Before cell phones and tablets were around, kids used to actually play with toys! Countless hours were spent gesturing, imagining and organizing our toys of choice. If mom or dad had to go to the store, you better believe your favorite toy went with you. These nostalgic memories of my childhood made the experience of playing Your Toy all the sadder. Like it or not, most toys will either end up lost, broken or thrown away. In Your Toy, your childhood teddy is back to seek revenge on you for the experiences he went through years ago. This sounds crazy, but does teddy have a point? Or is it all some sort of misunderstanding? Figure out the truth and manage to stay alive, if you are up to the challenge.
If the goal of a puzzle game is to make you puzzled, then Your Toy does its job masterfully. Playing from a first-person point of view, the game typically locks you in one area with the challenge of finding your way out. You will pick up a lot of items, many of which are not used until later, making things very confusing. In your inventory you can combine items and use them in certain situations. Use a plunger on a clogged drain, a key in a keyhole…you get the idea. Inevitably, you will reach a roadblock where you have seemingly tried everything and still can’t progress. Get used to this feeling because you will very likely get stuck again after figuring out the solution. Turns out, I either missed an item I needed to pick up or couldn’t connect the dots between numbers ive seen/heard and what they were meant to do. There was great satisfaction in completing each of the 5 areas and the ending of the story was unexpected as well.
Controlling Your Toy is equal parts functional and frustrating. When you are simply exploring and looking around, everything works fine. Combining items in the menu is very sluggish and it can be hard to tell if you’ve chosen an item for combining or not. There is also a swimming section which was much harder to control than it should have been. While thankfully the controls never caused any unintended deaths, they could have been much more polished.
Presentation is an area that I also felt was lacking in the game. The graphical style overall is quite nice, but it feels like it has a blurry or cloudy film over the screen. Every time I went back to playing Your Toy I felt like maybe all the graphical assets hadn’t loaded in yet. Thankfully after a minute my eyes adjusted to it and again, no hindrances in gameplay. The game autosaves, but it was rarely useful as after a game over I typically had to restart whatever level I was in. This was especially frustrating during a timed puzzle section. If you can’t figure out the solution in time, you get a game over and must restart the entire level. While it may only take you 5-7 minutes to get back to that point, it gets very old when you repeatedly die and must restart. I enjoyed the sound effects very much, from thunder roaring to creaking doors, it helped set the spooky atmosphere.
I completed the entire game and earned all achievements in roughly 6 hours. There are some collectable diary pages and a few missable achievements, but overall replay value is low. If you have a full game walkthrough or guide handy, you can expect to beat Your Toy in maybe 1-1.5 hours. The asking price is $14.99 USD, which may or may not be worth it depending on how much you value quick gamerscore.
It isn’t often that a game can collectively stump myself and my colleagues who cover Xbox games pre-release; but Your Toy managed to do it. Many messages and tips were shared amongst us and even then it was confusing to know exactly what event triggers what. I’m thankful that E-Home Entertainment took the time to release this game on the US market, but it’s hard to recommend with all the shortcomings. Your Toy does not hold your hand, it fully expects you to read, listen and examine everything around you. Patient, thorough and smart gamers should find some enjoyment out of Your Toy. Those who don’t possess these traits might just find frustration.
A press copy of Your Toy was provided by E-Home Entertainment for the purpose of review.