Platform: iPhone & iPod Touch
Developer: Barrel of Donkeys
TL;DR: Ultimate mobile twitch – a space shooter & puzzle game at the same time!
Family Friendly: Click here for more information.
Verdict: Adorable, tough and enjoyable! Go for it.
If the description that follows doesn’t intrigue you, buzz off and watch the Halo 4 trailer again, or something: Toybox is a lovely, simultaneous color-match puzzle/vertical-scroll space shooting game that challenges your brain to constantly rack up the score by playing two very different games at once.
Snap judgments and fast thumbs rule the day. The gameplay is simple as pie, but that hoary ol’ “difficult to master” cliche applies nicely. Your left thumb guides a spaceship as it blasts through wave after wave of adorable, multi-colored enemy ships/robots/toys who want nothing more than to stop your point-crazed quest dead in its space tracks.
Your right thumb drags colored blocks left and right above 4 columns, inside which you’re tasked with engineering and clearing matching sets of 3 or more colored blocks in a row (vertically, horizontally and diagonally). Clear some blocks, all enemy ships go away. Your ship gains more firepower as you fly, resetting when something blows you up.
You’ll figure out the gameplay instantly, but there’s a little tutorial to explain what’s going on if you’d like a proper primer before going in. The simultaneous thumbwork is instantly accessible, and the touch controls are spot-on (with multiple sensitivity options). If you run into bullets, you were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. If your puzzle piece fails to fall where you wanted it, you just didn’t get it there in time. Operator error is your only excuse.
You’ll compete against all other players for leaderboard supremacy; highest score makes you king/queen of the mountain. There are achievements to reach, most of which have to do with the distance you travel on the shooter side or any combos you set up on the puzzle side. If you’ve played any “running/survival” game on your mobile gaming device, you know exactly what you’re in for. Toybox is easy to pick up and poke away at for any length of time, and addictively (deceptively?) simple enough to keep you interested through many play sessions.
If you’re tired of Barry Steakfries and need some new achievement/score-based twitch gaming on the go, you could do far worse than the eclectic, frenetic, two-games-at-once offering you’ll find with Toybox. Games pass quickly, and the occasional epic run will do wonders for your confidence in your gaming abilities.
I am currently 10th in the world, though my best was 9th. I’m proud of that.
This will change as more people besides reviewers are able to play the game, but…I’ll enjoy my awesome status while I still can!
Toybox by Barrel of Donkeys (their logo animation is really cute) is available TODAY for your iPhone and/or iPod touch.
What are you waiting for?
Afraid to make your brain chew gum and walk at the same time?
- Unique two-genres-at-once gameplay
- Responsive, adjustable controls. I usually hate touchscreen steering, but this is good
- Relatively short list of achievements, don’t know if it’s got long-term staying power
That last point is really nit-picking. I found no major flaws with Toybox. It’s a simple, unique, addictive, well-made, pick-up-able game.
Check it out, I’m happy to recommend this one!
Perfect for anyone. Nothing bad or icky or dirty in here. Younger gamers might become frustrated until they master two different games essentially happening at once, but that’s what Toybox IS and you can’t fault it for that. Keep at it kids, it’ll build character. You don’t have the Mega Man games I grew up with to harden your gamer skillz.