Tori Not-Written-In-Amos: Toki Tori Demo

By Kieron Gillen on July 12th, 2010 at 3:01 pm.

Oddly, Toki Tori reminds me of Walker. I mean that affectionately. No, really.

First thing: keep reading. Second thing: We’ve written about Toki Tori before, in passing, but with a demo released, it’s now time for you to pay proper attention. Third thing: keep reading. Fourth Thing: despite its hyper-cute styling, this is a devilishly smart little puzzle game which recalls me of the intricate post-Lemmings stuff which appeared on the Amiga. You simply have a limited number of tools and have to collect all the eggs on the level. The level doesn’t want you to. Who will win? It’s just lovely pure game design. Fifth thing: It’s also dirt cheap. The game’s five dollars (aka Three-quid-fifty) from all your favourite digital download places (Steam! Impulse! Gamers Gate! And – er – Mac Game Store!). Sixth Thing: Demo’s on the steam page (or the Mac Game Store page) and you can watch some actual little footage below.

Seventh thing: I’ve resisted the urge to write Tik-Tok-Toki-Tori for the whole post. I will submit now. Eighth Thing: it was originally a GameBoy Colour game, before being brought to the Iphone and the WiiWare. I’m really glad to see a developer who isn’t working in our field choosing to step over. Ninth Thing: Stop reading and play the bally demo.

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28 Comments »

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  1. CMaster says:

    Why do I feel like I’ve played this before?
    Was there a browser-game prequel?

    • CMaster says:

      Erm, nevermind.
      I didn’t see the bit at the bottom of the post, and I think I am confusing it with something else.

    • Colthor says:

      @CMaster:
      I think it’s had versions on all sorts of systems for years.

      It’s a fun little game, well worth the £1.74 or whatever it was in the sale. And pretty, in the way you remember 16-bit games looking at the time but they actually didn’t.

  2. Curvespace says:

    Great. Great. Great.

    Pun.

    :)

  3. James G says:

    Picked this up in a previous Steam sale, and it’s great. The levels are challenging enough that you wont just waltz through them, but not frustrating enough that you’ll resort to a walkthrough.

  4. Wulf says:

    I can wholeheartedly recommend this to any puzzle fans who’re after a more laid back experience that won’t frustrate them too much, but would still tax ‘em. Also to anyone who’s after something a little more light-hearted. To be honest, I wish there was more of this on the PC.

    The PC seems to constantly be gritty, grey, and filled with boring, ubiquitous humans these days, it’s an absolute bloody yawnfest, I’d generally be more entertained by counting the rings of a tree’s trunk. Those odd little colourful, lively things that turn up on our platform should be cherished.

    • Jake says:

      Oh you and your anti-human agenda. Although it is true that Gears of War would be improved if it featured a cyclopean egg-bird.

    • Wulf says:

      It’s not an anti-human agenda per se, but it’s more of a demiurge and that’s really the best way to describe it. This happens to anyone with an imagination, at some point in their life they’ll flip over from finding the familiar somewhat comforting, to realising just how uninspired the familiar is and wondering why they were ever interested in familiar things. It’s a wilful push against all those established norms, perhaps a fool’s useless strive against the ubiquitous, and the overriding desire for new experiences.

      These days, I find familiarity to be somewhat cloying and quaint, it’s not something I really need – as most people probably don’t – as eventually one becomes aware of how easy to it is to relate to something which is even completely unfamiliar. There is, of course, a period taken where one immerses oneself in something so different, but eventually things work into that niche that I personally find so pleasing, where things are just familiar enough, and yet still enticingly exotic. That’s what I find comforting.

      The issue with humanity is really the issue I have with a game set in one of those settings that on inspection appears to be today’s world with some sort of illusionary blanket draped over it to make it look more like fantasy or Sci-Fi. It’s too familiar, almost sickeningly so. You see, outside of perhaps nature, fringe Science, and a few particularly intriguing cultures, I can’t say that I find humanity to be particularly exotic, or interesting, and aesthetically I find them quite homely, their design is uninteresting. But again, this is because of norms, and eventually everyone gets fed up of the same setting, even insofar as their own race.

      The only part of a human I have any real interest in is the brain, perhaps this is why I have an armchair interest in psychology, but I digress. It’s the only area where unusual patterns seem to form, those precious abnormalities which lead to creative thought and endeavour. Unfortunately, at the moment, we’ve taught ourselves to engage in an inward cycle of familiarity and comfort, wherein, tracking the progression of entertainment from a decade ago up until present day, things seem to be becoming increasingly more familiar, comfortable, perhaps unchallenging.

      It drives me crazy, sometimes, that most entertainment seems to be caught in this, and that escapism is becoming something of a lost art. I have to wonder, do people even dream any more? It’s unpleasant, and it feels as though the collective creativity of our race is becoming more and more chained. I can’t help but strain against those chains, that’s just my nature.

  5. Ginger Yellow says:

    Anyone remember Pushover? That game was awesome.

    • Boldoran says:

      If that’s the one with the ant and the domino blocks then yes, that was great.

    • James G says:

      Was sponsored by Quavers if I remember correctly, as was the pseudo sequal, of which I forget the name. (Involved jumping from platform to platform as the collapsed behind you)

    • Taillefer says:

      Pushover has a faithful remake (sans Quavers) right here.

    • Premium User Badge

      c-Row says:

      One Step Beyond

      And great to see someone remembering AMOS. :-)

  6. Aemony says:

    Tenth thing: Was it any fun?

    • Bioptic says:

      It is very, very fun if you like the concept of fighting the level designer’s brain. Some of the later levels are maddeningly tricky, but perseverance bears fruit – frustration is also kept to a minimum thanks to the rewind mechanic, where you can go back in time to wherever you felt you made a mistake and correct it.

      It also feels like a ‘proper’ PC game – really crisp visuals running up to 1920*1080, alt-tabs nicely, full Steamworks integration – also supports the X360 controller if you’re that way inclined.

      I too got it in a sale, but feel the £3.50 pricepoint is well worth it.

  7. megalomania says:

    That was *extremely* irritating. How about the same mechanic but you play a grizzled commando instead of a yellow duck and the eggs are… I don’t know, Russians to be brutally murdered?

  8. jon_hill987 says:

    The only fault I could find with this game is that sometimes if you have been thinking a while Toki Tori does a little wave or similar animation and ends up facing forward which means you can’t use most of the tools until you turn him round again. He is so damn cute though you just can’t stay mad.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    Bought this in the winter Steam sale and rather enjoyed completing all the standard levels. Like other games of it’s ilk (Professor Fizzwizzle springs to mind) that I’ve attempted recently i found myself giving up on most of the advanced levels, feeling rather stupid!

    Well worth the price if you like your cute puzzlers.

  10. Dreamhacker says:

    Toki Tori = Time bird?

  11. Pemptus says:

    Aaaw. And here I thought this had something to do with sweet, sweet Amiga nostalgia… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7lbNgOun44&feature=related

  12. TeeJay says:

    Posted by freibooter on the steam forums
    http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?p=14604397

    Toki Tori is a seriously violent and f-cked up computer game not suitable for kids

    …at least according to Dr. Craig Anderson: http://www.psychology.iastate.edu/fa…endations.html

    /quote

    How can you tell if a video game is potentially harmful?

    …Ask yourself the following 6 questions:
    * Does the game involve some characters trying to harm others?
    * Does this happen frequently, more than once or twice in 30 minutes?
    * Is the harm rewarded in any way?
    * Is the harm portrayed as humorous?
    * Are nonviolent solutions absent or less “fun” than the violent ones?
    * Are realistic consequences of violence absent from the game?

    If two or more answers are “yes,” think very carefully about the lessons being taught before allowing your child access to the game.

    /endquote

    I have to answer “yes” to every single of those questions when it comes to Toki Tori and its brutal, webbed-feet chicken that is equipped with horrible weapons that freeze or squeeze poor little animals.
    And just to think of the mass-eggocide committed at the end of the game makes me shudder in disgust.

    Toki Tori is clearly harmful to anyone playing it, especially kids.

    So make sure that your children won’t ever get a hold of Toki Tori – you should probably delete your copy if you are messed up enough to own one!

    Additionally, Toki Tori promotes an unhealthy, cholesterol-rich diet…

    • Wulf says:

      I want to reply to that! 8D I can’t be arsed really to share this with the community there, though.

      That’s certainly a unique perspective, and I suppose it all comes down to how one defines harm. Is relocating an animal to help it repopulate ‘harmful’? In Toki Tori, one temporarily traps animals (who appear to be no worse for wear post-trapping) in order to proceed past them without dying. Whereas in, say, another game you might be encouraged to end the life of an animal permanently simply because you’re in the critter’s home and it’s stopping you from getting from point A to point B by being there.

      In fact, I’d like to see more games take a slightly more ethical stance and teach youngsters better than that. I’m a huge proponent of an ethics class being a standard part of schooling, I think it’s as vital as any other part of human society, and yet so often sorely missing. Therefore I don’t really see how Toki Tori could classify as an unethical game, at least when considered in comparison to the likes of Tomb Raider, harmless trapping versus permanent death? I know which I’d prefer to point at as the proper solution. It’s just an artefact really though of how much today’s society enjoys virtual slaughter, but that’s normal for us.

      Whether that’s unfortunate or not is also a point of perspective.

      And now I’m going to tackle those questions:

      Q. Does the game involve some characters trying to harm others?
      A. No, the game does not feature wilful harm to any other creature in the game. The main character exhibits a will to survive, but also respects the life of those creatures whom would be his predator. He uses harmless trapping techniques which clearly don’t harm the animals in question.

      Q. Does this happen frequently, more than once or twice in 30 minutes?
      A. No, sometimes these animals can be avoided completely with clever solutions.

      Q. Is the harm rewarded in any way?
      Q. Is the harm portrayed as humorous?
      Q. Are nonviolent solutions absent or less “fun” than the violent ones?
      Q. Are realistic consequences of violence absent from the game?
      A. These questions are flawed as they’re built upon an assumption – that either harm and/or violence exists within the examined game. The questions are irrelevant as I witnessed neither.

      That was fun! :D Completely ludicrous and perhaps a bit abstract in the best, most bizarre possible way, but fun.

    • Premium User Badge

      James G says:

      Harmless trapping techniques? I’m not sure encasing creatures in blocks of ice is harmless.

    • Wulf says:

      @James G

      You’re judging harm based upon the parameters of our reality, which is a frequent stumbling block when perceiving the goings on of another. Logically, one would assume that if being trapped in a block of ice had no ill effects for the creatures, it can’t really be considered as harmful. Perhaps for them it’s not that different to a stasis field. They certainly exhibit no instances of pain and/or suffering from being held, which would certainly imply that the methods of holding are, indeed, harmful.

      Wheeee.

  13. Drakkenson says:

    @Dreamhacker

    it could mean (Puzzle) Solving Bird, from toku=to solve a problem or conundrum

  14. Ed says:

    Hooray for Amiga references!

  15. RogB says:

    clever title. i had a copy of AMOS on me Amiga, it was ace.

    and im still making games, but now I get payed, so hooray for AMOS! :D