Tiny Thor Review: A Nordic Adventure packed with Hammer-Smashing Fun

Thor just turned eight and is indeed still a tiny kid, with Mjolnir at his side however he is incredibly mighty already although perhaps a tiny bit gullible. Traveling the realms of Midgard, Svartalfheim and Niflheim Tiny Thor is not shy of exploring, solving puzzles and showing of his agility in order to put a stop, or at least a pause to Ragnarök. Yes we are talking end-of-the-world here. All packed in a beautiful detailed 16-bit world.

What is it?

Tiny Thor is a retro-inspired 2D action platformer developed by German indie studio Asylum Square and published by IndieForge, a new indie publishing label from Gameforge. It serves as a love letter to the golden age of Amiga, SNES, and Sega Genesis platforming games. In this nostalgic adventure, players take on the role of the eponymous character, Tiny Thor, as they harness the mighty power of mini-Mjölnir, Thor's hammer.

The game features a diverse cast of bosses, including the cave-dwelling Stone Crusher, the legendary Kraken, and the infamous Loki. Each boss presents its own mechanics, demanding creativity and dexterity to defeat. Players will explore various realms inspired by Norse mythology, such as Midgard, Svartaltheim, and Niflheim, with over 30 meticulously designed levels to conquer.


Inspired by the great platformer adventures of the golden 16 bit era on Amiga, SEGA and SNES, the gameplay of Tiny Thor revolves around skillful platforming, frenetic fights, and light puzzle-solving. The game controls are simple and effectively give all the tools you need, but some skills might not take be available right away.

Your main weapon is Mjolnir the mighty hammer always by Thor's side. In the game Mjolnir provides a unique hammer-throwing action used to not only take out the various enemies in the game but also allows the player to perform epic trick shots to reach treasure or levers and traps far out of reach in all sorts of creative ways. 

The ability to freely aim the hammer adds a layer of control and strategy to the combat as well as the puzzle solving.  It is going to take a combination of quick reflexes, some brawn and player ingenuity to make it through the many challenges and smart puzzles the game has to offer.

The controls feel tight and on point, nothing feels floaty, sluggish or "heavy" which is a critical point for a run and jump adventure. It is one of the things that always caused so many of the "mascot" games in the past to fail where games like Mario and Sonic succeeded. And Tiny Thor has nailed it when it comes to control. There is no health bar, you get hit, you pass out and have to try again from a previous save spot. There are however hearts you can collect that give you extra protection. When you have them with you, your armor changes from blue to red and is you get hit then, the hearts react much like the rings in Sonic. They leave your armor for you to pick up again. But instead of splitting up in multiple parts the heart stays in one piece and shows a countdown timer. if you do not get it in time, it will disappear. The time left over will be for the next time you get hit, causing it to slowly dwindle down to zero if you keep getting hit. It is a great implementation of additional "life" in a different way. the real challenge is to know when to NOT chase the heart and just move on.

One of the issues I had personally was the aimed throw of the hammer. In order to execute it you need to hold down the trigger, aim, push the face button and then release it. My brain has for some reason to be conditioned to expect the hammer to either fly on release of the trigger or on the push of the face button [X]. During more pressured moments it would cause me some issues. Chalk this one op to old gamer brain, shall we? 

As I mentioned some skills are not available right from the start. As you progress through the game you will collect various gems which act as currency you can use to unlock new abilities in the game by paying Munin and Hugin. They might talk but they are still Ravens that love shiny things.  Paying them will unlock runes that give you more powers or improve your current ones. Sometimes you will need these to be able to clear older levels and get all the gems as well as these red diamonds used to unlock more levels in the game. 

Progression and difficulty curve is mostly smooth and steady in Tiny Thor, at times you will hit areas where you feel challenged, but nothing seems impossible. It is a manner of learning the map, the obstacles in them and finding a way to get past. If a level is too much you can always go back to a few older ones to find your groove or confidence. What I liked a lot is that the save system and respawn layout is done so well that you never feel you lose a lot of progress, it just becomes just you and the problem until you get past it. That said the later levels will really test your mettle as you move forward in the game. You will also find side challenges throughout the game that you do not need to move forward but will award you with glory , treasure and the sense of accomplishment if you complete them but be warned they are not for the faint of heart.


Tiny Thor delivers a visually stunning experience with its 16-bit pixel art style, meticulously crafted by industry veteran Henk Nieborg. The game's graphics pay homage to the golden age of gaming, reminiscent of classic titles from the Amiga, SNES, and Sega Genesis era. The hand-drawn world is vibrant and full of charming details, capturing the essence of retro gaming while adding its own unique flair. The character designs in Tiny Thor are adorable and captivating. Tiny Thor himself is brought to life with smooth animations and expressive movements. The enemies and especially the bosses you encounter throughout your adventure are imaginatively designed, each with their own distinct characteristics that add depth to the game's visual appeal. From the cave-dwelling Stone Crusher to the mythical Kraken, the enemies are visually striking and evoke a sense of nostalgia for classic platformers.

The environments in Tiny Thor are equally impressive. Players will traverse through various realms inspired by Norse mythology, including the hostile Midgard, the technological tunnels of Svartaltheim, and the chilling cold chasms of Niflheim. Each realm is visually distinct, with meticulously crafted backgrounds. Whether you're exploring lush forests or braving treacherous caves, the attention to detail in the game's graphics ensures an immersive and visually pleasing experience. With detailed parallax scrolling background panels and tiny details in the environment such as butterflies, tiny bunnies and even mice that seem to hint at secrets in the level, the world feels alive and filled with beauty.

As for sound the game delivers as well, instead of restraining themselves to 16-bit audio the game offers a more modern experience that seamlessly integrates with the classic retro look. Tiny Thor features an amazing soundtrack that complements the gameplay and enhances the nostalgic atmosphere. From upbeat and catchy tunes during intense platforming sequences to more atmospheric melodies during exploration, the soundtrack adds depth and emotion to the game and more then occasionally has you bobbing your head or tapping your feet. I do love a good soundtrack and Tiny Thor has it in spades.  Furthermore, the sound effects in Tiny Thor are top-notch as well. Every jump, hammer throw, and enemy defeat is accompanied by satisfying audio cues, immersing players in the action and adding an extra layer of engagement. The attention to detail in the sound design further contributes to the overall polish and quality of the game. 

Story wise the Tiny Thor is fairly light with some dialog during and between the various levels, however it is a fun little story and dialog is not the main point of a game like this and from that point of view it more then suffices in delivering a fun narrative. There are no voice overs so lucky you get to make your own voices, especially fun for the two sneaky ravens.

Parental recommendation

We have not done this part for a while, but feedback has indicated that it is a well-liked part of our reviews, so we are bringing it back.
Though there was no ESRB or PEGI rating I could find at the moment I believe that this game is easy an E rating. Perhaps the age and game experience of a younger player can make it tough to make it through the whole game right away it offers plenty early levels to successfully explore and learn to get better. Content wise there is nothing offensive to worry about and the look of the game is fantastic and colorful. You would be fine leaving the room if they are playing this by themselves.

Final thoughts

Can Nostalgia even be so strong in a new game that did not exist back in the day that it just feels like it was? Tiny Thor offers a fun journey that captures the essence of the golden age of gaming. The retro-inspired visuals, alongside the smart hammer-throwing mechanics and challenging level design, creates an exciting and fun experience. With its blend of platforming, combat, puzzles, and immersive Norse realms, Tiny Thor strikes the perfect balance between nostalgia and modern gameplay and had me grinning ear to ear feeling like I was a young teenager again playing games on his Amiga 500 or his uncle SEGA Megadrive (Genesis).

The 16-bit pixel art style, meticulously crafted by industry veteran Henk Nieborg, brings the game to life with vibrant and charming visuals. Each realm inspired by Norse mythology is visually distinct, and the attention to detail in the graphics immerses players into its world. The character designs, including the adorable Tiny Thor himself, are just so captivating and filled with expressive animations.

Accompanying the stunning visuals is an amazing soundtrack that perfectly complements the gameplay. The soundtrack is just stellar and coupled with the quality of the sound effects, every action in the game is accompanied by satisfying audio cues, enhancing the immersion and overall polish of Tiny Thor.

But Tiny Thor is not just about looks and sound. The gameplay itself is a delightful combination of platforming, combat, and puzzles. The hammer-throwing mechanics, allowing for epic trickshots and creative solutions, add a fresh twist to the gameplay. Players will face a bountiful cast of enemies and bosses, each with their own mechanics and challenges that demand creativity and dexterity to overcome.

Exploring the hand-drawn world of Tiny Thor is a joy, with hidden secrets and mind-bending environmental puzzles waiting to be discovered. Collecting gemstones unlocks seriously tough challenge missions, providing an additional layer of depth and replayability for those seeking a greater test of their skills.

Whether you're a die-hard fan of classic platformers or simply looking for an enjoyable and challenging adventure, Tiny Thor is a game that should not be missed. So, grab your mini-Mjölnir, declare "hammer time," and embark on this epic retro journey when the game released on Windows PC via Steam, GOG, and the Epic Games Store, as well as on Nintendo Switch this summer. This Thor might be Tiny, but he is mighty!

GameTiny Thor
DeveloperAsylum Square Interactive GmbH
Review Platform:  PC (steam)
Release Date:  5 June 2023 ($19.99 / $17.99 intro price)
Platforms:PC. (Steam, GOG, EPIC). Out on Switch Summer 2023
ESRB: N/A (geeks rating E for everyone)

About the writer: DadGeek (Rob) is the co-founder of GeeksVsGeeks. He is a product of the eighties and never let go of his geek interest and hobbies no matter how often someone told him to stop. His love for gaming and all things geeks has been part of his parenting style and permeates throughout the whole family. A family of Geeks vs Geeks  


videogames 1555048345153455777

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts with us.


- Navigation -