Toyshop Adventures Hands-On Preview and Video

Glu’s going freemium, in a big way. At a recent Gamers Day event, Glu told us they’ll be releasing no less than five social, freemium games in the coming months. Though it’s not one of the five, the next free game to be released is Toyshop Adventures, a Toy Story-esque platformer where you control a living doll.

First, the economics of Toyshop Adventures. The game will be free to download, with 10 levels in the first episode and more levels available to purchase separately. And while you can collect marbles scattered throughout each level to unlock powerups, you can also buy these powerups for real-world money.

Ok, now that we’ve got that covered, let’s talk about the game. You control an adorable chubby doll as you leap across store shelves, trying to collect the marbles that your toy store owner has apparently lost. The game has a lot of interesting physics, so blocks, balls, and other objects will move realistically. You can also snag objects with a tether to drag them where you want them to go.

The controls are a simple pair of arrows, plus one button to jump and another to deploy your tether. A menu at the bottom will open up with your powerups, which include shields and double-jumps. While the levels we played seem extremely short, finding every marble is sure to be more of a challenge than just racing to the end.

We really liked the way Toyshop Adventures looks, with gorgeous 3D toy shelves that are packed with humorous details. For long-time Glu followers, you’ll spot background toys like action figures that are labeled with Super KO Boxing and Cops and Robbers. Eryn from Glyder and KO Kid are two of the playable characters, and we even saw one of the NOMs in a level.

The mechanics of Toyshop Adventures are quite sound, and it looks great as well. Our only concern is that the free levels will be over too soon, making the initial download seem more like a lite version than a worthwhile full game. If you love the Toy Story movies or Glu games in general, this is one to try when it’s released at the end of September.