These Toys Are Not Fun
Using the word “Metroidvania” to describe a game usually is enough to make gamers salivate. While Toy Odyssey: The Lost and Found is an action/platformer/RPG, it is also a roguelike. It is just too bad that the package winds up losing players in the dark, literally.
The player takes control of Brand, a toy who has come to life in hopes of quelling his owner’s nightmares. This means the player has to journey outside the playroom in hopes of finding better equipment, parts to upgrade playroom defenses, and completing quests along the way. The gimmick, however, revolves in the structure of the map. Each time the player dies, the entire map resets to a new layout so the player is left to venture through a constantly changing environment. This results in hours of pointless wandering in hopes of finding the one item in the one specific random room that you are need to complete a quest. This wouldn’t be so tedious if combat was anything more than pushing a simple attack button to fight the same enemies over and over. Eventually, double jumps and dashes make traversing easier but still doesn’t help the overall tedium. Side weapons, like the ax stolen directly from Castlevania, also don’t make combat any more entertaining.
If you watch my Let’s Play below, you will see why I dislike this game:
As the player is out venturing throughout the haunted house, random items (tape, paper clips, rubber bands, batteries, push pins, etc.) can be collected and used to build up the defenses in the bedroom. As each night passes and the player is away, the evil toys can sneak into your safe zone to take your stash of goods or harm your NPCs. This entire game mechanic feels tacked on and is really an excuse to let the player collect a random assortment of junk found in each room. It is tedious to try and find the one piece of material you need to build a certain structure. So the player ventures out to find a certain item, dies along the way, only to have predators take your precious materials when you risked finding more. It is a devilish cycle that happens much too often.
There is one glaring problem that makes Toy Odyssey nearing unplayable – the super small text. Like reading 2pt font, the on-screen text is literally unreadable. This means the player cannot read any details on the quest, what you are supposed to do, or where you are supposed to go which just leads to more frustrating wandering. If you do manage to read the small font, you’ll find the player being sent on boring fetch quests anyway.
It is easy to see that a ton of work went into creating the backgrounds found in each room. So much so that it is often difficult distinguishing what is a platform and what is simply background decoration. Further, the soundtrack is also rather creepy as a baby’s cry is a major part of each tune and the voice acting makes it easy to see this game was made with a smaller budget. Flipping the lights on and off makes the environment look cool but the main character’s running animation is just plain weird and jerky.
My time with Toy Odyssey was little more than tedium and frustration. With a lack of direction and an ever changing map, the player wastes more time wandering, mindlessly button-mashing enemies, and trying to stock pile an insane amount of pointless resources that are going to get stolen anyway. Everyone likes a good Metroidvania but this is not it.
Not As Good As: Quest of Dungeons
Also Try: watching any Toy Story movie
Wait For It: a new 2D Metroid on Switch
By: Zachary Gasiorowski, Editor in Chief myGamer.com