User Rating: 6

A story of a repair robot who during the weekend, instead of enjoying his free time watching a speedball game on a planet nearby, has to go to work and fix a malfunction in one of the corporate buildings, as he’s usually the one to be called in such cases.

By accident, he discovers a corporate management plot regarding a new project related to the department of power. 

Unfortunately, the conspirators notice they are being overheard. Toolboy attempts to escape by solving more puzzles, and the more he solves, the more skills as superpowers he gains. Our bot also has an ally in the form of an old computer disconnected from the main system. Toolboy uses special information points to communicate with him and to get more clues.

More influenced by the retro platformers of old, Toolboy is a gorgeously looking platformer/puzzler throughout.

With each scene full of industrial stamping machines ,welders and robotic droids moving about and doing their jobs in hand. 

What soon materialises though,is that there’s clearly more going on around,than gameplay concerning the main character ! Movement,for starters is similar looking to games like Rayman,but what soon becomes apparent is that everything is massively linear,with no interaction with the surrounding scenery,or any other route but left or right. Things didn’t get any better at my first information point. A droid lights a blue path that toolboy needs to follow but mustn’t touch the droid or move away from the light. The first lesson that a lot of things you may touch..kill ! Jump and drop too far..kill and down such a thin line each time.Very little room for error. 

This pales though, to the main problems I encountered with puzzles. After a brief passage of jumping a few hazards,you seem to stumble across terminals that have puzzles that need to be activated to progress.No option to exit these with minimal clues as to what to do.

Take the first one..five levers with 3 position points,and a computer screen showing waves in between 2 bars.

You have to then move each lever until the waves flatten out between the bar lines. After what took 30 minutes,I completed it by sheer blind luck with no real clue as to how I did it. Maybe cursing my sheer lack of prowess at puzzle solving. Then a double jump up various platforms and a drop slide down the wall on the opposite side,dodge the robot that kills you on touch,timed jumps past industrial hammers to ..wait for it..another terminal and another puzzle. This time filling piston type cells by blocking energy balls on different lines at different speeds…and here’s my point.

The whole pacing is off and the sheer scale of puzzle solving way too much to start off with, to allow any kind of enjoyment or any desire to proceed further.

Whilst I appreciate high difficulty in any game requiring challenge. Surely gently coaxing players in by a clear explanation of what’s happening,what’s required or even a brief tutorial would be appreciated to at least build enthusiasm,addiction and incentive. 

Here,it gets too cold,too quick and where the fun lies is anyone’s guess. The rewards are there later on,like the ability to turn into a cube,to disguise from enemies,fast run or magnetically run up walls,but I doubt whether many players will feel motivated enough to reach those points.

Overall,looks great,sounds great but on gameplay there’s just too many issues to steal the fun.

Thanks to Art Games Studio / Majestic Twelve for the code.

TOOLBOY has a small amount of play value. Unfortunately its not going to welcome newcomers to the genre. The "stop and go" elements to the overall gameplay soon become tiring quickly
  • Looks great
  • Pleasing for hardcore platform puzzle fanatics
  • Too linear
  • Puzzles have no hint or help options
  • Bad pacing
Graphics - 6
Sound - 6
Gameplay - 6
Value - 6
Written by
Spent over 40 years gaming and played plenty of titles over plenty of platforms. Handheld consoles seemed a natural progression with their portability and ease of use, and with technology forever advancing. It’s now great to play titles I used to play all those years ago…on the go! Switch and Vita are my two main favourites and any title with dark themes ..RPGs, first person or rogue-like my main interest…

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