Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4
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Toy Shot is a fairly traditional physics puzzler, with a Lego-esque character and level design. The gameplay comes straight from the Angry Birds school of "enemies stand still in structures, praying that the player doesn't destroy them with their limited supply of projectiles." There are basic attack projectiles, time-delayed bombs, boomerangs, and more. As well, there's the easy way out of each level: the dragon. The dragon is like the honey badger: he doesn't care, he takes what he wants. He stomps through the levels with gleeful abandon, leaving no toy person alive after he's had his way. He costs 10 uses per $0.99, because he doesn't work for free. There are over 100 levels to play, with gameplay that is familiar but effective.
The problem with Toy Shot is this: the controls. Angry Birds needs to be appreciated for the high caliber of its controls; the player's finger correlates directly to the angle and power of the bird's launch, and the on-screen visuals represent that angle and power perfectly. It's part of what has made the game so playable; it's part of why the game is being played by hundreds of millions of people. Toy Shot makes it easy to set angle and power, and to see where the next shot is in relation to the last shot, but the aiming reticule is offset from where the projectiles actually launch. This means that shots require not just the typical adjustment for their physical location, but for the offset location of the cannon to the aiming area.
This makes the game more challenging to play than it really has any right to be; especially with the precision weapons that come into use like the darts, having a direct way to aim them is essential and the game doesn't provide it. The game also lacks Retina Display support or any kind of native iPad app, which seems silly in this day and age. Really, with the control flaws, and with so many other physics puzzlers that aren't as frustrating to control, why spend any time on this one? It's not bad...but there are a million alternatives. Play one of them first.