Tin Hearts is a new VR game that’s part Lemmings, part Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Like Lemmings, Tin Hearts is about leading a troupe of cute things (in this case, toy soldiers) from point A to point B, but in the world of virtual reality. This means that you’re often moving in and inspecting things, intimately. And like A Christmas Carol, Tin Hearts has a Victorian Britain setting and an otherworldly premise.
You play a mysterious spirit which appears to be disconnected from the world, with power only over specific objects. At the start of the game, all you’re able to do is open a magical box. Out of the box toy soldiers appear.
As you progress through the game, you’re able to manipulate more and more objects in the world, and you can do more with the toy soldiers, such as deflect them off toy blocks and bounce them off toy drums. Expect a slow ramp up in the difficulty of the puzzles, but, eventually, a decent degree of complexity and even some Metroidvania elements.
Tin Hearts is from a new Guildford-based studio called Rogue Sun, which was founded in 2016 by ex-Lionhead developers Kostas Zarifis, Ian Faichnie and Jon Askew.
“Aesthetically, we wanted to induce a feeling of nostalgia, magic and warmth,” Zarifis told Eurogamer.
“Make you feel like a child in a toy shop again, but also sneak in some dark undertones. We looked at a lot of classic Disney stuff (Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland, Fantasia) but also of course given the Victorian/British setting we drew a lot of inspiration from our own influences and experience from working on things like Fable.
“The Witness is another major inspiration when it comes to games that even at their most challenging the game is still being fair. Observe your surroundings, think of the things you’ve learned so far and maybe think if there might be new ways to combine or use them. This is a theme we play a lot with mechanically in Tin Hearts also.”
Tin Hearts comes out 8th November for Oculus and HTC Vive via Steam.