Glitch Guest — The Search for Something Preposterous: Tinkatolli

Updating once every month and a half is reasonable.  I’m still out there in gaming playing Guild Wars 2 and sampling others.  Other writing projects have been progressing lately, but I foresee some more posts here in the near future.

In the meantime, fellow former Glitchen acronymph approached me to see if I would run a guest blog, which sounded like a swell idea to me and a great way to update my blog with minimal work.  That post will shortly follow, but first I’d like to go ahead and request more guest bloggers from the Glitch community.  Not all of the games that Glitchen have migrated to are of interest to me, and I don’t have time to play them all.  Many of the games I play would not be of interest to most Glitchen, but I do want to provide a bit more content to the community.  If you’d like to review a game you are playing that you think might interest other former players, email me at the address provided in my bio and let me know the game you’d like to review, and perhaps we can do some more of these Glitch Guest posts.

-~-~*~-~-

I am not a gamer. I am not a blogger. Bear with me.

I fell in love with Glitch, the first and only MMO I’d ever played, after it was recommended to me by a real life friend in October 2011. Oh, the hours I lost. Oh, the fun I had. Oh, the friends I made. Sadly, the game closed December 9th, 2012 essentially due to lack of funding.

Looking for a replacement wasn’t high on my list of priorities initally, although many of my in-game friends were recommending other games that might potentially whet my whistle.

Several weeks after Glitch closed and as I still combed the newsfeed (thank you Tiny Speck for keeping that aspect available to users) I found I really did want another game to keep me occupied in my limited spare time. I had purchased and was still playing Bubbletown locally on my laptop, but there are only so many borbs you can shoot in a day and still walk away with any sense of accomplishment.

A couple other Glitchers had mentioned Tinkatolli, more than once, and I finally signed up a week ago.

This game is aimed toward kids. Age range isn’t mentioned, but it’s apparent once you’re inside that the age range is youngish-young.

Now is also a good time to mention that I’m not a parent. Even so, I have to say it’s a useful game for young’ns. Gross motor skills are tasked with any video game, sure. But this online game has so many games within games it offers testing of math skills, prioritization, depth perception and timing.

There are seven lands in the world, each being small and straightforward. Stinkatolli is the exception to that statement, being somewhat labrynthine in layout and larger than the others. In my limited play, it seems the game is not particularly quest-driven. Aside from a daily “trade” challenge, the goal appears to be to collect coins and trash as you move through the lands. Energy is maintained through consumption of fruits found scattered about.

As with most online games, there is the option to become a paid member and this unlocks access to an additional land. Membership begins at $5.95 for a single month and includes additional “trinkets” which are also earned each time a player levels up. Trinkets can be exchanged for upgrades such as expanded housing for your Tinka.

The arcade style games-within-game are located throughout the lands and can be played at will. Many of these are fashioned after old classics. For instance, there is a version of Memory and another game is akin to Bejeweled. “Stax” is almost flashcard-esque in nature, testing basic math skills in a timed fashion combined with cute graphics.

As a tree-hugging hippie myself, I have to also love the aspect of the game that teaches and encourages kids to recycle. There is a “sorting station” that allows the users to take the “junk” they’ve collected from the game and make other items from it. I love that. There is also an option to create things IRL from recycled items, photograph them, and upload them to the site to be voted upon with an opportunity to have those creations become a part of the game.

It is a bit confusing to me why this game was designed as an MMO. Granted, after only a few logins perhaps I’m missing something, but to date I can’t see a purpose in having friends there and there isn’t much of a social aspect to it even passing other players in the trash hunt. There is a chat option, but it’s rather cumbersome and only available on the main screen of a land. If you’re engrossed in a game, comments are missed.

Overall, kid game for the win. For now. Is it fun? Yes. Is it challenging if you’re over the age of seven? Probably not. But it’s fun anyway. Shelldiggr is my favorite game so far and has managed to scare off the doldrums on more than one occasion. Tinkatolli won’t become the social platform and all-consuming game that Glitch had been for me – it simply doesn’t have enough depth – but it works well to satisfy my need to occasionally log in to something and experience a bit of diversion.

If you decide to take a run ’round Tinaktolli, I suggest you turn your chat option off. If you’re older than nine, you probably don’t want to hear the random chatter.

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7 responses to “Glitch Guest — The Search for Something Preposterous: Tinkatolli

  1. My 8yo son and I did beta testing for Tinkatolli, and I’m glad to hear they’re still going strong. He lost interest after a few weeks, so we haven’t been back… maybe we’ll go check it out again.

    I’d like to take exception to the statement that it was exclusively funding that killed Glitch. I think that if the developers had chosen to market it a bit more, the money might have come… it’s hard to say now. The fact is that they chose not to publicize it because the platform was already creaking under the stress of the beta testing, and the Flash issues and browser limitations were only going to get worse with time. They took a gamble years ago which direction to go with their development, and it didn’t pan out. All the money in the world would not have changed that (although maybe unlimited funds could have facilitated a reboot on another platform, but we’ll never know).

    I’m so glad you’ve found a new place to get your MMO fix. The world of the Tinkas is a bright and cheery place, indeed!

  2. What a nice write-up saucelah! Thanks for that:)
    I also played Glitch- and fell willingly down that rabbit hole many a night and was amazed and delighted every time. Damned shame it didn’t last, for whatever reason.

    We are a very little game now, indeed. We started as an expansive, complictaed, wander around and figure it out sort of world – but quickly found that the slew of new players didn’t really know what to do with all that space and didn’t have time to figure it out. So we scaled back a lot.

    Now we are carefully adding features, one by one, trying to make sure they work along the way.

    I agree that it is a bit of a grind right now, but we are working on it. I find I run online daily to get my coins, gather junk and trade…and enjoy it- but then again I know what we are doing behind the scenes now, AND i remember how the world used to be when we had long puzzling quests, large locations and mysteries.

    Nice to hear a fresh take on it!

    We are just 3 guys building Tinkatolli – without investment, backing or advertisements, so any mention of our game makes us quite happy:)

    We are also delving into iOS – and launched our avatar maker, the TinkaMaker, as an app recently. Definitely a fun little toy, if I do say so myself;)

    https://itunes.apple.com/app/tinkamaker/id585970680?mt=8

    If any of your fellow Glitchen feel like giving me an earful of advice, opinions, or reviews – please feel free to contact me on twitter or mail: luke@tinkatolli.com

    Maybe I should design an in-game Glitch tshirt for those of you who decide to join our game?:)

    Best regards,
    Luke

    Tinkatolli: tinkaluke
    Glitch: lukism

    • Thanks very much for the comment. I do need to point out that I didn’t write anything beyond the funky little dashes and tildes after the intro, the review was all the work of a Glitch known as acronymph, but I will pass on this comment to her and those she knows that are playing the game.

      As I’ve been caught up in other games, I didn’t take much time to play this myself, though I did note at least one mini-game which would have been really useful with a student I was tutoring last year, so I fully support what you guys are doing there.

  3. Luke,
    Thank you both for your effort on Tinktatolli and your kind words here. A Glitch T would be awesome! I’d spend some trinkets on that ;) I had already been considering writing a followup review of the game as I’ve had more opportunities to log in and learn more about the workings of it, and I do grow more fond of it the more I experience. Still, not gonna ever replace Glitch for me but those are big shoes to fill. Your efforts are appreciated and noticed from those of us who might be surfing the MMO worlds and looking for a new home in which to land.

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