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‘Lost Toys’ for iOS game review

There is no shortage of well designed puzzle games for iOS. We have seen several ones in the past and today we are taking a look at the newest one, Lost Toys.

Lost Toys has you solving Rubik’s Cube like puzzles where you have to rearrange pieces of toys to fix them. The game has already won awards and accolades for its design. Let’s see what the gameplay is like.

Title
Lost Toys
Developer
Barking Mouse Studio, Inc.
Platform
iOS
Release Date
January 9, 2014
Content Reating
9+
Size
94.9MB
Price
$3.99

Gameplay

The best way to describe the gameplay of Lost Toys is to call it Splice but with toys. Although the two games seem much different on surface, there are a lot of similarities in the gameplay. The game has multiple chapters with multiple levels in each, with each level being one toy you have to fix. The toys are essentially Rubik’s Cubes with pieces that can be twisted and turned.

To rearrange the toy in the right order, you have get a limited number of moves. If you use up the moves, you have to go back and try again. The game keeps a track of every move and you can undo exactly that move and all the ones after that instead of starting from scratch every time. There is usually a lot of trial and error involved here and it takes multiple attempts before you can get it right. This is where the similarity to Splice comes in, which also relies on a limited move gameplay that can be undone selectively with trial and error involved.

Some of the initial toys are quite easy and it doesn’t take long to solve them. But as you progress the game throws increasingly complicated ones at you, with multiple moving parts that require more moves to solve. The problem I faced with some of these is that sometimes you have no knowledge on what the final toy looks like, so you have little idea as to which piece goes where when it comes to rearranging them. Usually the toys will have some distinctive shape that you can use to match the rest of the pieces but at times it does feel like completing a jigsaw puzzle whose final form you are unaware of.

When you start solving, the toy comes in full focus and the room and the rest of the toys blur into the background. You can move the toy around by swiping on the screen and move individual segments by swiping on them. But more often than not I found myself moving the entire toy when I just wanted to move a segment and vice versa. This can get quite annoying at times, especially when you are stuck with a toy you have no idea how to solve, which happens quite often.

If you do get stuck, the game has a hint system that essentially solves the puzzle for you one move at a time. You can tap the help button to guide you through the steps or just complete the entire thing if you want.

The game does not have much in the way of a menu. When you start or resume a game, you can either continue with the chapter where you left off or play one of the previously completed chapters. You can’t select a specific toy and have no choice but to start a chapter anew every time. The game doesn’t have separate profiles either to save progress of multiple players.

Overall, though, despite the niggles, I was left with a generally positive impression of the game. It’s deceptively challenging and really requires you to focus and use your observation skills to solve the puzzle based simply on the shape of the toy. It’s something that both children and adults can play and love.

Graphics and Sound

Visually, Lost Toys is pretty amazing. All the toys are made out of wood and have an amazing texture to them that holds up well even on the iPad’s Retina display. The fine lines on the wood and little remnants of paint on them look quite realistic. Other than the toys that are in focus, you see bits of an eerily dark room in the background that reminds me of ‘The Room’.

In terms of audio, Lost Toys utilizes some nice piano pieces composed for the game. These, once again, reminded me of Splice, which too had an all-piano soundtrack. Unfortunately, the soundtrack of Lost Toys isn’t nearly as good or memorable as the one in Splice but nevertheless it forms a good subtle background music while solving the puzzle without stealing too much of the focus.

Verdict

Lost Toys is charmingly simple yet cunningly difficult game. β€˜It’s just rearranging some toys, how hard can it be?’ you think, but you find out soon enough. The gameplay is supported ably by the visuals that are amazingly focused, concentrating solely on the toy design without any visual chaff. There are some minor niggles that do detract from the overall experience but Lost Toys still comes across as an entertaining title for all ages.

Rating: 7.5/10
Pros: Complex puzzles, attractive and detailed visual design
Cons: Moving toys and individual segments separately can be annoyingly difficult sometimes

Download: App Store

This game was reviewed on an iPad Air.

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