Potato Sack #2

So I touched on a trio of titles that were interesting, but as full games were a bit lacking in my mind - at least for the price - back with Potato Sack #1 the other day. This time, I'm examining two of the titles created by Two Tribes - Toki Tori and Rush.

Both of these games are essential puzzlers. Toki Tori has minimal story - you're basically gathering up eggs in various levels using a handful of tools available to you. When you start off, it's little more than navigating a basic level. It's all 2-D platforms, ladders and occasionally very simple enemies that wander back and forth repeatedly. You will use freeze rays, a teleporter, lay down bridges and more during your adventure. There are 4 worlds in total, and a dozen maps in each. I blew through the first two worlds in about an hour, but spent much longer on the last couple of worlds as the difficulty spiked a bit. You have to be very creative when you try to navigate the maps, but there is a handy rewind feature that lets you go back to various points in the map in case you made a silly mistake along the way. It's a great mechanic that encourages much-needed experimentation.

The intangibles are somewhat lacking - there's a harder difficulty that can be applied to the maps, essentially doubling them, but when it's done it's done. There's just not much to do after. Graphics are cute - bright and colorful. My youngest termed them 'adorable' when she saw me playing. The sound is okay though the music was actually pretty catchy. From what I've seen, the maps are different on the PC than the Wii version. Overall, I'd give the game a 7 or maybe 7.5. It was fun, and at $5 on steam, not a bad value if you like this kind of game.

The other Two Tribes game in the Potato Sack was Rush. Again, a puzzle game, but without the cute graphics of Toki Tori. You control blocks that roll from start points, and you use certain physics, signs, treadmills and more to redirect them to a finish point on a 3-D map that sort of reminded me of Marble Madness on a much smaller scale. It sounds easy, and some levels are, but others require a lot of thought. There's a nice hint system you can leverage as well should a map be particularly challenging.

Graphics are bright and fun, if very simple. Not much in the way of sounds, but the music is catchy at times. The controls and menus are easy to get around and the learning curve is pretty solid. There's probably around 100 puzzles in total - you can get more if you sign up for the Steam group on Rush. I liked this one just a bit better than Toki Tori - so probably a 7.5 or an 8 overall out of 10. Like Toki Tori, it has a palatable $5 price tag should this sort of game be of interest, and I believe there's a free demo available for download as well. A pleasant surprise that I spent most of my afternoon on (Toki Tori I believe took me about 4 hours to get through the normal difficulty from start to finish).

In the video you can see my struggling with levels the first time I encountered them in both games. Toki Tori in particular was rough - about the first 4/5 of that video was me being stuck, then dead. Then, the light bulb came on and you can see me wrap up in the level in about a half minute.

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