Reviewed: January 26, 2009
Released: August 12, 2008
App Store Price: $3.99
Toy Bot Diaries is an original game, developed by IUGO. You start as a cute little Toy Bot that crashes into a toy vending machine (one that has the little toys in the egg shaped capsules). His purpose is unknown, but he must escape the vending machine. Along the way, you must pick up these small cell phone-like items that help to restore the memory of how Toy Bot got into the situation he is in.
When you start off in the vending machine, you start with a tutorial. You learn how to walk, clip onto metal objects, swing on those objects, how to stick to metal walls and ceilings, and how to grab and drag moveable objects. These actions require sensitive motions and movements using the accelerometer, and the tapping functions of the screen. The gameplay is similar to that of Lemmings. You have a path full of traps that you must get across by using things in the environment, such as gears and quarters.
As you go through the levels, you will find harder challenges and more traps just waiting to make Toy Bot meet his demise. In the game there are a few difficulties and glitches with the screen, as well as problems with tapping at times. One of the major difficulties includes the problem with ceilings. Sometimes, the screen looses a metal ceiling that you need to attach to. This is due to the small vertical size of the iPhone screen. However, if you know there is a metal ceiling above, tapping just right will still let you attach to it. Other times, I also can tap metal objects and ceilings and either the game will not register the action, or it will fling me off something prematurely.
The graphics of the game are not bad. There are realistic environments inside the machine and the places you travel to after you escape it. The frame rate is great in this version as there are usually not a lot of things to be placed on the screen at one time. When you restore your memory, you get black and white cartoon pictures of the Toy Bot story prior to the game starting, and how you ended up in the machine. There are not a lot of colors, due to the fact that the game doesn’t want to confuse you over what is not attactchable and what is attatchable.
The sound has original music and great sound effects that can be on. Also, there is an option that lets you listen to your iPod library as you play the game. The latter option turns off the sound effects, though. Sound effects are crucial at times to alert you on traps or different things in the current environment. When you play with the normal music and sound effects on, the sound comes in crystal clear. Toy Bot even has his own cute little sound effects when he grabs a memory device, or falls. If you decide to play with your iPod library, make sure you are listening to a playlist you can easily go through. Once the game is running, you can only control your library with your stereo headset.
Simply put, the game is short. There are about 10 areas spread out upon 2 locations. At the end of the last area, you fight a boss. The only replay value of the game is going back through it, if you did not get all of the memory devices. There is no multiplayer, but there is also no realistic way to do a multiplayer mode, in my opinion. However, this game has two more parts. My best opinion for the developers is to either do one of two things. First, is to combine all three games into one (for the best replay value). Otherwise, they could offer the games at either a lower prices than $3.99 or offer all three in a package for like $7.99.