“Toy Odyssey” Delivers Delicious Metroidvania Adventures!
Toy Odyssey is a “Metroidvania” style action-platforming adventure game that released on September 20, 2016. Developed and published by Hikergames as their debut title, this one might appear colorful and cutesy at first glance, but it’s actually a very serious, dark, and at times grim adventure title that has a lot of depth to offer as well as a fairly high level of challenge to adapt to and overcome.
Players take the role of a toy named Brand who wakes up every night in the house that his owner Felix’s family moved into right before the game begins. The house seems to be infected with “the darkness” and dangerous toys known as the Lost Ones are working to overtake the home and destroy the toys that are trying to protect everyone. Brand, being the ever-vigilant defender that he is, sets out to solve the mysteries of the home, rescue lost toys, and try to restore order. However, there’s a catch: every time the player is defeated the night ends and their adventure will have to continue the next night. Yet, there’s more: each night the layout of the house somehow magically shifts, so no two nightly runs will ever be the same.
Thankfully, players do have a map to track their progress with each night and there are power stabilizers that will light up certain parts of the house, adding their layouts to your map (like when Samus downloads a map to her powersuit in one of the Metroid games). Other good toys that Brand works with will give him missions and side-quests to work on, allowing him to either advance the game’s storyline or go out exploring and seeking upgrades to make himself and his home-base stronger. Each night that he is out exploring, Lost Ones can take the opportunity to attack their base (Felix’s room), stealing valuable crafting components and even capturing toys in the process. This adds another layer to the gameplay: light tower defense. As you progress, you’ll want to use some of the components you find to build defense structures in the room so as to repel these invaders while you’re away.
So, not only is this game a rogue-light (death ends each adventure, but thankfully not the overall game!) but the difficulty level is fairly high. It’s easy to just want to jump right into the fray, but at the beginning of your game Brand is quite weak and some enemies will be able to take him down in just two or three direct hits. This is definitely a game where dying will be frequent and you can’t let that discourage you from playing further.
As of right now, the game is quite good but it does have a few issues that need to be cleaned up. The art style for the cutscenes is rather pleasant and nice, but I found the game’s voice-acting to be rather flat and, at times, outright poor. There are also typos in the written dialogue, even if a good amount of them are minor things like skipping the apostrophe in the word I’m. Little things like that bother me, though, and I think they represent a lack of overall polish. Also, the game’s resolution in the menu seemed to be capped at 1920×1080, which is fine for the vast majority of players, but those playing at 21:9, 1440p, or 4K might be slightly disappointed. However, even at 1080p on my 4K display I felt the game looked pretty darn good, so it scales well enough and is certainly not unplayable. Screenshots were still taken at 4K though through Steam, which is a bit odd…Perhaps the 1080p is more of an internal rendering limit?
At any rate, the game does get updated frequently enough so I have a feeling there will be future updates that may fix some of these things. Right now, I don’t feel like I should provide a final score on the game, but I can definitely say that if you enjoy a nice Metroidvania romp, Toy Odyssey is worth the $14.99 USD asking price.
Give it a go – it fits quite well with the Halloween season anyway! :)