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


  • TheNinja - April 15, 2009 2:33 p.m.

    no pikmin?
  • Sinsational - April 15, 2009 2:57 p.m.

    What?... No Army Men? They're tiny green soldiers fighting tiny yellow soldiers! Also, I was going to mention Mister Mosquito, but you already had him up there. Douchie. Good article, btw.
  • Gsindahouse - April 17, 2009 8:47 p.m.

    You forgot about Gotcha Force for the Gamecube, you're toys in that, too
  • brickman409 - April 28, 2009 3:14 a.m.

    what? no pikmin
  • killemall - May 18, 2009 8:29 p.m.

    i praise the kingdom hearts nod, and the Mr. Mosquito i love it!
  • Gsindahouse - April 17, 2009 8:48 p.m.

    and maybe I should get Mister Mosquito
  • lukel127 - June 21, 2009 6:42 p.m.

    i played okami and pshyconaughts!!! They were awsome!!!!!
  • lukel127 - July 6, 2009 3:25 p.m.

    What about LittleBigPlanet?
  • T0M95 - October 20, 2008 8:21 p.m.

    nice article, as always. good things come in small packages. game discs, for example. (i'm really sorry to do this, but FIRST! now i hate myself.)
  • Thequestion 121 - October 20, 2008 9:32 p.m.

    Great article. Okami is one of my favorite games and I loved that part of the game!
  • lava_lamp - October 20, 2008 9:33 p.m.

    hope u guys arent fans of kingdom hearts, ha ha
  • lucklesswonder - October 20, 2008 11:16 p.m.

    Ha! That FF II Legends video. See kids, that's why you should practice safe sex. 'Cause otherwise you could get crabs which will then attack any shrunken hero trying to save your life from the inside.
  • derringer83 - October 21, 2008 12:53 a.m.

    fuck man, dry your pants... Oh yeah, the article, pretty awesome. Mario 64 had a pretty notable "shrinkage level" except it's obviously based on an earlier Mario game. So I applaud you for leaving it out.
  • Weasel - October 21, 2008 1:15 a.m.

    Ah Mr. Mosquito, what a bizarre game that was. Oddly fun though.
  • peteypablo2624 - October 21, 2008 1:53 a.m.

    all about buck bumble man...all about buck bumble. if u don't believe me, at least listen to the theme song for the game. simply contagious.
  • Shadowfan - October 21, 2008 3:43 a.m.

    What the-? No Pikmin? T_T
  • Patius - October 21, 2008 4:05 a.m.

    World 4 has always been my favorite. World 7 on the other hand. . .that one's just plain evil.
  • smallberry - October 21, 2008 9:42 a.m.

    Great article. Also, Army Men! Right on Tasty!
  • Elbo444 - October 21, 2008 2:20 p.m.

    no sarge's heroes? one of N64's finest and EVERY level you are fighting in a giant kitchen, bathroom, sand castle, etc. good article though
  • Cernunnos - October 21, 2008 3:22 p.m.

    great article. the so-called tables in KH, are lamps though:P

Showing 1-20 of 42 comments

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