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16 February, 2014

Toast Time Review

Toast Time is a stupidly fun arcade game with more breakfast puns than you could poke a baguette at. Developer Force of Habit consists of early-risers Nick Dymond and Ashley Gwinnell, and it feels like they had a lot of fun baking this loaf of indie gaming goodness.

As soon as you load up Toast Time you’ll have a smile on your face. You’re introduced to TERRY - the Toast Ejecting Recoil & Reload System. Every part of this game has had a thick slathering of buttery humour spread all over it - even the main screen is called the Breakfast Menu.

As you might expect, Toast Time is a hard game to categorise. It’s part shooter - tap anywhere on the screen and TERRY fires a slice of toast towards that point. It’s part castle defence - you’ll need to shoot the strange blobs marching relentlessly towards your alarm clock. And it’s part physics puzzler - after you’ve fired, TERRY will recoil away in the opposite direction. Using this mechanic is how you’ll navigate your cheerful little toaster around the arena, hunting down the nasty blobs.

These seemingly disparate parts come together surprisingly well to form a fine multi-grain mix of complete madness that will both challenge and delight. And be warned, it is challenging. If only one blob makes it through to your clock, you will be… err… toast. Sorry, but it had to be done.

My only niggle with Toast Time arose from occasionally getting TERRY stuck under platforms after ricocheting wildly from one side of the screen to the other. Whilst trying in vain to extricate myself, the relentless blobs would defeat my defenceless clock. It may have been part of the intentional level design to add difficulty, but when it happened it was more frustrating than challenging. It didn’t happen often, but I remember it with annoyance.

As with any good shooter, there are many imaginative weapons to unlock, and before you know it you’ll be firing off slices of white bread, bagels, pudding, baguettes and plenty more, all with different attributes.

TERRY’s vanity is well catered for as well, as there are adornments to collect for your toaster friend. With more hats, scarves and monocles than you can poke a baguette… no wait, I’ve already used that one… um… french-stick at, these items do nothing other than make you smile. And in my cook book, that’s a good thing.

Force of Habit have served up an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet of psychedelic shooting mayhem with a tonne of levels and collectibles that will keep you going for some time to come.

You can grab it here.

Verdict: Toast Time is a charming, imaginative, challenging slice of retro action. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Force of Habit’s iOS debut become a cult favourite.

Did you know there are 22 more detailed, fully interactive new media reviews in Issue 1 of Grab It Indie Games Magazine? Get it here.

Garry Balogh

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