A first look at screenshots from the game on the Google Play Store gave the impression that Toby The Secret Mine is heavily inspired from previous hits such as Limbo and that impression sort of materialized the longer I played the game but how does the game compare to the greats from platform puzzler genre?
You take control of Toby and you need to rescue, what one will assume as, his friends while you’re chasing the giant monster kidnapper who’s running away from you for the entire duration of the game (Wonder why?), that’s what I basically could collect from the lack and poor story telling.
Next is the design and the overall look of the game, the levels are made out of layers, the character in your control, Toby as well as the platform level are in black silhouette type of design, and a few colorful ones working as a background with the exception of the snow level that drops the silhouette style, You go through a forest, a snow storm, a rainy wasteland, a dark mine which does make for a non repetitive enjoyable journey.
You’re controlling Toby with on screen buttons, left and right at the bottom left corner of your screen, to move in different directions, jump and action buttons at the bottom right corner to jump and activate levers. The controls weren’t always as responsive as one would want them to be in a puzzle platform game and I found myself dying half of the time because of the clumsy controls which, in my opinion, immediately impacts negatively on the experience the developers were trying to make you, the player, experience as with a puzzle platformer, you want the game to be challenging and punishing but not because of the controls responsiveness and yes the puzzles are challenging and will test your patience and determination but so will the controls.
The game’s soundtrack definitely works in its favor, there are some great tunes mixed in with background noise corresponding to the level you’re in as you’ll hear birds singing in the forest level, the avalanche sounds in the snow storm level etc couple with the sound of your own steps and actions.
The game lays out 21 levels for you to explore with a lot of challenges on your way, you also have 26 of your buddies, some placed more obviously than others but it is not required to save them all in order to finish the game which will take you 2 to 3 hours to get it done. You’ll be presented with 2 different endings, both equally disappointing unfortunately but that was expected given the almost non existent story telling mechanics of the game.
So overall, Toby The Secret Mine still managed to be fun, despite the sometimes clumsy controls and the absence of a good and engaging story plot, the levels looked beautiful coupled with a good choice of sounds and tunes and the puzzles were, challenging to say the least!