Toy Odyssey: The Lost and Found - Xbox One Review

To its credit, Toy Odyssey: The Lost and Found gives the player a ton of different things to do and the sends of progression, steadily scaling difficulty and procedurally generated levels give the game incredible amounts of replay value. Toy Odyssey is not a perfect game, but the good does outweigh the bad overall.

You play the role of Brand, an action figure who has come to life like so many other toys in Felix's home. Felix is a young boy, and he has been suffering from nightmares that are far more than they initially seem. Brand ventures forth from the safety of Felix's bedroom each night to explore a house that takes on new shape each and every night. You can return to the safety of the room at any time you wish to venture back, but frankly it is often better just to push on through the level and hope for that next heal potion. If you die, you wind up back in the room the following night with whatever you collected the night before.

The things you collect come in a few flavors. At the heart of your mission, you are attempting to rescue toys who are stuck in other rooms surrounded by evil toys looking to destroy you. When you find the stranded toy, you will then be tasked with clearing out the room of enemies so said toy can return to Felix's bedroom safe and sound. Think of Felix's room as a base of operations, completely with a defense mini-game that has you building up a fort using parts found around the house and assigning rescued toys to man it. This is a nice compliment to the running / jumping / slashing action used when exploring the rest of the house.

The story has a certain charm to it. Who here didn't play with toys as a kid, having them fight with one another (mom, dad? Sorry about those G.I. Joe toys and LEGOs you so often found yourselves stepping on!)? That is the premise here, and since the characters are toys, the world appears disproportionately large as a result. If you find a mouse hole (think of it as a warp tunnel), the rodents that come out are larger to and certainly a threat to you. Just like spiders, other toys (ranging from soldiers to flying obstacles to tanks and more). This is a world of limitless opportunity because of the crazy number of relatively generic toys we all grew up with.

The actual action is generally good, with lots of jumping and slashing. The overall game has a nice sense of progression that helps to handle spikes in difficulty. Not only can you improve your base, but your character can purchase upgrades using little nuts (as in screws, not the edible kind) that can be used to improve Brand's head or chest or feet equipment for example. Frankly the feet are where you get the most bang for your buck because skills like dash and double jump are worth more than what you get from the other things (like better damage with your off-hand ranged weapon). Every upgrade gives you health, which is good since some of the critters out there can deal ridiculous amounts of damage pretty darned quickly. Not quite instant death, but a few of them are not far from it.

The generated levels are generally really well done. Admittedly some of the rooms did come together oddly, but the general idea is that these different rooms are all interconnected (including trap doors at the tops and bottoms of rooms, meaning some of these rooms are very vertical in design). With so many different potential layouts, upgrades and a ridiculous number of enemy designs culled from my childhood, I have to say that Toy Odyssey: The Lost and Found manages to provide a lot of variety.

While the action is fast, it can be a little frustrating. That is not a bad thing, just understand what you are getting into here. Your primary attack is a melee sword swing, and you can and will get knocked around in the air and suffer some long falls (flying enemies, flying bullets or just plain missing your jump), enemies come at you from a sometimes absurd number of angles. The most egregious example of this I dealt with early on was a spaceship overhead shooting out waves of bullets in a circular pattern, while a spider and a mouse were both bolting at me from the ground and two soldiers were perched nearby taking aimed shots at me any time I tried to break cover. That was not a fun set of jumps to make and I died rather quickly.

Each time you die? You wake up back in Felix's room again and can then upgrade Brand and / or your base and head out again into a newly generated house. All in all the gameplay is addictive despite some frustrating moments that do pop up now and again. I think if the death system were more punitive, I would have gotten more frustrated, but by and large you have enough ways to upgrade just about each night out that even in failure, your character gets a little better and that served to keep me going.

Toy Odyssey: The Lost and Found is a solid action/adventure game with RPG elements in it for good measure. The theme is really cool and while the visuals and music are both good, this is clearly an indie game that is not a technical powerhouse. There were times my screen got a little jumpy and glitched around a bit, but by and large these moments were only a minor issue in the grand scheme of things. The idea is certainly inspired, the execution is solid and the end result is something platforming fans will likely enjoy.

Game Information

Xbox One
Single Player
Other Platform(s):

Article by Chris H.