239. That’s the number of times I had died in this game before I finished it. No, I didn’t keep track, the game is kind (or sadistic) enough to do that for you. This game will test your skills and your patience. At first glance, Toby: The Secret Mine looks like a clone of Limbo. You wouldn’t be wrong to think that. However, where Limbo was all doom and gloom, Toby: The Secret Mine (releasing this Thursday, July 6th on PS4. It’s already available on everything else) is actually kind of whimsical and grand, with different areas to explore and puzzles to solve. You do die in horrific ways, but the deaths aren’t as graphic and disturbing as Limbo. Did I mention you’re going to die a lot?
The game begins with Toby chasing after a creature that looks like him but has red eyes, and is a bit larger in size. These evil incarnations of you have taken all of your friends and thrown them in cages throughout the areas you’ll explore. It’s up to you to get through all the perilous traps and (only if you’re feeling generous) save your friends in the process. You’re going to be killed by arrows, spikes, circular saws, crushed by various objects, being buried in an avalanche. The list goes on and on. There’s variations in the levels, ranging from snow capped mountains to lava filled mines. It changes the pace up a bit from the black and grey, and the game looks gorgeous in action. Toby can jump with X and use levers and devices with O. Puzzles range from opening secret doors by inputting the proper symbols in the order they need to be put in, to physical puzzles like trying to avoid a ravenous dog by hiding behind things as you make your way past it without ending up as its meal. There’s also the prospect of two different endings. They’re interesting but nothing major. The main draw here is the puzzles and gameplay. If you’re here for the story, you’re playing the wrong game my friend.
Toby: The Secret Mine is a brutal and rewarding puzzle platformer. What it lacks in story, it makes up for in clever puzzle design and atmosphere. At times, you’ll get frustrated, but the satisfaction you’ll get from overcoming an obstacle far outweighs the agony of defeat. – NVJ
- Toby: The Secret Mine release on July 6th for PS4.