Your Toy is an indie horror game that released just a few days ago, November 17th. Your Toy focuses on the toys of a man’s forgotten childhood. More specifically a teddy bear who is rather pissed at being mangled, thrown in to water, ripped apart and sewn back together and he’s out for vengeance against his former companion. Seems like a pretty decent setting for a horror game, no? Let’s see how it stacks up.

Frustrated From The Start

Your Toy proved, more often then not, to be a frustrating experience.  Perhaps the biggest grievance with the game is that the controls don’t seem to work correctly a majority of the time. Take for instance, in a later sequence of the game, the person-sized teddy bear is running around on fire and the player is trying to put him out. During the beginning of this scene he just stands in a corner on fire. The player is supposed to spray him with the fire extinguisher, no big deal, right? Several times, I opened the inventory system and pressed the ‘use’ action, only for nothing to happen. Next I tried getting a ‘ Press A to Use’ icon to appear, so I spent about ten minutes dancing around this flaming teddy bear to no avail. Cut forward ten minutes or so and I accidentally moved in just the right way ,and sure as sh*t, a ‘Press A to Use’ icon appeared.

However, this wasn’t the only time this happened to me. Something similar happened when I was being chased by the bear during the cave sequence. The game has a habit of giving you no direction and just sort of letting players stumble along until they figure out what to do. In some circumstances this is all well in good, it keeps the terror high for the player. Well after stumbling around this bloody cave for nearly an hour the game finally pops up a “Press A” command over a light. A light I must have passed several times. It was infuriating, I had walked up and practically smooshed my character’s face in to the lights several times before and nothing had happened.

It isn’t all bad though; while the controls could be frustrating at times the puzzles to the game were  pretty clever. They often required the player to combine parts to rebuild something or hold on to a particular item until the right moment. For example, there is a toilet paper roll found in the first spot of the game with what looks like most of a phone number. Much later on, in the game’s three and a half hour story, you use it on a phone. That felt smart, by that time in the game I was so busy looking for other aspects of a different puzzle I had almost forgotten about it.

Speaking of that other puzzle, it involved finding all the pieces to one of those tile slide things where you move them around and they make a picture. That picture then forms something you need in that exact moment to save your skin at it is perhaps the most rewarding moment in the game.

Most of the story to Your Toy is conveyed through different types of text. Whether the teddy bear texts you (yes that is a real thing, he is kind of verbally abusive) or you find one of the many scrap pieces that fill in the back story as to what happened. The level of neglect, and for lack of a better word, torture the man put the teddy bear through when he was a child is expertly conveyed through the messages and drawings. I have to say the main character kind of deserved what Teddy was putting him through because the kid was kind of cruel. Cutting teddy in half just to see what he was made of, throwing him in the trash once he was sewn back together just because he was ugly.

If you are an Achievent hunter than Your Toy will be right up your alley. Achievements are super simple for Your Toy, in fact you can get them all in one play through. Well if the game decides you can have them. There were many times I had done the requirements for them but they didn’t pop.  Most of them are do this specific thing, such as throw the teddy bear in to the a pool of water and get about fifty gamer score. When I did it though, it never popped up and I didn’t realize that until after I had beaten the game already.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention this, but if you are releasing a game at all, please, please, please go full grammar police on it! There were several times the achievements popped up and had horrible misspellings. Verbatim an achievement popped up that read “Get in to the nomal bedroom.” Another one reads, “Stop the bear get in to the inverted room.” I really do hope there is some sort of way they can fix that, at least for the sake of professionalism.

 

Then It All Changed…

The later half of Your Toy started to change my opinion of it. In all honesty, I was ready to rip this game a new one. It wasn’t scary at all, I felt like it had no business calling itself a horror game.  I kind of felt like I was trapped in that episode of Supernatural where the girl wishes her teddy bear to life.

Then the later half of Your Toy shows the man trying to repair his relationship with the teddy bear. Apologies are made, feelings are had, and, more importantly, the gameplay gets more interesting. Nothing changes aesthetically, Your Toy just actually starts having clearer objectives and a general sense of direction. The game changes from “Why the hell is this thing chasing me” to simply having to survive and make right the wrong you committed.

To bring this review to a conclusion, Your Toy is a flawed game. The puzzles, while smart, are infuriating at times. The controls aren’t always recognized while playing. It forces you to the main menu every time you die, which is downright annoying. Having to wait to load back in usually takes several moments and kind of breaks what little immersion the game actually has. The later half of the story definitely redeems the former half. It manages to actually engage the audience and start to show the makings of a worth while experience. Despite that though, I could not help but feel like I was just doing a series of touristy escape rooms.

Your Toy Review
The Good
  • Second half had a solid direction
  • Some clever puzzles
  • Easy achievement list
The Bad
  • Reload from main menu after death
  • Felt like a series of escape rooms
  • Controls not working properly
6.5Overall Score
Reader Rating: (0 Votes)
0.0

About The Author

Allen S
Editorial/Reviews Team, Manager

I started gaming when I was seven years old. I started my own game studio when I was twelve, went to school for game design. Now I work here and also on my own YouTube channel