I spy, with my little eye, a random and wacky little collection of minigames in Salamander County Public Television, developed by Tinzone Games and published by Penguin Pop Games. This little treat caught my attention as I was browsing the Xbox Store, with its interesting use of royalty-free images and videos. And the game doesn’t disappoint—you play as the “Player” and you are now an official employee of Salamander County’s public broadcasting service. Except your first day doesn’t go as planned, as the entire population of the county has disappeared, and your tiny team needs to figure out how to get your ratings back up before your channel is shuttered for good.
Players will primarily be reading messages from their manager Geoff and Amber in what I think is supposed to be Discord but looks more like a featureless MSN Messenger. Each conversation leads to a minigame that needs to be cleared (or skipped, if needed) to advance to the next day. The conversations are easily the best part of this game as they are dumb, silly fun that tie themselves into the next game you’ll play. The downside is that the minigames are as silly as they are cumbersome, and I can’t really say I enjoyed more than half of them thanks to slightly clumsy controls and objectives.
I think I would have preferred to have more conversations to read as opposed to playing the minigames, but I also think Salamander County covers an odd gaping hole once filled by Xbox Live Indies or Newgrounds games. You’ll likely not open this game again after you’ve stopped playing, but it could keep your nieces and nephews entertained for a moment. And of course, an easy thousand Gamerscore—likely my third time pulling off such a feat!
Salamander County Public Television
Xbox Series X
- Fun, silly little story.
- Visuals and sounds are nice and compliment the wackiness.
- Minigames miss more than they hit.