Build a Kid’s Paradise (Or Wallow In Nostalgia) In RockYou’s Toy Land
Adults love the idea of being a kid again, while kids love the idea of having an adult’s independence. Toy Land seems like a game designed to cater to both sorts of player. You can build up an incredible horde of fanciful toys, designing your playroom to your own specifications, or just wallow in getting to spend a little time in a game where you hunt for hidden treasure, play with elves, and have no responsibilities beyond amassing more toys. Toy Land‘s toy theme gives it an unusual look as Facebook games go and it definitely plays differently.
You do a few different things in Toy Land. They all relate to each other one way or another, but the game definitely seems to be designed to encourage long sessions where you do different sorts of things. First, you can attend to your playroom full of toys, spending Energy to fix any broken toys and Hearts to place new ones if visitors think your playroom is kind of lame. Then you can walk around the board game tiles that surround your playroom by rolling a die that’s kept in a sort of off-brand Pop-o-Matic bubble in the lower left corner of your screen.
Different tiles you land on have different game effects, usually giving you Heart bonuses or unlocking collectible items for you. The north side of your board is all Elf Houses, and you need to land on empty tiles to add additional elves. Elves are the only renewable source of Hearts in the game, granting Hearts whenever you “keep a promise” with them (or, basically, login after setting a timer to go off, kind of similar to getting money from properties in a city building game). So, you’ve attended to your toy room, kept promises with your elves, played the board game, now what?
The game’s flavor text contains some nonsense about a character named Scrooge who breaks toys, but this never really comes up in gameplay. Instead, once you’ve attended to your playroom, it’s time to go adventuring and hunting for treasure. Instead of clicking tiles while treasure-hunting in Toy Land, you examine interesting objects on each of the searchable maps. Searching maps reveals collectibles, Hearts, energy boosts, bonus XP, really the sort of thing you’d expect in a treasure-hunting game. Some of the collectibles you find you can take back to your playroom and display as toys.
Toy Land has a lot of promise as a social game. The theme is quirky and the gameplay feels weird in an interesting way. Right now RockYou is calling the game a “preview beta” and with good reason: the servers are very unstable, lag is a tremendous issue, you lose progress sometimes, and entire sets of features seem to be disabled. It’s still worth taking a look at now just because it’s so different, especially if you’re tired of the relentless island theme in treasure hunting games.