There’s some really neat things about playing games on the iOS/Android platforms. It’s that they have the three things that consoles and PC’s can only dream of: An easy intuitive control system, mobility/accessibility and the ability to keep things wonderfully simple.
Toast Time, from Force of Habit is a proper game. By that I don’t mean that it’s an award winning story epic, a graphical wonder or a massively multiplayer game. I mean it’s a proper game that you can take anywhere, play by yourself, have fun and enjoy.
Here’s the idea. You are a piece of toast named Terry and you must stop enemies from reaching your alarm clock that explodes if they touch it. Your weapons are pieces of bread related ammunition, which not only kills things but also propels you around the area over a multitude of different platform based levels. Simple and easy yet also sufficiently challenging.
One thing that sings to my heart is how it replicates the golden age of British game programming, the 1980s. In this age, Spectrums and Commodores ruled the living room. The home programming market and the rise of the independent developer out of a bedroom (something we are seeing a repeat of now arguably) was a treasure trove of brilliant ideas using not very much.
Toast time harks back to that with many different angles. Firstly: graphics. Graphically this is a very simple, mostly two tone affair. The 8-Bit reminiscing echoes throughout the game but it visually affects memories of games that it is actually better than. The quick and sometimes frantic nature of the game is complimented by how simple it is graphically. Colourful explosions are normally quite distracting and the 8-Bit nostalgia actually aids the gameplay. It’s smooth, quick and has one control, your finger. Simplicity at its best.
Secondly: music. Here is where I try to be as unbiased as possible as my love for 8-Bit music is quite well known. But the music is excellent and, again, arguably better than the games of the age. It is simple and changes with the different levels without ever feeling repetitive or over the top. It’s enjoyable, almost funfair like at times and it can’t help but allow you to enjoy the game your playing without ever patronising you if you’re having a tough time. I’m sure we’ve all had frustrating platformers where the music of a level we get stuck on slowly boils us with rage. This does not boil anything except the tea.
Thirdly, and most importantly: Humour. One of the great things about the age this game is heavily inspired by is humour. You will probably find many people who developed AAA games, even GTA (especially the first two), that will cite the crazy humour of the Brit indie scene. This has some great little touches, from jokey forfeits if you die to many customisable Terry additions like the “Gamesmaster” monocle and a top hat – admittedly my favourite combo. Plus what isn’t to like about a baguette that fires off into multiple pieces and kills egg like enemies? There are enough of these to keep you occupied for a short while but if, like me you become addicted to this game, you could run out of levels quite quickly.
This game costs a few pounds and has the added bonus of all DLC being completely free. It supports indie gaming, in a market that’s quite dominated by big studio cash-ins and knock offs. Money aside you are probably going to be playing the most enjoyable casual game I’ve played on a mobile since Game Dev Story by Kairosoft, and that is an accolade you cannot ignore.
Toast Time is an enjoyable game in its own right, even if you can’t disassociate it from the 8-Bit nostalgia it evokes. But with the simplest gameplay, easy visuals and infectious music, you’ll have a hard time putting this down.[/tab]
[tab title=”Good Points”]- Glorious 8-Bit nostalgia
– Enjoyable gameplay
– The epitome of a casual game[/tab]
[tab title=”Bad Points”]- Maybe slightly too short for how addictive it is
– It’s addictive[/tab]
[tab title=”Why a 9?”]Because it is a simple fun and encouraging game in a time where mobile markets seem to be completely missing the point. This game has found it perfectly.[/tab]