Who else’s favorite film was Toy Story growing up? I bet you also pretended your toys came to life at night whilst you were sleeping too, right? No? Just me? Okay.
Toy Odyssey: The Lost and Found is a single player rogue-lite where you play as a toy - an action figure, to be precise. When the sun goes down, toys that have been lost in the house turn evil and aim to break back into the bedroom. You are tasked with stopping them, and finding any lost toys before they turn bad overnight. The concept behind the game is very cute and definitely pulls on the childish imagination that we all still have hidden inside of us.
The gameplay is side-scrolling through a procedurally generated world, changing shape and content after each night in the game. A day/night cycle is as long as you stay alive. You begin the game as a very basic character; you are then able to improve your stats and equipment, and gain new abilities by collecting 'nuts'. These ‘nuts’ are scattered around the world in breakable objects, or you can find them when you break the bad toys you encounter too.
Toy Odyssey also incorporates a crafting system, which may or may not appeal to you, but does become a key element later in the game - after about ten nights in the house, the evil toys will begin to try and break into the bedroom, and they will succeed if you haven't built any defenses! Not that the game gives you any indication that this is what you need to do. Nor does it explain the crafting system very well, leaving you to figure it out on the fly. Thankfully it is an easy enough process to collect craftable items for this purpose.
The combat system is lackluster: sadly, you have two weapons, a main hand and an offhand, each with only one attack. This means combat can get very repetitive and bland. You can craft new weapons but I found it more useful to spend my crafting time building new defenses instead. It would have been nice to have different offensive abilities depending on the weapon you have equipped for more variety. You can upgrade your weapon stats through the crafting system, this would have been a nice way to introduce different abilities for your attacks.
Each of the levels is nicely laid out, even in the procedurally generated manner. You can still, of course, get completely wrecked by RNG if you are unlucky enough to get a room full of overpowered enemies, but the majority of the time the AI scaling is done right. Some of the levels do become a bit repetitive over time, as the general theme of rooms stays the same: only the layout varies. You will find yourself scaling up walls, chests of drawers, fish tanks, underneath beds; it's a toy’s worst nightmare if you ask me! Not only do you have to rescue lost toys, the game also adds in small mini-quests to keep you busy along the way; these provide extra story to the game, as well as more crafting materials for improving your defenses or character.
Graphically Toy Odyssey is a bit of a strange game. At first glance, it looks like your run-of-the-mill basic quality indie game. Though the animation throughout the game is strong, when you enter the crafting screen or character upgrading screen you are left with a fairly low polygon count and poor quality character model, which ruin the effect. Overall the graphical style on show is to a subpar standard. Sound effects are again nothing special but you'll be glad to know that the starting dialog between characters is voice acted, even if it isn’t the highest quality. You do have to go back to reading after the first few minutes though, which is something of a disappointment: why not just voice the whole game once you've already started?
This game has tons of content and enough longevity to keep you occupied for well over the ten-hour mark. I have spoken to a handful of people who have already put more than twenty hours into this game and are still enjoying it thoroughly.
Toy Odyssey was a welcome surprise to the sometimes oversaturated roguelite genre. I went in with low expectations and came out having thoroughly enjoyed my time with this release. I cannot see myself putting in the hours upon hours that others have, but it's a nice change of pace from the typical roguelite offering . It may not have the high production values of others in the same category, but it is still quite worth the full price.