Toby: The Secret Mine – review

A short and concise review for the upcoming indie title Toby: The Secret Mine written by KnightBroseph. Toby: The Secret Mine will be released Oct. 20, 2015.

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About the Game:

Toby the Secret Mine was developed by Lukas Navratil and was inspired by games like Limbo or Nihilumbra. The game features several different forms of puzzles, which include: tricky platforming, trial and error, time-based, and environmental puzzles. The game is about 3 hours long, and features several different forms of puzzles, beautiful environments, and entertainment.

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What works:

The game looks and sounds beautiful; I personally found the game extremely immersive. The game also does not feature any HUD, or overlay, elements. Once again, this works with the game allowing full immersion into the experience. A lot of puzzle's were fairly challenging, but not too challenging. I was never stuck for an exasperated period of time and, typically, when I was stuck it was because I missed something. None of the trial and error puzzles greatly confused me, or made me go through several tedious tasks, they were simple to understand, learn from, and push forwards. The game also controlled well, Toby did exactly what I wanted/expected him to do. The "slow-ish" movement of the character allowed chase scenes and quick thinking platforming to feel much more intense, but also gives the player plenty of time to plan ahead. The biggest thing that works for the game is how the developers chose to introduce each puzzle. The game felt like it was split up into separate worlds, with several levels in each one, at the start of each world you would experience a simple iteration of a puzzle element. As you move through the world the puzzle elements began to incorporate other ideas and elements, making them more complicated and difficult. This works very well with this genre of games and the game never experiences a ridiculous spike in difficulty.

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What doesn't work:

The first thing I'm going to mention isn't exactly an issue, just something I did not like. The story is extremely basic, simply put, bad guys take your family/village and you chase after them and ultimately stop them. As far as I saw there wasn't much more then this. Once again, not an issue but I feel there could be a lot more, especially with this style of game. Sometimes it is very difficult to figure out what to do, simply because of the game's style. Some puzzle's are completely unsolvable without picking a nearby wall and walking through it, occasionally you can see the wall (sometimes it's slightly blurred) but sometimes its not. Other times you need something that just looks like a wall or environmental element, so it's easily missed. Honestly, this is my biggest gripe with this game, and this style in general.

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Final Thoughts/Recap:

Toby: The Secret Mine is a beautifully crafted puzzle platforming game. The puzzle's are fair and the platforming is concise. I found the game extremely immersive and enjoyed the whole playthough. The game's length is suffice for the story and can be easily completed in a sitting or two.

Grading Scale: 1 -> Very poor ; 5 -> Average ; 10 -> Very good 

Don't forget to check our complete Gameplay Walkthrough. It's the first one you can find all over the web. And if you would like to help us with streaming, contact us at [email protected]. We are looking for more team members!


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