Today’s discussion is a review of a new game for the iPhone called ï¿½Toy Bot Diariesï¿½. It is designed by a local Vancouver, BC studio, ï¿½IUGO Mobile Entertainment Inc.ï¿½ and it is hands down the most addicting iPhone game I have played thus far.
Toy Bot Diaries, Entry 1
After picking up this game, there is one thing I noticed right away, the controls work and work very well. For anyone who has played games on the iPhone before, you know that the iPhone relies heavily on tilt movements as a controller. Many of the games currently available in the App Store, while fun, just do not have a seamless control scheme and you end up spending most of your time realizing you are just trying to figure out how to play the game, instead of actually playing the game. This is not the case with ‘Toy Bot Diaries’.
IUGO Mobile Entertainment has created a very smooth, seamless, and natural control scheme for ‘Toy Bot Diaries’. After the initial orientation of learning how to play, I quickly forgot that I was playing a game on my iPhone; I became so immersed in the story and puzzles. While the game is not challenging overall, there are some tricky parts that really make you think. Remember that it is in fact a puzzle game and extremely addicting and fun to say the least.
For me, the allure of the game comes from those puzzles, having to think and figure out my next move or just to try and figure out how to get to the next area. However, while doing this, you still need to find and acquire these ‘datapads’ that restore the Toy Bot’s memory, which adds to the challenge of the game.
Simply said, ‘Toy Bot Diaries‘ is a very immersive experience with a friendly user interface.
Below is the premise of the game:
ï¿½Tiny Toy Bot has awakened within a strange machine and now he needs your help! Use Toy Botï¿½s handy grappling hook and magnet boots to navigate him through environments teeming with physics-based challenges as he plunges into an unfamiliar world. Search for Toy Botï¿½s lost datapads to recover his memory and guide him on his top secret mission.ï¿½
When you first start playing ‘Toy Bot Diaries‘, there will be no instructions until you start the actual level. Once you enter the first stage and begin walking around, the instructions are labelled on the levels’ walls in the background. I find this really innovative. Instead of sitting at the opening game screen reading paragraphs of instructions, with ‘Toy Bot Diaries’ you simply play the game and learn on the go!
Tilt controls (moving the iPhone left and right) are how you move the Toy Bot backwards and forwards throughout the various stages of the game. Touch controls activate a grappling hook, which is used essentially to pull/push objects, swing the Toy Bot, and move the Toy Bot to areas that otherwise would not be accessible; it essentially replaces a Jump feature and works quite well. The Toy Bot also comes equipped with a pair of magnetic boots which among using them to magnetically latch onto metal surfaces, can be used in-conjunction with the grappling hook to move heavier objects to where you want them (I found this one out by chance!).
There are also checkpoints distributed frequently throughout each stage, so if you do need to go back, you will not lose too much progress. Moreover, there is an in-game menu system by tapping the screen with two fingers (or thumbs) at the same time which allows you access to exit to the Main Menu of the game or revert to the last saved checkpoint.
The objective of the game seems to be two-fold; get to the end of wherever it is the Toy Bot is going and at the same time acquire the datapads to rebuild the Toy Bot’s memory, which I surmise will unlock a final truth of the game.
After playing ‘Toy Bot Diaries‘ for the last few days, I have only seen about two things that can get annoying. First, while rare, I did find myself at times almost getting lost within some stages. I wanted to see some sort of radar or map layout that I can view to get a better idea of where to go, but from what I can see, this is not an included feature. I would agree that a map is not totally necessary, but it would have been nice to see a map in the pause menu. The second thing is when you use the grappling hook. In order to pull the Toy Bot to the location where the grappling hook is attached, you need to hold your finger on the iPhone screen. This caused me some distraction because now while I am pulling the Toy Bot to the location that I want him at, I have my finger blocking the screen and essentially blocking the game, which in certain areas of the level, is detrimental to the game play because your finger can block from view the area in which you are supposed to go.
The game itself is a good length after figuring out the puzzles and certain obstacles, however the ending scene (EPIC!) in the game is where it all really comes together in terms of the skills you have learned along the way. The end uses every skill, jump, and trick that you have picked up along the way, so make sure that when you are playing, you keep your skills tuned because you will need them!!
How to get ‘Toy Bot Diaries‘
Toy Bot Diaries can currently be bought from the iPhone’s App Store for $3.99. Considering most games of this caliber are around the $5.00 range and are not very fun or easy to use, Toy Bot Diaries is a total deal. Just open up the App Store on your home-screen, tap search along the bottom, and enter: ï¿½Toy Botï¿½. It will be the first search result. (Or use iTunes and find it the same way by searching)
Overall, I give ‘Toy Bot Diaries’ a solid 9/10 and I cannot wait for more iterations to the game!
Pick it up at the App Store folks and let me know what you think in the comments. I would love to chat with you all about your experiences with the game…especially with the ending!!!