Toyshop Adventures

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Toyshop Adventures is a game from , originally released 31st December, 1969

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Toyshop Adventures Review

Toyshop Adventures is a freemium game that’s about the toys in a toy store coming to life. Despite how it sounds, it’s not a total rip off of Toy Story. The shop owner has literally lost his marbles, and it’s up to you, as a fragile, big-headed doll, to gather them back up. For reasons that are unclear, you’re the only toy trying to help, while the rest either impede your quest or ask you to do things for them. But, hey, that’s life.

So you’ll navigate side-scrolling levels made up of store shelves and toy boxes. To help you make some of the bigger jumps, you’ll find trucks, balls, and loose blocks scattered around as well. We really enjoyed the level designs, with their secret areas and creative use of things you’d actually find in a toy store; however, they do start to feel repetitive after you’ve played through a dozen levels or so.

Navigate treacherous terrain, like letter blocks.

The controls are simple. You can move left and right, as well as jump, grab, and use a power-up. Pressing the grab button lets you tether a short rope to a movable object. Usually you’ll use this to position a block or two to use as a stool to reach a high ledge. This works sufficiently most of the time, but the physics are pretty floaty, and stacking blocks on top of one another is far more frustrating than it should be.

Beyond the first couple of levels, you won’t find any power-ups in the environment. Instead, you must purchase them from the in-game store. Some power-ups can be bought using the marbles you’ll collect as you progress through the levels. Others, like the triple-jump and shield, cost crystals, the game’s currency. And the only way to accumulate this currency is to purchase it using real-life money.

Now, we understand charging money for extra level packs or for lasting in-game content. We can even accept charging to unlock cheats, like they do in Ghosts’n Goblins Gold Knights 2. But to charge money for one-time-use power-ups seems like serious money gouging. That said, buying this stuff is entirely optional, so it’s not imperative to playing the game.

Definitely should’ve hopped in the truck.

Also annoying is that instead of charging money directly for these things, you have to buy crystals in pre-set packs. So for $1.99 you get 25 crystals, but there’s no combination of things you can buy that equals 25 crystals. So you’ll end up with a few left over after you’ve made your purchase. What they’re hoping, of course, is that you spend more money on crystals. But if they’re going to charge for this stuff, we wish they wouldn’t use crystals to confuse the actual cost of things.

Now, it’s hard to complain too much about a game when they give you the first 10 levels for free. Depending on how obsessively you try to collect the marbles, it’ll take you about a half hour or 45 minutes to complete. That’s more than enough to let you know if you want to buy the second level pack, which also contains 10 levels, and costs about $1.99 (23 crystals, to be exact). But be aware that the second level pack also takes place in the toy store and is extremely similar to the first.

If you like side-scrolling platformers, you should certainly download Toyshop Adventures for free. If you love the first 10 levels, by all means, spend the two bucks on the next 10, as long as you’re looking for more of the same. Just know that the iPhone is home to other, better, platformers, like Soosiz and Bounce On 2: Drallo’s Demise.

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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.