[Review] Small Radios Big Televisions – An Artistic, Ambiguous Door Opening Simulator

In PC, PS4, Reviews by Benjamin GeeLeave a Comment

Small Radios Big Televisions is an artistic game of puzzles and exploration, but mostly just doors, oh so many doors.

Small Radios Big Televisions can be better appreciated as an interactive artsy experience rather than a “game,” so to speak, as its lovely polygonal and retro style and immersive music outshine the gameplay.

At the start, players are thrown into the world of Small Radios Big Televisions without instruction and must figure out the workings and story of the game nearly independently. As players click open doors to explore the world, they learn about the strange universe the game depicts. Through use of cassette tapes that take the player to abstract landscapes, keys can be found to unlock new doors and areas.

The game also features puzzles for the player to figure out in order to progress to more and more doors (there seems to be a common trend). However, these puzzles are quite simple and sometimes even tedious to do, with plenty of backtracking and clicking around to complete them. Small Radios Big Televisions contains a handful of factories to traverse, each with their own puzzle elements, like switch flipping, gear placing, and cassette manipulating.

Despite Small Radios Big Televisions lacking interesting gameplay and challenge to complete, it keeps players interested through its art and soundtrack. The factories that are explored are unique in personality and style and add much to the overall story of the game in subtle details. The cassette tapes are immersive and beautiful in their polygonal aesthetic, creating a psychedelic, hypnotic experience. Throughout the game, the music plays with soothing synths and ominous melodies, hinting at the underlying story along each area of the virtual world. Together, the visual and auditory assets of the game are immersive and gave incentive to continue the otherwise dry game.

The game offers a few achievements to work towards, but just through completing the game these achievements are easily attained. Small Radios Big Televisions is quite a short game, and offers around two hours of gameplay, however there is not much replay value.

As it is an artsy experience, much is left to the interpretation of the player. While the level design is somewhat predictable and linear, the underlying meaning of the work as a whole is abstract and can be understood in many different ways. As players complete more sections of the game, they will be given clues and tidbits of knowledge about peculiar state of the world around them and are left to piece together the story of Small Radios Big Televisions for themselves.

Door Opening Simulator is an audiovisual experience best played for its beautiful aesthetic and soundtrack, not gameplay. Its three dimensional elements and transitions are smooth and immersive, allowing players to seamlessly venture through the game’s world and explore. While the game, as a whole, is a good artistic experience with stellar art and music, along with ambiguous meaning, there was much more potential to be expanded on in terms of gameplay.

Pros

  • Artstyle and music is immersive and well executed with unique worlds and areas to explore
  • Smooth gameplay experience

Cons

  • Lacks interesting gameplay
  • Simplistic level design and tedious puzzle elements

Score30

Reviewed on: PC; Also Available on; PS4; Publisher: Adult Swim Games; Developer: Fire Face Corporation; Players: Single player; Released: November 8, 2016; ESRB: Everyone; MSRP: $11.99; Official Site

Note: A promotional code was provided to Denkiphile for review purposes by the publisher

Benjamin Gee[Review] Small Radios Big Televisions – An Artistic, Ambiguous Door Opening Simulator

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