The Top 7... Little heroes in big worlds

Our weekly Top 7 lists usually cover timeless topics that could probably post any point throughout the year. But with the critically fellated LittleBigPlanet on its way next week, inspiring countless cases of tiny heroes roaming gigantic worlds, we wanted to be a bit timelier and celebrate the very best of the very small.

Y’know, games where you marvel at how different the world is from a centimeter-high perspective, where everyday locales like kitchens, bedrooms and chessboards become insurmountable challenges only the bravest of the brave can topple.


Once the NES became an untaintable gold mine for licensed dreck, crap games based on hot properties spilled onto the system like an overflowing cesspool. However, there were several excellent tie-ins that did the products justice and provided a kickass game in the process; unlike today, kid games of the NES era had the A team in charge, so only Konami’s best would be allowed to craft the toys-come-alive joy that is Monster in My Pocket.

Just look at all the would-be-bland environments made exciting simply by controlling a character the size of a thumbtack:

Picture frames!

Cheese and Apples!


Barbed wire fences!

Konami brand televisions!

Most embarrassing tiny thing that kills you:

Frankenstein’s monster done in by... golf balls? What would the torch-bearing angry mob say if they saw him done in by softly putted sports equipment?

As further proof it’s possible to make first-rate kiddie games based on cartoons and toys, we present Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, one of Capcom’s finest NES contributions. Chipmunks are a bit bigger than seen above, comfortably standing on a ceiling fan, but the perfect gameplay will distract you from such obvious disregard for reality. 

One of the most popular and successful PS2 games doesn’t waste any time trying to mess with your head. Even though the game has just begun and you’re still trying to mentally piece together how Final Fantasy and Disney characters can co-exist, you’re quickly thrust into the size-changing, direction-distorting mess that is Alice in Wonderland.

Most of Kingdom Hearts takes place at normal height, but for a brief time you can gasp in awe of such inspiringly colossal objects as:

Girly chairs!

Teddy bears!

Dimly lit end tables!

Shockingly vacant dining rooms!

Discarded novels quietly collecting dust in the corner!

Most embarrassing tiny thing that kills you:

These floaty red asshats are everywhere. They just keep coming and coming, barely dealing damage, seemingly there only to make the size/orientation puzzles even more frustrating with their doofy eyes and stupid hover hats.

Remember Prey, the world’s only FPS that lets Native Americans repel an oppressive alien invasion? If so you’ll also recall sensory overload not unlike Wonderland, with which-way-is-up gameplay and, seen above, a room where you shrink and fight your way out of a head-sized box.


Top 7


  • Gkicker2 - October 26, 2010 5:56 p.m.

    Macro Zone!! Now that takes it back. Number One was the only game I played, but the Macro Zone.. I had forgotten all about it!
  • FierceDeity - October 26, 2008 2 a.m.

    pikmin? no?
  • noofer7 - October 24, 2008 2:34 p.m.

    OK, I decided. I'm getting Okami.
  • iluvmyDS - October 22, 2008 4:08 a.m.

    This is a pretty damn good article, especially because I played most of these games.
  • hunter.s.b - October 22, 2008 3:47 a.m.

    me like pie!
  • noobeater - October 21, 2008 6:05 p.m.

    buck bumble was awesome whoever said it above...i loved the killer pillers or watever they were called. great trying to think of other examples....quite hard well done for finding those they arequite different to what i normally play
  • ELpork - October 21, 2008 10 a.m.

    Almost forgot about the Pray level.
  • Tasty_Pasta - October 21, 2008 5:03 a.m.

    WTFHAX, no Army Men 2?!?!? That was classic, c'mon.
  • GamesRadarBrettElston - October 21, 2008 4:13 a.m.

    Pikmin! Dammit I knew I'd miss something crucial. Oh well, that's why we have comments. Also felt bad for not calling out Micro Machines more. Great party games.
  • garnsr - October 21, 2008 3:54 a.m.

    The Mario shots don't give me the feeling I had decades ago when I played the huge goombas. And why the hell are Okami and Psychonauts so ignored? What a world! What a world!
  • JoeMasturbaby - October 21, 2008 12:40 a.m.

    why are my pants wet?... gaddamn! (i have an Okami fetish)
  • FromTheDeskOfAndrewRyan - October 21, 2008 12:20 a.m.

    Nice haha these games destroy my perception... do not mix with alchohol
  • M-for-Mustache - October 20, 2008 11:06 p.m.

    Cool top 7. This can't be a crowded competition so I'm sure you had dig up some of those. Very original thinking Brett!
  • lava_lamp - October 20, 2008 9:36 p.m.

    oh by the way i love pyshoconauts, that napoleon level is my second favorite one, its funny
  • TobiUchiha - October 20, 2008 8:34 p.m.

    As I read the first one I was thinking about Kingdom Hearts but I though you wouldn't include it because it was only one leve and was preparing to complain in the comments section then BAM my favourite RPG pops up.
  • T0M95 - October 20, 2008 8:24 p.m.

    aaaaaaaaaaaw crappy slow computer. i thought i'd be first, but i was 4 minutes late. damn you! (now i REALLY hate myself.)
  • The_Lurcher - October 20, 2008 8:17 p.m.

    FIR- no im not gonna stoop to that. very good gamesradar id totaly forgot about the okami one!
  • Defguru7777 - October 23, 2008 1:45 a.m.

    Good article. I loved the Minish Cap.
  • relrel310 - October 22, 2008 4:12 a.m.

    i was looking for chibi robo... : (
  • Ravenbom - October 22, 2008 1:13 a.m.

    Great list, as always. Yeah, I was going to say Micro Machines for the 64, but you already beat me to that one in the comments Brett! With another comment mentioning Pikmin, all I can think of now is the levels in Soulblazer where you go into Dr. Leo's model cities in his laboratory.

Showing 1-20 of 42 comments

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