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Rewind Your Cassette Tapes -- Small Radios Big Televisions Review

Imagine if the format wars created a video game.

Video games could be seen as playable pieces of art. At times they affect your very soul. Perhaps this game talks about the triumph of the mechanical world over the natural land. Humanity taking their place as the ultimate creature. As they rise, it is followed by the eventual fall. What happens when they find the errors of their ways too late? 

Small Radios Big Televisions is a trippy game. I would expect much from publisher Adult Swim Games and the developer FIRE FACE. The ascetics of the game are experimental once you go into the micro worlds of the cassette tapes. Yes, I said cassette tapes.

There are two main worlds you visit in this game. First, a structure industrial outer world. This houses each of your levels and the interiors. The great care in crafting that feel you are in some factory or warehouse. Boxes stacked and strewn on the ground. Mechanical gears that you can manipulate for your own purpose. That eerie sense of being alone and finding out what happened.


The second world your visit is not a world but as an expression of the surroundings that were lost. These cassette tapes are inserted into your VR headset to replicate the areas such as a forest or a mountain. The cassettes have to stand in for the real thing.As you warp the data, you are collecting bits to open the real world locked doors in various mysterious factories.

These worlds are something from video games past. The unique stylings of virtual cassette world are small in size but give you a glimpse of what this land lost in the industrial revolution. As humans do, we distort our surroundings. In Small Radios Big Televisions, you have to distort the virtual world to find the keys to unlock the puzzles. It's like you have to follow the path of the people who made this world to understand what happened to it. 

I pondered while I was playing this, what happened to this land? This game was inspired by the past with analog devices, retro graphics, and the weakness of older media. While the world is moving forward with virtual reality, this game sets itself apart. FIRE FACE has bucked the trend with going backward to an era of forgotten technology. Even as short as the game is, the message is there.

As humanity strived for technological greatness, we had to sacrifice nature. Some might say that game serves as a warning of what could happen to the human race. With all that said, this is a good game with replayability. If this game came to VR, that would be the ultimate experience for the player.   


Disclaimer: Publisher provided a download code of Small Radios Big Televisions.

Our Rating
7
Imagine if the format wars created a video game.
Reviewed On: Playstation 4
Published Nov. 17th 2016

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