Game,  Indie,  Nintendo Switch,  Rapid Reviews,  Reviews,  Uncategorized

Toast Time: Smash Up!

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Title:  Toast Time: Smash Up!
Developer:  Force of Habit
Publisher:  Force of Habit
Website:  http://forceofhab.it/
Genre:  Shooter, Action, Arcade
Platform:  Nintendo Switch
Audience:  All
Release Date:  16/11/2018
Price:  £7.19 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this game.

What the Developers Say

  • 54 action-packed single player missions – each served warm with it’s own choreographed soundtrack.
  • 16 exciting bread-based weapon upgrades – from crumpets to baguettes you’ll never go hungry.
  • Multiplayer Battle Mode – garnished with all-configurable gameplay mix-ups.
  • Loads of colourful pixel art hats and customisations – glazed to perfection, from pirate to pharaoh.
  • Addictive and original gameplay – topped with intrigue and zealous delight.
  • Iron man survival mode and bonus coffee time mode – the icing on the figurative cake.

Introduction

Never have I wanted to do anything with bread in the gaming medium more than with playing Toast Time, from developer Force of Habit, for the Nintendo Switch. This new indie sensation was previously only available on mobile platforms, but now as the Smash Up! edition, not only do you get the single player experience, but also a whole new multiplayer aspect. The addictive nature of the title really lends itself to the console and reminded me of another title I hope to see come over to Switch: Downwell

In Toast Time: Smash Up! you play as a toaster named TERRY (Toast-Ejecting Recoil & Reload System) that shoots various bread items out of the top of his head, while he is projected backwards in the opposite direction. There are no move buttons other than using the sticks to aim and the right bumper to suspend yourself in place while firing for a few seconds. Your entire movement is based upon the backwards velocity that’s created from you shooting bread out of your head. This gameplay mechanic creates a zany premise, but after a few gaming sessions you will gain precision and it becomes an innovative control method. 

The single-player goal of Toast Time is to protect an alarm clock that your toast always starts seated next to. Other objectives may arise depending on what level you’re in, but the main objective is always to not let any of the onslaught of enemies touch the clock before time runs out. If the time runs out, the alarm clock goes off and lightning fries every enemy on-screen leading to victory. 

As you can probably tell, the whole theme of Toast Time is breakfast with many references like when you lose a phrase may pop-up stating “Breakfast is Cancelled”. There are multiple uses of humour throughout a play through and bind with the retro-arcade gameplay to create a truly unique experience. To save breakfast, TERRY will have to use every breakfast mannerism at his disposal to repel the beasties from stealing time from his alarm clock, and this created a surprisingly great gameplay loop.

When you first start Toast Time, there is a single-player and multiplayer mode. Playing solo, the main game is broken up into five different worlds of 54 levels. You can also change any one of these worlds into a survival match, which will then task you with going for as long as you can to get the highest score possible before you die. You are scored on how many enemies you defeat, how many upgrade boxes you destroy, and amount of bread you fire from the toaster, and based on your score you’ll get a star rating with three stars being the highest rank. 

I found getting three stars to be quite the challenge and that’s because in the beginning of Toast Time you start out without very many upgrades, but as you unlock more you can go back to earn higher star ratings. Things begin very easy in order to learn the gameplay mechanics, however by the third world the levels get much more difficult and just trying to earn one star becomes hard enough. Fortunately, I didn’t find the difficult off-putting, but felt like I was making meaningful progress with how to control the toaster and better repel the ever encroaching enemy force. 

To assist with taking out the enemies, there are a number of different weapons that you can earn in Toast Time, ranging from exploding baguettes to spinning bagels and more. The powerups you use in a level are randomly applied by breaking upgrade boxes, but the ever growing catalogue of new weapons you use become stronger the by using them. It’s in your best interest to unlock as many boxes as you can, not just for the better weapon you’ll be receiving, but also to unlock new weapons and new costumes for use in future levels. 

For completionists, there are many trophies you can collect in order to 100% Toast Time, but you can also track your stats and the stats of other players throughout the world. You’ll be able to see how many slices of bread you’ve fired, how many enemies you’ve killed, and how many total crates you’ve collected. It’s neat seeing unlocking new trophies and seeing just how far you’ve come when playing Toast Time

What really stood out about Toast Time though was the multiplayer experience. In a similar vein to the chaos you would find in the Super Smash Bros series, players are tasked with shooting their various bread items to take out their opponent. The gameplay is exactly the same, only this time instead of having a tower-defense gameplay mode you’ll need to use all your skills of propulsion and recoiling to achieve victory. 2-4 players can take part and all battles are totally configurable leading to some chaotic and short, yet immensely fun matches.

Another element of Toast Time: Smash Up! that I appreciated is not seen in a lot of titles, is the level of polish that can be found. Toast Time is by no means a graphically intensive game with simplistic and retro visuals, but the polish in elements like the UI, control scheme, and attention to detail make this indie title stand apart from the rest.  CLearly, the developers have taken their time in crafting a simple, but highly detailed and nuanced experience.

Conclusion

Overall, Toast Time: Smash Up! is the definitive version of the mobile title and it is quirky, fun, and enthusiastic in the presentation. If you fancy nostalgic arcade experiences, you will adore Toast Time. While the retro aesthetic may be a turn-off to some players, this comes highly recommended if you like games that are fun and challenging. 

Rapid Reviews UK Rating

You can purchase Toast Time:  Smash Up! on the Nintendo eShop on the following link, http://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Toast-Time-Smash-Up–1466406.html#Overview

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