Not-E3 2023 Mini-Preview: A Tiny Sticker Tale lets you peel 'n' stick the world
Throughout June, Video Games Are Good is spotlighting a handful of amazing demos released on Steam as part of "Not-E3" or the summer Steam Next Fest (June 19-26).
Take a look at my wide collection of stickers, contrasted with the barren surfaces of my emotional-support water bottle, laptop case, journals and planners, and you'll see: I live in fear of rigidity. And I'm not the only one. We've all asked ourselves the age-old question. "What would the world be like if this sticker placement wasn't so dang permanent...?"
Ogre Pixel was brave enough to answer. The small indie game dev studio based in Aguascalientes, Mexico, is developing A Tiny Sticker Tale.
The game was announced during the 2023 Guerrilla Collective Showcase, with an encore appearance for the Wholesome Direct.
Their upcoming release is an absolute utopia for those of us too sentimental to keep a sticker fixed in one place. Because in A Tiny Sticker Tale, all the world's an interactive stage for stickers. Pretty much everything can be picked up and turned into a sticker, carried along in your ultra-handy sticker book, and placed down again wherever you'd like.
The game has a demo out now on Steam, where you can try out this teensy adventure for yourself. It introduces you to the main character, Flynn, who has arrived on Figori Island with a special sticker book in hand. In a story the devs described as an "interesting and emotional" journey, Flynn will follow letters scattered like breadcrumbs across the island to eventually reunite with their father.
Along the way, Flynn will bump into all kinds of new friends who are missing prized possessions or have unfulfilled wishes. You can complete small quests for them to make life a little nicer, and some will do the same for you, helping you advance in your journey.
In many ways, this vibrant adventure called to mind Haven Park for me, another bite-sized, emotional indie exploration game — as well as more obvious parallels like Paper Mario: Sticker Star.
The demo is short and easily digestible, but offers a clear and compelling taste of what the gameplay is like. There were seven or so characters within the demo who needed help with some small task that you'd achieve by rearranging the world in small ways, running from screen to screen to find what you need.
It feels like a creative little playground with some genuinely clever gameplay. Your stickers aren't only for decoration, but rather are the tools you use to interact with and navigate the world. You can pick up most items in the world and restick them wherever. There are also certain stickers, including other animals, who should be placed in very specific locations indicated by outlines.
While simple, the puzzles are fun (and include a FISHING MINIGAME).
You might peel and relocate an entire bridge to cross a river, or place down a bomb sticker that explodes, or use a fishing pole to shore up fish (sticky fish!) from the rivers, or pluck the very sun from the sky so an old man can watch a peaceful sunrise on the beach.
Your power knows no bounds.
Plus, you can carry your adorable friend Honey around with you in your sticker book for whenever you need her sage input! (Fun and true historical fact: This is how we kept in touch with friends prior to the development of cell phones.)
Each bite-sized screen is a bit like a diorama. Most of them present their own unique character with a predicament that only you and your magical sticker book can solve.
However, there's someone else in the world who has a book like yours — Rocky the raccoon — and he's chosen to use his powers for evil. Well, mischief. To be precise, he's causing incredibly minor inconveniences, like moving trees that provide shade or blocking a cave entrance with large rocks, thereby creating little puzzles you need to solve.
Really, he's doing you a favor, if I'm honest. He's staying one step ahead to create fun little games for us, the player, and to deliver a cheeky giggle at every turn. What a guy! I'm eager to see how this cute little rivalry plays out. My guess? Rocky just needs a friend (and I'm ready to be one to him)!
The game's world is incredibly cute and vibrant, and with its small-scale world and relaxing puzzles, the game feels approachable for gamers with many skill levels.
A Tiny Sticker Tale is the second cozy game from Ogre Pixel, following their 2022 release Lonesome Village, which employs a similar cartoony aesthetic and simple puzzles.
In 2023, stickers are having a moment in gaming. This year, we saw another cute sticker-based indie title announced in Sticky Business (Spellgarden Games). And with well-executed titles like these, the enthusiastic reception is clear. A Tiny Sticker Tale was successfully funded on Kickstarter in less than two hours and unlocked stretch goals for two additional map extensions, the swamp and the desert — hooray! More sticking!
It's planned to debut on Steam and on Nintendo Switch (date TBD) with hopes to bring it to other consoles in the future.
If you've ever wanted to step into the wee little boots of a cute donkey while wielding unbelievable divine power and control over the world around you, give A Tiny Sticker Tale a try while it has a demo up on Steam!