What a name am I right? Small Radios… Big Televisions. It reminds you of the old days with the CRT television and a simple radio to listen to your favourite stations. Something that was once treasured and was a luxury item, are now a common household item. Well this game is more than just common indie game, it delves into the psyche of ones consciousness and how we want to run away from our problems and finding meaning in our lives. Well that’s how I’ve interpreted it. As always, it’s Clarice here, bringing you another review on a mind opening experience that is called Small Radios, Big Televisions.
As you start the game you are introduced to a distorted soundtrack, which is very repetitive but in a good way, the soundtrack itself is what gives the game its eerie edge. You start off in a world that is empty with nothing more than a building in front of you, using your cursor or LS you are able to move around the world instead of using a character to get from A to B, but before you can even explore, you can only explore the first side of the building and only entering the door that you are first introduced to. This is because although it is an adventure-puzzle game, it is very linear in how you approach it; you must do certain things in a correct order to carry on your journey. Mix in with the beautiful artwork of this game you can already tell this will be a memorable experience.
The whole game revolves around cassette tapes that you find around the different rooms you enter, at first glance, when played, the world seems normal and peaceful, until you introduce magnets to the tapes, this alters the world, making you feel uneasy and even to the extent that you want it too end. The aim of ‘entering’ these tapes is to find ‘keys’ that unlock the next stage that are hidden within, sounds strange I know but it’s quite unique, reminds me a lot of Super Mario 64 when you have to enter a painting to obtain the power stars, similar concept but very different approaches. Whereas Super Mario 64 is very colourful and aimed at all ages, Small Radios Big televisions has a very dark meaning behind it, with messages on the wall saying ‘It never ends’ and distorted pictures drawn on the wall, this game has a deadly meaning hiding under the surface of its distortion.
With each section of the building has its own puzzles you need to complete in order to continue, and as you progress you notice how each building is represent by shapes to show there difficulty, to start off with the first building is a triangle and as you progress they turn into more complex shapes with many more doors that you must navigate through. Although I did thoroughly enjoy this game, to me this was more of an experience, rather than a game and I do have some issues with it. This game felt more geared towards VR due to how it controls on the ps4, it was almost impossible to precisely move your cursor to where you want to go especially when using a controller, it breaks your emersion and causes frustration that is not needed. Overall it is a solid game that will bring around 2-4 of gameplay and hours of trying to understand the darker tones to it.
For me I did enjoy this game and would recommend it to anyone who loves hidden lore and a unique gaming experience so I would rate it a respectable 8/10.