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 Review: Toys vs. Monsters (3DS eShop)

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Professor Clayton
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20150124
PostReview: Toys vs. Monsters (3DS eShop)

Bedroom Warfare


Almost everyone has memories of when they were a small child and would spend countless hours simply enjoying playing with toys. EnjoyUp Games tries to capture this dreamlike time from our childhood and incorporate it into a tower defense game, most similar to Plants vs. Zombies. While ultimately providing the intended game, Toys vs. Monsters doesn't manage to do much else.

Starting off on the wrong foot is never a good sign, and unfortunately for EnjoyUp Games Toys vs. Monsters starts off on both wrong feet. The opening is a terrifying image or two of seemingly demon posessed children fighting monsters coming out of a closet with toys, in the form of a dream. The image is slightly jarring and for a game that looks like it was aimed partially at children feels out of place.

The beginning presents you with a near empty menu, and drops you into your first true level of the game with no real instruction whatsoever. There is an attempt to explain what is going to happen but the explanation is almost nonexistent, resulting in you walking away unsure of what you were told to do.


Levels begin as an empty playing field, and require you to generate electricity by spinning a little fan on the bottom screen. You need to continue to generate power in order to purchase things like batteries, which create more power, and actual offensive and defensive pieces. Placing batteries provides a range of tiles which are powered and can then have other pieces placed within the range.

Offensive pieces are usually shooters who rapid-fire shots down one of the five open lanes of attack. Defense is really only walls which take far too short of a time to be destroyed and are almost worthless. Thankfully throughout the game you unlock more offensive pieces such as a rocking horse which deals melee damage and a hippo which eats an enemy if they wander too close.

Levels consist of waves of enemies coming after you, and if any one of them breach your defenses you lose the level. Levels are typically five minutes long, but they manage to feel a lot longer due to some odd design decisions. Besides the fact that the enemies move slower than grass grows, you have to constantly spin the fan at the bottom of the screen. Sure, the batteries do a little bit and keep the fan spinning on its own, but you can still gain more power to buy more pieces to defend with quicker. And the fan is so small that the required motion is bound to give you a tired hand after a few levels.

Your units of attack also require a period of time to recharge before you can purchase another. This process takes a while, understandably to prevent you from just placing pieces and winning easily, but the process feels like it goes on for too long.


While levels may only take a few minutes, they manage to feel like they take much longer in most cases. This isn't a positive, its a clear negative. Levels only have new features introduced every five or six, or more, levels. Meaning that a playthrough feels like you're just repeating the same motions over and over again, because you actually are. This mixed with the feeling of already long levels makes Toys vs. Monsters feel like a never ending nightmare of constantly drawing circles and waiting for pieces to recharge.

If you somehow have the patience to make it through the first dozen or so levels, which takes a fair amount of mental strength despite only taking an hour or two, you'll then unlock around twenty more. These levels give you a dream and nightmare version of each, which you'll play at the same time. Every thirty or so seconds it will switch between each version, and you'll have to essentially take twice as long to beat the levels as you did before. Adding more of something boring doesn't solve the problem, and here just feels boring and tedious.

After these levels topple, you get a number of minigames and extras to try out. They're not worth the effort. That about sums up most of Toys vs. Monsters, it just isn't worth the effort. The game never moves past what feels like a tutorial stage and makes you repeat the same motions over and over again for no real reason other than to hope its over soon. Unless you're dying for a Plants vs. Zombies-like game on the eShop, there's really no reason to try Toys vs. Monsters, unless you like repetitive and boring gameplay that doesn't ever evolve into something great.

4/10

Review copy provided by EnjoyUp Games
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Review: Toys vs. Monsters (3DS eShop) :: Comments

Shocked Sounds pretty terrible. Lowest scoring game on 8BF so far?
@MiracleBlaze Not even close. Check the review for the current record holder, Plenty of Fishies.
...I stand corrected. Razz
 

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