By Richard Jewell
Reviewed on Xbox One
Released on September21st, 2016 on Xbox One & PC
Developer: Hiker Games Publisher: Digital Smash
As a Metroidvania style game, all the action takes place in a 2D side-scrolling fashion. The gameplay will feel very familiar to anybody who has played any of the older Castlevania games. Brand has a main weapon to attack enemies with, and a secondary weapon/ability which consumes battery life, to give him an extra edge in battle. Battery life is displayed as a blue bar in the top-right corner of the screen, just under the HP meter. Brand can also unlock new abilities as you progress, such as a double jump and a cape-glide, but we’ll go over that in more detail soon. There are rat holes scattered throughout the house that act as fast travel points. Once you find a rat hole you have to fight some rats to clear it out. After that, you can use it to quickly travel to any other rat hole in the house that you have unlocked. Now as for the house you will need to explore, it’s a procedurally-generated affair, meaning no two playthroughs will be the same. Toy Odyssey takes this a step further, though. Every time you die, the house rearranges itself and you lose all your map progress. This can be especially frustrating when you have discovered a large chunk of the house and established a good network of rat holes. When you enter a new room, the first thing that you’ll notice is that the room is dark. The Lost Ones love the darkness, as it makes them more powerful. Finding and hitting the light switches in the room to make them weaker will be something you will be doing often, so get used to it. While exploring, you will find diary pages scattered all across the house. They offer a deep insight into the events preceding the game, and the tragic story of the Clade family, the current owners of the house. I highly recommend searching them out because they add much more dimension to the story. Now let’s take a look at your base of operation, Felix’s room.
Just a little side note here, the developers have patched the game already to make the base-building element a lot easier, and they say they are still working on new patches to improve the game. It’s pretty cool to see that they are committed to delivering the best experience they can, so kudos to them!
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review
Final Score: 7/10
+Lots of replayability
-Sometimes too challenging
-Boring fetch quests
-Frustrating base mechanics