September 6, 2013 2:34 AM | Paul Hack
I normally don't cover Android games, but I'm making an exception for Toast Time, by two-person studio Force of Habit (who also happen to be working on the audio design for Maia). Toast Time is informed by classic video games, but does not play quite like anything else out there. Its unique central mechanic is perfectly suited to touch control. And the theme of breakfast defense shooter is a heretofore untapped genre.
You control TERRY (toast-ejecting recoil and reload system), a sentient toaster tasked with protecting breakfast time from inter-dimensional invaders. With a tap of your finger, TERRY shoots weaponized baked goods (and other things) with deadly force and accuracy. Each shot will be aimed where you tap, and the force of each shot's recoil is the toaster's only means of locomotion. Gravity is pretty friendly to TERRY, so you may spend a lot of your time airborne. Platforms can obstruct your line of fire, so you'll need to stay aware of your position in space as well as where you're aiming.
The basic task on each level is to protect a clock from attacking beasties until the time runs down and breakfast is served. Crates appear periodically and collecting one will change your equipped weapon. Enough crates unlock new weapons. There are 16 different projectiles, each with different characteristics, including multi-shot bagels, bouncy crumpets, and little clones that act like turrets. It's a lot of fun to unlock them and see how each one behaves.
Toast Time is rewarding to play, and easy to keep playing. Every tap is juicy with feedback, every one of the 45 levels features a new song, and you can even unlock useless but amusing hats and other accouterments for your little toaster to wear (I love the way TERRY looks in a monocle). Also, the art design in Toast Time is sublime. It often has the effect of LCD characters projected onto a colored paper lantern, dancing and exploding into pixels. But the gameplay is the best part. The ingenious pairing of a loose movement control with a tight weapon control and folded together into a single action will keep me coming back to try and master it.
You can purchase Toast Time on Google Play. The normal price is $2.99 (£1.99, €2.29), but it's 50% off ($1.49, £0.99, €1.15) for the first week of release.