Tiny Brains wants to treat you like its minuscule rodent protagonists.
A coop focused puzzle game, you play as one of four furballs who through some bizarre experiment have been given superpowers and are now naturally stuck running through tests to deduce just how intelligent they've become. Where Spearhead takes this so far however is in seemingly forgetting to design its puzzles as anything requiring involved thought or clever utilization of its awkwardly implemented mechanics.
There's this feeling throughout playing Tiny Brains like you're running on a treadmill through the tutorial for all of its four very brief levels. It reuses the same puzzle types, repeats similar level designs, and never gets around to taking the training wheels off. You're a rat in a maze doing the same things again and again. And that's really boring.
More frustrating still is how poorly it makes use of its coop component. It's very clearly the way Tiny Brains was designed to play, but puzzles rarely requires the use of more than one or two different powers, essentially meaning if you're playing a full game of four you'll be trading off who gets to actually do anything instead of using your combined efforts to progress. It's at this point that you're probably asking why you wouldn't simply play solo, and the answer to that lies in the aggravating handful of levels that make playing solo immensely difficult or downright impossible. I'm fairly certain I cheated through several of the last levels as there didn't seem any way to possibly get through them without the help of more players, and at one point was attempting to use two controllers simultaneously to get past what was still a very rudimentary puzzle.
And then there are all the portions which don't center around puzzle solving at all, but instead rolling a giant ball through an obstacle course or protecting a little pink chick from a horde of rampaging chickens. These are without question the worst parts of an already miserable game, and besides being terribly boring are often obnoxiously difficult because of the poor controls and annoying cooldown timer. These portions probably take up about a third of the game, which is only an hour or two long to begin with. I'd take a moment here to write a bit more about how the before mention pink chick, ostensibly the sole female character in the game, is used solely as a victim and a villain and feels just a little sinister and problematic, but the dialogue is so cringe inducing and the narrative flimsy that there's hardly any point.
Everything just comes together like a giant mess of bad design, not helped by the abundant technical issues (as of this writing online coop is all but entirely broken, and even playing solo I experienced crashes after every chapter). I love what Tiny Brains was going for with a coop puzzle game with some unusual means with which to solve them, but it fumbles the whole way and never does anything with its concepts that it just wants to keep introducing over and over. Getting through Tiny Brains would have been a chore even had it worked as intended, but the sort of disrepair its in just makes it sad and embarrassing, and I feel a little bad for having made others play it with it.