With a name like that, what sort of a game do you expect this to be? A totally evil, hard as nails multi-way scrolling blaster? Or an enormous RPG with more monsters and spells than you ever thought possible, even in your wildest fantasies? Or perhaps a cutesy little puzzle game with fluff-ball characters and irritating sound effects?
There is a plot behind the game, but you don't really want to know about that. You do? Well, as the rather duff translation on the back of the box explains, "My children, the tiny skweeks, have taken In hostages with a waterphaser the driver of their spacebus while he was driving them out to holiday on the moon." Oh, I see, it all begins to make sense now.
Anyway, all you really do need to know is that the skweeks in question have landed on Earth and are determined to wreak havoc. And, surprise, surprise, you've got to stop them. Quite how the havoc manifests itself is unclear in the game, but the manual burbles gaily about how they've got an insatiable urge to turn things pink. In fact, the plot is totally irrelevant - you have to stop the skweks and that's that.
Varying numbers of coloured skweeks appear on a series of single-screen levels, and you have to put them to sleep by manoeuvring them on to special traps which are the same colour as the skweeks. The only trouble is that the skweeks only move in straight lines and will only stop moving when they hit a wall or some other object, which means you have to devise devious ways to move them around the increasingly difficult levels on to the right traps.
All the elements a good puzzle game should have
To make matters worse, you're up against a draconian time limit, so if you put one skweek wrong the whole world will be painted pink. (Well it would if the game agreed with what it says in the manual).
And that's about it really. 101 levels of mildly interesting, but ultimately not particularly engrossing, puzzling fun. It's got all the elements a good puzzle should have - stupid easy opening levels to teach you how to play, a different theme for each set of ten levels, and a smattering of bonuses. And of course there're the ubiquitous cuddly things that pull faces, and stick their tongues out at you.
But at the end of the day, when all the cliches are said and done, you can't help feeling that something's lacking. The game doesn't draw you in and make you want to keep playing until you've got to the end. Sure, it's very well presented and the control system's easy to use. But the game's not at all addictive. The idea of the game is peculiar - you have to save the Earth by capturing cuddly things, when normally you'd be saving the cuddly things.
There just doesn't seem to be any point, and if you like a little substance in your games, you'll find Tiny Skweeks more than a tiny bit lacking. But does there have to be a point? Well, no, not really. Not if you just want a diversion for a few pleasant hours of moderately perplexing puzzle-game fun.