Toast Time Review

It is the year 2014, and there is time for toast.

Sometimes a game comes along that doesn’t align itself well with normal concepts of explanation, and Toast Time (out now, $2.99) — by Force of Habit — is certainly one of those oddities. In it you take control of Terry — an anthropomorphic piece of toast — as he bounces around a stage shooting various bread themed weaponry, all in the name of keeping the advancing baddies from reaching an alarm clock. I’m going to suggest that you just pretend that the last sentence actually made sense, even if it probably didn’t, as understanding Toast Time’s madness is not really relevant to playing and/or enjoying it.

screen480x480Anyways, in order to protect the hero’s clock — as a stage only ends after the timer has remained active long enough — Terry must bombard every last enemy advancing upon his precious time piece. Thankfully he came properly prepared for this task with a nigh on infinite supply of bread-styled ballistics at his disposal, all of which can be launched anywhere — at anytime — but tapping on the screen where you’d like for Terry to fire next. The once catch to unleashing doughy demise is that the recoil from each blast will send Terry flying backwards in the opposite direction, which at times can be both a blessing and a bane to our hero’s existence.

Now even though Terry’s basic white toast is a nutritious and delicious part of your daily breakfast, there will often arise times when the oncoming hordes are more than his basic bread and butter attack can handle. For these moments Terry can tap into one of the white crates that will randomly fall from the sky by shooting them, at which point he will temporarily gain access to a far more potent implement of yeast driven destruction. Terry’s weapons of wheat-filled warfare include a variety of all time classics: the baguette landmine, the bagel shotgun blast, the breadcrumb machinegun, the bread pudding nuke, and much more.

The catch — however — is that Terry begins the game with access to absolutely none of these weapons of greater breakfast justice, meaning that he’s going to have to work towards unlocking better tools fast. The key to achieving this is the collecting of those aforementioned boxes, which often have a tendency to land in hard to reach places (where the surrounding scenery then protects them from Terry’s basic bread attacks). Furthermore, new weapon crates can’t materialize until after our heroic piece of anthropomorphized toast has already collected the previous one granted to him by the heavens above.

screen480x480Once Terry has collected enough boxes, with only his best crate collecting run for each individual stage being counted in the grand tally, all future sky boxes will be permanently upgraded with the potential to hold ever greater breakfast blasting powers. These crates — as previously mentioned — have a nasty tendency of landing in hard to reach places, which leads us the true challenge laid before Terry during the course of Toast Time. Not only must our hero perfectly protect his clock — lest breakfast be forever doomed — he must also go out of his to way collect every last crate, or else he’ll get behind in the arms race.

The end result — with Terry ricocheting all over the place, an endless stream of baddies forever marching down upon the almighty clock, and crates landing in the nastiest of places — certainly makes for one heck of a challenge. The best analogue comparison that I can make is to compare Toast Time to the various vertically aligned single screen arcade classics of yore, such as Bubble Bobble. However — unlike some other iOS titles — this challenge is purely meant to be conquered by the player’s actual skills alone, as there is not a single IAP to be found for sale within the madness that is Toast Time.

Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that — as you collect crate after crate in pursuit of ever greater bastions of breakfast ballistics — you will also eventually obtain various wardrobe items for Terry. Now you can at long last live out your fantasies of controlling a top hat wearing piece of toast — replete with monocle — as he dances about with a decorative cane, all while blasting enemies everywhere. They even have a built in tool for snapping a screenshot of your creation straight to your iDevice’s memory, so that everyone around the world can know precisely just how your personal Terry rolls with it.

Anyways, on a more serious note, Toast Time is a game that — thanks to its mixture of retro-pixelated graphics, bizarre concept, fast paced action, and simple controls — is sure to please fans of old school arcade games. It will furthermore keep them busy for quite a while, since Toast Time contains a plethora of stages to play — and content to unlock over time — and even has an infinite survivor mode for those seeking the ultimate challenge. The only downside is that the game quickly reaches a difficulty that some might refer to as ‘a device throwing level of frustration’, which pretty much means that Toast Time’s demented challenge is for hardcore players only.

iFanzine Verdict: Toast Time has much in common with the classical vertically- aligned single-screen arcade titles of yore: both feature addictive — yet challenging — gameplay that is easy to learn, and both feature core concepts that rarely made sense. So long as players can stomach the fact that they’re going to fail in Toast Time, and do so a whole lot, there is quite a lot of demented gameplay to be found within this left-field gem. There’s also the fact that Terry — Toast Time’s anthropomorphized heroic piece of toast — can be 100% customized to the however the user’s heart sees fit, and what other game has ever before let you dress up a heroic piece of toast?