Toby: The Secret Mine (Wii U, Xbox One, PC, iOS, Android)

TOBY_BOXToby’s friends have all been imprisoned in little cages and taken away to a mine by baddies, and it’s up to Toby to save them.  Toby: The Secret Mine is a 2-D platformer adventure with silhouette style graphics and gameplay similar to Limbo.  In fact, if Toby didn’t have those big horns or ears sticking out of his head, I probably wouldn’t be able to tell much difference (although it’s not quite as creepy and the backgrounds aren’t as dark either).  It’s available to download on Wii U, Xbox One, PC, and mobile devices, but reviewed on Wii U here.

As Toby, you can run and jump, and there is a button for activating switches and pressing buttons.  And that’s it.  You’ll solve a lot of switch and block pushing puzzles, as well as jumping across pits and other dangerous obstacles.  Many of the puzzles are physics-based, so for instance, you may have to walk back and forth across a hanging platform to make it swing so you can jump over a gap.  Hidden in the stages are your caged friends to find as an extra challenge.

The only problem is that the game gives you hardly any clues as to how to solve the puzzles, which is just part of the challenge.  But it can be aggravating sometimes as you fumble around trying to figure out what to do.  Luckily the checkpoints are usually placed close to where you died, and you get unlimited lives.  If you really enjoyed games like Limbo, you’ll probably want to check this one out, too.

TOBY_SCREEN

Kid Factor:

Toby: The Secret Mine is rated E-10 for Fantasy Violence and Mild Blood.  You can get hit and squashed by traps and will fall over, but that’s about as violent as it gets.  I don’t remember seeing any blood in the game, though.  Reading skill isn’t needed to play, but younger gamers may get frustrated and need help with some of the tougher puzzles and challenges.

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