Don’t be a barbarian, check out Tiny Barbarian DX!

Tiny Barbarian DX is a game developed by StarQuail Games and published by Nicalis Inc for the Nintendo Switch and has been out on Steam for a while. It retails digitally for 29.99 but is also available physically in retail stores! You can check out more about the game and what is available from it here.


Tiny Barbarian is another throwback indie game that liked to venture back and revisit the old school 16-bit platformers of old time. It looks straight up like a throwback SNES game with really nice pixel visuals which makes this very apparent. There isn’t an established plot or story that you are hit with immediately. Tiny Barbarian’s narrative is delivered through moments of game play or during short cut scenes that start the beginning of a new episode. The game is split into four episodes, split into several areas, and each area has a handful of rooms. As you clear areas , you get a glimpse of your progress through the episode on a map. At the end of each episodes you encounter a large end boss to defeat before moving on.


There is no tutorial or anything and you are thrusted right into the action. The gameplay is pretty straightforward, but addictive. You have a variety of sword attacks at your disposal which are altered by holding a direction on the d-pad as you perform them. You can jump, attack in the air, and have an elbow dropesque ground pound. This is basically hack and slash game about running, jumping, climbing, your way to pursue the princess.


The difficulty of the game can be compared to old school NES style difficulty. It is not uncommon for an area to take several tries to get through. What is nice though, that doesn’t make this game infuriating, is a generous autosave checkpoint system. This makes dying not as frustrating and doesn’t set you back too far. The checkpoint system is also nice if you happen to have to get up and go midway through a stage, just incase. There is also co-op so you can play with a friend.


A major plus for me was the soundtrack! The chiptune style music really fits with the tone and feel of the game. It really helps add to the retro nostalgia throwback of the game.

The main disappointing thing I did find in the game, is that people could find it a bit bland if they aren’t into just platformers. There is no weapon upgrades or unlocks and no equipment that’ll vary the game play. It is just the change of scenery and difficulty spikes that change in the areas and episodes. This can make the game seem almost repetitive.


Altogether though, I find Tiny Barbarian a decent release that is a fun platformer with just the right level of difficulty. The soundtrack is wonderful and a real highlight. I’d recommend catching it on a sale, unless you like physical releases. Then I’d check around online or at your retailer to snag Nicalis’s copy of it, as it comes with some sweet mini collector items that people have gotten to expect when Nicalis does a physical release!

  • Great soundtrack
  • Retro graphics fit the game
  • Controls make it easy to control.
  • Becomes a bit repetitive
Graphics Pixl Score 4 4
Story Pixl Score N/A N/A
Sound Pixl Score 5 5
Controls Pixl Score 4 4
Fun Factor Pixl Score 4 4