Developer: Barking Mouse Studio, Inc.
Price: $3.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad3, iPhone5

Graphics/Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★½
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Unique, challenging, haunting. I’m not sure how else to describe Lost Toys. This 3D puzzler opens new doors in the app world. Its breathtakingly simple, yet elegant graphics, accompanied by the hauntingly beautiful piano score, immediately seduce your senses.

photo 1This game is all about being lost – lost in solitude, lost in concentration, lost in a world of restoring beauty and color to the darkness. The gray, blurry background only intensifies the experience of bringing the toys back to life. This “gothic masterpiece” is not just a game; it’s an emotional journey. The creators want each person to follow their own path to unearthing the mysteries of this puzzled world.

The game opens with no instructions, no tutorial – just the lonely, floating, twisted toy pieces. Players learn to play by touching the screen, by manipulating the pieces. There is no such thing as a time limit. There is no way to boast about accomplishments. This is a game solely for the player and the experience of solving the puzzle. The pure pleasure of rescuing abandoned, petrified toys, and returning them to their colorful glory is the sole goal.

Play is simple and almost cathartic. Players can immerse themselves in the creations and the music, leaving all real-world stresses and competitions behind. Moves are calming and rhythmic. Rotate the toy in space to view the pieces from all angles. Swipe a specific piece to alter its position. If at any time a player becomes utterly stuck, they can tap the question mark in the upper-right corner for hints. Tapping the circles at the top will undo a move or two. The visuals are gorgeous. The premise is peaceful. It’s no wonder this app has won several awards already.

photo 3Just a couple of things to note: The pieces must be fit together in the appropriate order. Also, there is no back button, so in order to return to the main screen, players must exit the app and reopen it. Some may find the music a bit distracting or chilling (I can see that), so just mute it. For those who like the competition and/or sharing aspects of games, this one does lack in this area (purposefully, apparently).

Players are able to earn points for a limited number of achievements, and may challenge their Facebook friends if they so desire. But really, that’s missing the point. Lost Toys is meant to be an introspective experience rather than just a game. Take the journey. It won’t be disappointing.


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