Toby: The Secret Mine is a challenging puzzle platformer inspired by great games like Limbo or Nihilumbra. It’s a puzzle based, platforming game that was made by Lukas Navatil. He was helped by Matt Steed and Petr Stefek. I enjoyed the game and thought it looked great, but I felt like I’ve seen many games use this style now.
The game clearly draws inspiration from the likes of Limbo, with both gameplay and art style looking very similar. The game doesn’t really have any sense of a story, except for what it says on the store page. The game is mainly platforming based with puzzles throughout.
Like Limbo, the puzzles are solved by moving objects in the environment. As I started to play the game it soon became clear that it’s basically a rip off of Limbo, but that’s not a bad thing, as Limbo is a fantastic game. You take on many challenging puzzles and can fall to your grizzly death if you’re not careful.
The gameplay is fairly simple, which sees you running, jumping a moving objects. The idea of the game is to save your kidnapped buddies from an unknown beast. The beast looks like a bigger version of you, with glowing red eyes. The game has a mixture of challenges, from jumping over gaps to solving puzzles. The puzzles often have clues within the environment to help you along the way. I have to say that the game overall isn’t as challenging as Limbo, but it was still fun exploring each area. The game takes some trial and error to solve certain sections of the game, but it never felt unfair or punishing. There are checkpoints throughout the game, which are needed considering you will die fairly often.
I only have a couple of issues with the game, apart from it being a knock off of Limbo, and that’s the speed at which you run in the game. I found it frustrating just how slow he moves. The controls are pretty good overall, and it feels responsive. Some of the puzzles start to feel a bit tiresome and repetitive after a while. The start of the game feels incredibly easy, but it does offer a few harder challenges as you progress.
The fact that there are so many puzzle platformers out there, it’s a shame that the game doesn’t introduce anything new to the genre. As I said before the puzzles are challenging enough, but I never found myself thinking about situations as much as I did in Limbo.
The overall presentation looks fantastic, although very similar to other games. It uses coloured backdrops with silhouettes in the foreground.
The character you play as even looks like the main character in Limbo, he’s black, with a big head and white eyes. I enjoyed the variety of environments, that include gloomy caves, snowy mountains and dark forests. The colour of the background changes as you progress, which I thought looked visually impressive. The silhouetted style not only looks interesting, but is also used to create hidden places and puzzles. I have to say that it looks very similar to Limbo, but I especially enjoyed the use of colour in this game and the use of particle effects.
Overall Toby: The Secret Mine is an awesome looking game with some decent gameplay and puzzles. It’s so similar to games like Limbo, and I wish there was a something that made this game stand out a bit more. The game is beautiful and the sound design is creepy, which suits the atmosphere of the game. If you enjoyed Limbo or other puzzle platformers, then I would certainly recommend this. It’s not a long game, but it’s certainly worth your time.
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