What do you get when you mix PlayDead's signature gameplay with evil critters? Well, this!
In addition to In Between, Headup Games is bringing some new titles to the Wii U. One of them is Toby: The Secret Mine, which is a solid yet unspectacular puzzle-platformer. You move around, solve the puzzle at hand and move on to the next environment. I wish I could say there’s anything deeper than that, but there’s not a whole lot else here.
It starts out promising enough. A little demon sees his village attacked by a larger demon with red eyes and gives chase. The little guy is tasked with stopping the big guy's evil plans and saving his pals along the way. The friends can be considered the collectible in the game as they’re scattered everywhere. Some are hidden in plain sight, while others are placed in locations that aren’t easily visible. It’s hard to differentiate backgrounds from accessible areas, so when the developer pointed one of the friends out to me, I just went: ''Huh?''
The puzzles themselves aren't all that special. The little demon can’t use weapons, so his only method of self-defense is puzzle solving. Most of the time, I instantly got what the game was asking from me. Flipping a switch? Got it. Pushing a block so that I can climb on it? Understood. The solution was kind of obvious in most cases and I wondered on multiple occasions if the next one would challenge me. While there is plenty of the game I haven't seen yet, I wonder if I’m even interested in going through it.
The game looked nice at the very least. Every background had multiple layers to it and that looked beautiful in motion. While I don't really like the design of all of the characters, they are decently put together at the very least. The same can be used for the music and the controls; just fine.
Toby: The Secret Mine didn’t really leave an impression on me. I didn't dislike it, but there wasn’t a point where I feel engaged with what I was doing. I went through the motions as I completed stages and tried to find the hidden creatures. Maybe the game becomes better as it moves along, but I’m not sure if I want to find out the answer. At least the game looks and performs nicely, which is more than I could have asked for.