Game Reviews

Toy Shot

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| Toy Shot
Toy Shot
| Toy Shot

Angry Birds started a mini-revolution. It's not especially clear why the disgruntled avians became more popular than any of the other animals on the App Store, but they did. The rest is history.

Or rather, it would be history, if it weren't for the fact that every so often a game comes along that apes Angry Birds to such a degree that it's impossible to write a review without mentioning it.

This time around it's Toy Shot, a game that wears its Rovio influence on its borrowed Lego sleeve. Or at least, that's what it looks like at first glance.

Toy stories

You play a plastic knight who, with the aid of a giant crossbow, has to destroy all of the structures in a kingdom. To fire the crossbow, you press on the screen and slide your finger towards the edge, changing the angle of fire by moving your finger up and down.

Rather than pushing directly on your siege weapon, you use a reticule of sorts, which lets you calculate the angles with less fuss. You have a set number of projectiles to use each level, and these range from bombs to darts and rockets.

After every shot, a trail of white puffs of smoke traces the arc of your attack, letting you make adjustments to your next attempt accordingly. It's Angry Birds with a building block aesthetic.

Angry plastic men

There are 108 different levels on offer, and they're designed reasonably well, although some of them could have done with a little more work. Your catapult is a robust enough weapon, and the different ammunition types mean you have to think carefully about how to bring a castle down.

For the first ten or so levels, you'll be reasonably entertained, but you'll spend most of your time reflecting that Rovio has done this all before, and better.

And then Gamevil's own ideas start to come into play, and things get a little interesting.

Some levels see you defending your own castle from an oncoming assault, while others task you with taking down a structure without hurting a princess who's in the middle of it. There are giant bosses, too, and a dragon you can summon to smash everything on the screen if things get too tough.

Castle crashing

It seems strange that Gamevil didn't think to include these improvements from the off. What starts off looking like an unashamed clone actually ends up bringing some interesting new additions to a fairly stagnant genre.

It's certainly not a revolution, but in its own little way Toy Shot is an evolution, taking the foundations others have laid down and building some interesting new structures on top of them.

There are moments later in the game that are worthy of its illustrious forebears - times when the puzzles and the interface gel perfectly and destroying castles feels like something new and exciting.

It's a shame that Gamevil decided to start off on a slow note, but once you get through the dreary part there's an interesting game waiting at the other end.

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Toy Shot

If you can get past the old-fashioned first chunk of the game, Toy Shot has plenty of interesting new ideas to keep you entertained
Harry Slater
Harry Slater
Harry used to be really good at Snake on the Nokia 5110. Apparently though, digital snake wrangling isn't a proper job, so now he writes words about games instead.