Toytopia – Review Ignite Your Creativity in the Ultimate Playtime Paradise
ToyTopia brings to you a well-established puzzle game style. You know the drill – the game where you shuffle bright objects like candies and toys until you reach the set objective. As you play, you discover and merge power-ups to help you along. The creators aimed to build upon this successful formula, and Webzen Cube, a branch of the studio behind the highly successful MU MMORPG series, crafted a unique twist by integrating elements from various genres. So, ToyTopia isn’t just a light-hearted puzzler, it lets you build a thriving toy-based city, a key aspect of the story-driven campaign.
Getting into the Puzzle Gameplay
The puzzle gameplay in ToyTopia will feel immediately familiar to anyone who has used a smartphone in recent years. Each level presents you with a grid filled with toys. By grouping three or more toys, you remove them from the grid, making room for new symbols to drop in from above. Align four toys into a square and you’ll activate a boost that clears a small area. A straight line of four toys gives you a car, capable of clearing a row or column. A T-shape gives you a rocket boost, which clears an area on the screen, while lining up five toys offers a boost that clears all symbols of a certain color. In addition, triggering car boosts charges your plane meter, letting you unleash a plane when it’s full. Each type of boost can also be merged with others for extra power.
ToyTopia offers surprising strategic depth. It’s not just a matching game, but a carefully crafted puzzle teeming with intricate details, requiring careful planning for each move. For example, the direction of the activated car boost depends on the line you formed, limiting its use if you need to clear a row while the car is vertically oriented. However, two vertical cars can be beneficial as they allow horizontal and vertical movement. Some stages require using car and plane boosts, even if they don’t directly aid your primary objectives.
As a puzzle game, ToyTopia is filled with strategic choices and tactical decisions, leaving little room for missteps. The stages often contain gimmicks, such as enemy units that hinder your progress by locking tiles or heading straight for the exit. You can earn extra boosts by spending gems or completing quests. But these resources are limited and should be reserved for challenging stages. ToyTopia presents a wide array of different stage types from the get-go. Some levels involve clearing specific tiles or gimmicks, while others involve preventing mice from reaching the top of the screen or creating a path for Anne to cross.
This is just before reaching level 30; the game continues to introduce new mechanics and goals, including encounters with whales, rogue robots, and other exciting elements.
The City-Building Component
Now, let’s delve into the city-building part. Like most free-to-play puzzlers, ToyTopia has its own in-game economy including gems, coins, hearts, and more. You need a heart to play a stage, which recharges over time. However, you can earn extra hearts by spending gems, which can be gained through in-app purchases or by watching ads. Stars are used for constructing toys, while coins are used for erecting new structures, contributing to ToyTopia’s city-building aspect.
To create a new character, you need help from other characters. You unlock these base characters as you move forward in the campaign or by summoning them at the DreamCatcher Table, a structure that you build. Once a character is unlocked, you can assign them to a building where they’ll earn coins for you periodically. The more characters you create and assign to buildings, the richer you become. The game provides a wide range of buildings and decorations for you to craft and arrange as you wish. When your territory is fully occupied, you can choose to clear the neighboring forest and expand your domain.
This rhythmic mix of puzzle-solving and city management in ToyTopia keeps players hooked. It sets tangible targets to aim for as you progress through the campaign. Although the city-building element may seem simplistic compared to dedicated city-building games, ToyTopia’s puzzle stages offer variety, innovation, challenge, and addictive gameplay. Webzen Cube has shown that the casual match-three genre still brims with life and potential.
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