to get into but there's surprisingly a lot to discover.
A Tiny Sticker Tale is available on PC and Switch
Played on: PC (Steam Deck)
Last Played: 10/12/2023
Playtime: 3.5 hrs