Just like all of you, probably, I never liked that part of my life when I had to clean up my room (and I still don’t). You can imagine that playing a game in which I have to do that over and over again was not the highest on my priorities list, especially since it also combined physics elements: thinking AND cleaning at the same time? No, thanks!
However, even though a bit scared and ready to run away as soon as things got too dirty, I liked the experience. And I kept on playing, and playing and playing, cleaning room after room, making my processor and RAM happy. Probably. However, that’s not the point.
The point is that I’m talking about The Magic Toy Chest here, a puzzler developed by Graduate Games, an indie title that is awesomely surprising and entertaining despite the first impression it gives: that of a regular “physics-based puzzler” in which the physics is as real as my knowledge about the latest gadget NASA is working on.
No, The Magic Toy chest really works and, with the excuse of making you a better and cleaner person, it manages to entertain you across an endless number of levels – all both mind bending and entertaining, fun and smart. And, most important, unlike the general golden rule of thumb in such titles – without becoming obscenely frustrating.
Feeling slightly like The Incredible Machine, The Magic Toy Chest gives you the setting, the “route” and the “vehicles” as well as the missing puzzle pieces and some pretty solid physics to get toy A to chest B while getting over obstacles C, D, E and so on. You will have to use teddy bears and baseball bats to catapult puzzle pieces into the toy chest while making sure that the rocket is ready to offer your bowling ball the necessary speed to get over the yellow truck and give the dog a nudge and push it into the toy chest as well. You will do your best to finish the game as soon as possible (and that doesn’t mean “too soon,” though) and then you’ll start over, knowing what you’re dealing with, but trying to beat your records, trying to see if there’s another way of solving your puzzle. There usually is, since you will generally have more toys than needed, even though at first you feel that you need much more.
The fact that the puzzles are smart (but not smarter than you!) and you’ll have quite a time trying to figure out how to solve them even though the settings are not too varied and the number of items is “just” 16… this makes The Magic Toy Chest a really great title, one you can play 20 minutes per day, just to relax and keep your brain working or 6 hours straight to prove the entire family that you simply rock.
It does have a few problems, like items that don’t always go where they should and get stuck in strange positions, but these happen rarely and will never get frustrating. The music is not the best there is and you will have to manually change it before the same tunes drive you crazy (you can’t lower the volume, though) and the visuals are clearly no eye candies, but all these don’t matter that much in The Magic Toy Chest since this is a game you play for the puzzles and not the beats or the looks.
Although I am not a fan of physics-based puzzles because I generally lose interest doing (or trying to do) the same thing over and over again, I really enjoyed The Magic Toy Chest since it’s not boring, it’s quite intense and it doesn’t try to reach for the stars introducing god-knows-what fancy features that totally suck. No, it’s a pretty straightforward puzzler that will keep you going, will keep you entertained and it might even turn you into an addict. Probably your real life room will actually get dirtier since you’ll spend your time playing, but that’s not a problem, is it?
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