The Magic Toy Chest - Review

The Magic Toy Chest, PC - $19.95

Review by Bobby

The Magic Toy Chest is one of those games that if it were a flash based web game would be the talk of the internet. One of those meme like popular games posted on message boards the world over. Because it is one of those games. This game however costs $19.95, the question is, is it worth it?

Developed by Graduate Games, MTC is a physics based puzzle game similar to the Incredible Machine, which if you haven't played, you should. The aim of each level is to get a certain amount of a toy into the eponymous chest, in an attempt to tidy the various rooms of your house, and boy do I wish I had been able to get away with tidying my room like this, because this is fun.

Most levels start with the relatively simple task of locating all the keys to open your Magic Toy Chest, from here though things get a little tougher. The aim is to relocate a certain toy from where it currently reside to the MTC. Easier said than done. The idea is to set up the toys you have access to and use them to move the desired toy into the chest. There is a good number of different toys to choose from, each with individual actions to help you with your chores, the rocket can be set up and shot into the air, the ball, err, rolls, and the jumping dog, well, jumps. A clever aspect of this is if you happen to get any of the extra toys in the level into the box, not only do you get bonus points, but you get to use these to solve the puzzle.

One area where MTC varies from similar games is the real time set up, a lot of these games require you to set everything and then press go and see if it works, MTC does not, so you can see if you reactions are faster than gravity. Fortunately, so this doesn’t get frustrating, a simple tap of the space bar pauses the game time so you can set up and then un-pause, if required. This aspect makes for a bit more variation in the solving of puzzles.

Sadly there are few rather obvious bugs. Some levels start and pieces of the puzzles simply fall away as they aren't attached properly. Other times objects pass straight through others, or the object shape doesn't match the collision edge. Frustrating as these are, they aren't really gamebreakers, but possibly the most fundamental issue with this game is that a number of the laws of physics simply aren't obeyed. Friction has no place in this game, gravity is only loosely adhered to, and momentum ignored in place of an objects preset placement ability.

Even better than this though is when the toy truck causes a warp in the space time continuum and makes gravity fluctuate. Fun as this is, it is a pretty large flaw in a game billing itself as a physics based game.

Unfortunately, it is this which leaves the lasting impression not the puzzles, the frustration which comes with a puzzle not working because a piece floats through another, or won’t stop moving is greater than the fun aspect of the game, and this is a shame, as MTC is actually fun, but so are a lot of free games out there.

The fact there is a skip function shows that a lot of thought has been put into the game, it is the output which is flawed, not the concept, I look forward to seeing more from Graduate Games in the future.

MTC is a fun but flawed physics based game which is wholly suitable for children and may appeal to parents who want to limit children’s access to the internet for similar games.

The Magic Toy Chest, PC - $19.95