Tin Hearts Review (PlayStation 5) – An Emotional Game With Heart

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When it comes to video games, some can elicit a wide variety of emotions. Excitement and jubilation when completing an impossible challenge. Dispair or frustration when losing a competitive match. Wonder and curiosity when exploring a new world or finding something new in a world that you have explored before. Anger or disgust when something you’ve been working on doesn’t pay off, save, or becomes corrupted.

Gamers can feel a variety of emotions and sometimes they can’t process those emotions. Sometimes, games help gamers process their emotions. This can cause players to form a strong attachment to a game. Going into Tin Hearts, we did not expect to go on a roller coaster ride of emotions but that is exactly what we got.

PAX Previews

After waiting for two years, we finally got our chance to play through Tin Hearts and we got a lot more than we expected. For insight, over the last two years at PAX, we had the opportunity to check out the game typically small portions at a time. A puzzle here, a puzzle there, no level ever truly connected.

During PAX 2023, we finally got a preview of the game’s story and even then, that did not prepare us for the ride we would go on. The preview showcased Albert’s wife and daughter living out their lives as Albert worked on his toys. The demo also gave us a preview of different levels within the game helping us to understand how to manipulate cannons to move objects or lower balloons. Still, the game’s main story illuded us.

Tin Hearts was officially released on the Nintendo Switch on April 20th,2023. The game is set to release on PC (Steam), Xbox, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 on April 16th. With under a month to wait, many have chosen to hold off until the game releases on all platforms to play it.  Despite waiting longer, it was more satisfying to play Tin Hearts on a PlayStation controller compared to a Nintendo Switch Joycon.

Now, you obviously didn’t come here for a recap of news or our PAX previews. You want to know if Tin Hearts is a good game and if is it worth the $29.99 retail price. Well, let’s talk about that in our Tin Hearts review.

Gameplay & Story


As previously stated, going into Tin Hearts we had minimal insight into the game’s overarching story. Just by looking at the game’s trailers alone, you would have a difficult time guessing where the story is going to go; you learn of Albert, Violet, and Rose but they primarily focus on gameplay. All you can derive is Albert’s wife is scared, but you are left asking, scared about what?

The game’s story takes us on an emotional rollercoaster as we experience what time has in store for  Albert, Rose, and Violet. The beginning levels feel rather cheery as we are taught the fundamentals of the game. The beginning shows us Albert working on his toys while Violet maintains the house and works on her passion projects. Rose is excited about a doll house she discovers her father is making and expects it will be a gift.

The story takes a darker turn as it alludes to something being wrong with Albert. Instead, we discover that Albert’s wife Violet has become sick. In the early stages of the game, Albert is solicited by The Guild of Toymakers to join their ranks; originally, he ignores their requests despite his wife’s urging him to consider their invitation. After his wife gets sick, Albert joins the guild reluctantly and throws himself into making new toys for the guild in order to afford the treatments for his wife. The toys change from simple children’s toys to more complex pieces of equipment. After joining the guild, we follow the remains of Albert, Violet, and most of Rose’s life.

Rather than spoil the story, all we can say is you just have to experience it for yourself. The story takes on a wild ride of emotions ranging from happiness, sadness, regret, grief, denial, and even death.

Tin Hearts Family


Tin Hearts’ gameplay takes a building block approach to puzzle solving. As you complete the puzzles, you unlock new abilities to make your life easier. Early on, completing the puzzles feels slower because you are learning the basics. You must learn how to position and angle the blocks in order to move the soldiers throughout the level in order to reach the door. Thankfully, the game institutes a fast-forward, rewind, and stop-time feature allowing you to plan out the pathing of the tin soldiers. Throughout our playthrough, we rarely let the Tin Soldiers move however they wanted to.

As the game progresses, new abilities are unlocked; with the compounding of abilities comes the increase in difficulty; the path is never as straightforward as it might seem and you will have to think about each step you take to solve the puzzle. Early in the game, the game changes style slightly adding a new puzzle element. The player is able to possess a soldier and maneuver them throughout the level.

While controlling the soldier, the other soldiers will march continuously, so you will have to be aware of how they are pathed; if you do not provide them with safe pathing while you explore, they will die and you will have to restart from when you took control. Blocking off the soldiers so that they go into an endless loop can be a convenient aid while exploring. Although there are fewer chapters in the later acts, the levels take a lot longer to complete. This is primarily due to the compounding of abilities and game mechanics.

Minor Bugs/Inconviences

During our playthrough, we did encounter a few bugs that didn’t work as intended but didn’t inhibit the game; in fact, a few of these bugs made our life easier or gave us a good laugh. Only one bug infuriated us to the point of having to put down the game; this bug was caused after rewinding time after getting a new power-up but caused us to be unable to progress. Once we restarted the level, we were able to fix the issue, but it was still time spent; despite the issue, it still gave us the knowledge we needed in order to complete the level when we restarted it.

After speaking with Rogue Sun about these bugs/”features”, we were informed that most have been patched and fixed prior to launch. Hopefully, some of the funny “features” will remain in the game.

Our biggest complaint is that some of the levels can be a bit too long and has no checkpoint feature to return to them if you have to stop playing.


For the style of the game, you’d expect that only the puzzle parts would be highly detailed while the surrounding world would be visible but not fleshed out. This is not the approach that Rogue Sun took, with each item in the world having its own unique look. Character movement within the game can feel unusual at first but it is easy to adapt to. The level of detail the developers have put into the game is exceptional with objects that you wouldn’t expect to be highly detailed being included. As Albert reads a letter out loud, you are able to zoom in on the letter and read it for yourselves verbatim.

The colors in each level along with the musical composition help set the mood and indicate what direction the story is going. In dark levels, you have more painful or negative feelings; meanwhile, lighter levels feel more upbeat and inspire optimism. In a way, it seems like the development team went through an array of colors to find the right ones in order to convey the scene’s emotions. This also holds true when it comes to character design and emotions. You can experience how each of the characters are feeling based on how emotions are conveyed.

Throughout our playthrough, nothing graphically broke or distorted the game’s feeling outside of us having ghost soldiers instead of tin soldiers. Despite the soldiers breaking, the game still played as it was supposed to. Tin Hearts visually is pleasing to look at and feels as the developers intend. Visually, it can suck you in and make you want to explore the area in which you find yourself.


At first, Tin Hearts‘ controls are the most difficult aspect of the game. The game’s earlier levels are used to help players adjust to the game’s controls and figure out how to maneuver things. Manipulating blocks and objects can be a chore at first, but as you get more experienced the easier it becomes. Since some skills require new buttons, it is a bit to adjust to but easy to overcome. The hardest aspect was controlling the soldier since it is a different visual style but that too becomes easier after practice.


Before going too deep into this section, we will state that we loved this game’s audio and sound effects. From the sound of the Tin Soldiers breaking on the floor to each character’s voice acting, and the end credits song, the game’s musical composition does an excellent job at setting the mood. The end credits song mixed with what we experienced in the final chapter brought us to tears.

Tin Hearts soundtrack lays out how the player should feel in each level. In happier parts of the story, the music is more upbeat or playful. In sadder times, it is more somber, dark, or gloomy. The music helps to be a reflection of what Albert is feeling throughout his life while he brings his toys to life. The voice acting within the game also draws the player in with each line delivered with emotion and passion. You can feel how the characters feel almost as if you are in their shoes. This makes the happier moments more meaningful and the sad moments more heart-wrenching.

Replay Value

With Tin Hearts, replay value is a double-edged sword. If you like solving puzzles and are a completionist, then you should enjoy replaying through Tin Hearts. If you are playing through the game for the story, then it will be more of a one-and-done experience. Once you beat the story, you lose a lot of the shock value. If you can enjoy replaying a game with a linear narrative then you should be able to enjoy Tin Hearts repeatedly.

Tin Hearts Banner


After waiting for two years to play Tin Hearts, we can happily say that it was worth the wait. The game’s story elicits a wide variety of emotions and for those who have been in similar situations, it can bring you to tears. The gameplay is enjoyable even with any of the bugs/features. The game does a great job building on itself where no new skill feels wasted or gimmicky. The feeling you get after completing a puzzle is satisfying and rewarding. Some of the levels do a feel bit to long at times but it helps to keep the narrative together. The voice acting and musical score sets the mood and help you feel the emotions within each scene.

At the end of the day, we can say that we loved our time with Tin Hearts and highly recommend it to those that love puzzle games or strong emotional narratives. For $29.99 USD, it almost feels like a steal. Our playthrough of Tin Hearts took about 15 hours to complete but can be finished in 6 hours if you know what you are doing. If you aren’t certain if you’d enjoy this game, look up playthroughs of it and then decide.

A review code was provided by Rogue Sun/Wired Productions for our Tin Hearts review on the PlayStation 5. Tin Hearts is available on Nintendo Switch, PC (Steam) PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5. 


  • Abilities stack and aren't wasted
  • The voice acting and musical score set the mood and convey a wide variety of emotions
  • Gameplay builds on itself and is rewarding when you complete a puzzle
  • Controls become easier with time and do not feel awkward.
  • Can replay levels without having to finish the game


  • Levels can be a bit to long and has no check point feature to return
  • Puzzles can be frustrating without hints
  • End cutscene is not skippable


Gameplay/Story - 9.5
Graphics - 9
Controls - 9
Audio/SFX - 10
Replay Value - 8
Hardcore gaming enthusiast, cosplayer, streamer, tall anime lover (6ft 9), and a die-hard competitor. I have been a Pop-Culture Journalist since 2011 specializing in shooters, Pokemon, and RPGs. A former writer for Gamersbliss.com, VGGaming HQ, TheNerdStash, and The Nerdy Con Artist. One day, I hope to travel the world while working in the video game industry or as a professional gamer. Do you want to join in on a game or see what I am up to? Come follow/message me at Killerkdemons. Open to all freelance opportunities.

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