The Tiny Bang Story is an adventure game that mixes hidden object gameplay with more elaborate puzzles. It is set on Tiny Planet, a fictitious world that breaks into pieces when it is hit by a meteor. The player literally has to piece together the world through five chapters.
Each chapter consists of a number of connected screens where the player interacts with the world, similar to the Samorost series. The two games also share a similar visual aesthetic, though Tiny Bang Story lacks a visible protagonist. In each of the game's chapters there are different tasks to complete simultaneously. The main one is to discover all puzzle pieces in the environment. After completing a chapter the collected pieces appear on the main world map and the player can piece the environment back together. Pieces are collected by clicking on them, but some of them are hidden and require another action to reveal them. They can be locked into a chest or in a room that requires the player to solve a puzzle before accessing it. The number of remaining pieces is shown on the right side of the screen.
In order to progress, other types of items need to be collected. Certain mechanisms require a number of objects to activate them. As soon as the player discovers such a system (for instance a gear box), the needed items are also shown in the column on the right. Players, for instance, need to collect gears, light bulbs, a wrench, or small balls. These objects are available in the world right away, but can only be picked up when the mechanism that requires them has been triggered. That way, areas need to be visited and searched multiple times.
These mechanisms often lead to more elaborate puzzles. Players need to discover number sequences, arrange balls, put together a torn picture, or restore a pipe mechanism. These often take more time than the regular item hunting. When all items for a mechanism have been collected, the player can drag them from the right to activate the mechanism where it is needed.
The game uses a built-in hint system based on fireflies. In every screen two blue fireflies appear and hover around. Clicking them adds them to a clue button in the top right corner. Whenever a firefly has been collected, a new one appears immediately. To fill the button 30 fireflies need to be gathered. At that moment the player can click it to release a red firefly. It flies around the environment and circles around a hidden object to highlight it. When all items in an area have already been discovered, the clue button cannot be activated. Filling up the clue button takes quite some time, so the player is urged not to use it for every single object, as that would be very time-consuming. The same hint system also works for the more difficult puzzles. For those, a blueprint of the solution is generally shown briefly.
The UK retail release is for Windows only. Next to the game it contains:
- Soundtrack disc
- Real jigsaw puzzle based on the front cover art