Toy Odyssey is a 2D platforming action game developed by Hikergames which will bring back childhood memories of those monsters under your bed. It’s basically a less Disney version of Toy Story.
You take control of Brand, an action figure brought to life to defeat the darkness within the house and save your owner from his nightmares. Simple, right? Not so much. With a very vague tutorial, you’re pushed into the game and have to learn as you go along – don’t worry, there’s only hundreds of evil toys outside the safety of the bedroom who’re trying to tear you plastic limb from plastic limb. Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic; it’s not exactly another sequel to Child’s Play and the enemies in the game are definitely a little less bloodthirsty than Chucky. Even so, it took me quite a few deaths to get the hang of things.
Each death costs you one night, but don’t worry, even with my excellent track record of so many “deaths”, I don’t think the nights passing actually had any negative effect on the game. In fact, it made it better. Each night as you leave the bedroom, the rooms have all moved around (I’m still not sure how they explain it) and you need to venture from the kitchen to the living room and even pass through hallways and vents to explore the house on your quest. The visuals can become a little repetitive as you get further into the game, but I didn’t have a problem with it and eventually found that the familiarity helped me on occasion. As you defeat the toy soldiers and other various evil beings around the house, you will collect bolts and other random household items which are used as currency to upgrade your plastic parts/stats (health, attack power etc) and also build defences in the bedroom to stop those pesky toys stealing your items overnight.
To begin with you’ll barely be able to afford a water balloon, but over time you’ll upgrade enough to be able to battle through the rooms and complete mini missions given to you by new toy companions found throughout the house. Collect so many of these. Defeat so many of them. The usual challenges you’d expect from a game about magical toys coming to life to defeat the darkness taking over their owners’ nightmares.
Once you get into the flow of things and you’re able to buy new weapons and abilities, the game begins to snowball, but getting there requires a lot of patience – the game never really shows you what you’re supposed to be doing and so for a while you will more than likely just wander around the house aimlessly, getting killed and starting over until you have saved enough to purchase goodies back in the bedroom. The tutorial Toy Odyssey does provide literally tells you which buttons to press, but the mechanics of the game and any storyline are for you to find yourself. If you do fight through the confusion and stick with it, it can become a lot of fun and highly addictive. “Just one more night” turns into a few more hours and a couple of side-quests as you build up your arsenal and defences.
Buying new upgrades, weapons and defences is actually quite an interesting part of the game and though some would find it a little tedious, I enjoyed the surprise of unlocking new abilities when bettering your paintwork or being able to send out other toy characters into the house to collect enough items for you to build a lookout tower.
Overall, this game is definitely worth a couple of nights of thumb work. I wouldn’t go crazy over it and recommend it to everybody, but for those who enjoy good ol’ games like Ori, Rogue Legacy or even perhaps Castlevania (there’s a certain similarity somewhere) then you will find yourself helping Brand out at 2:00am even on a school night – I did warn you it would take you back to your childhood.
Karl Rating 7/10
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