Can you play a match-3 and a shoot-'em up at the same time?

Toybox will test your abilities

Can you play a match-3 and a shoot-'em up at the same time?
| Toybox

But E3 seems like a long time ago now (although my jetlag remains fresh).

I'm still working my way through the myriad of games I saw at the show, and one that really stood out was Toybox.

In development from two-man team Barrel of Donkeys (split between Melbourne, Australia and London, UK), it's a typical indie mixture of fresh art style and gameplay.

It also has an audio soundtrack that reacts to the way you play.

This and that

Taking the mash up approach, Toybox combines a simple shoot-'em up with match-3 mechanics. But the neatness of combination is that both elements happen simultaneously.

So, on the lefthand side of the screen, you move your spaceship, shooting and avoiding the toy enemies, while on the righthand side of the screen you have to drop coloured wooden blocks into slots.

Performing match-3s will power up your spaceship.

Complex interactions

Of course, both games are fairly simple in themselves, but the combination of the two at the same time - it's like tapping your head and rubbing your belly - means you really have to stay alert.

In terms of adding more variation, Barrel of Donkeys says it will release new waves of incoming enemies and challenges on a weekly basis.

Toybox is due to be released sometime in August for iPhone and iPod touch.

Jon Jordan
Jon Jordan
A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon can turn his hand to anything except hand turning. He is editor-at-large at which means he can arrive anywhere in the world, acting like a slightly confused uncle looking for the way out. He likes letters, cameras, imaginary numbers and legumes.