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Monster Pockets: Toby's Island

Toby’s Island is currently seeking $20,000 CAD on Kickstarter and has managed to raise a tenth of that total in a couple of days. It’s easy to see why early pledges have been forthcoming because the pitch suggests that this is a game that includes fishing and farming. Toby is a boy who collects monsters so that those monsters can fight other monsters. That sounds a little bit like a game by Uncle Nintendo. But there’s more. Toby also grows food and assists in the construction and expansion of a small settlement. That sounds like another one of Uncle Nintendo’s favourite riffs those there console series that I incorrectly assumed was Nintendo owned. The two-person development team hope to build on the concepts that have inspired them, with random events, minigames and a ‘multi evolution path’.

The developers have been working on the game in their spare time but, for the final push, they’re hoping to be able to raise funding and release by May 2015. There’s a long way to go.

Despite the light-hearted nature of the obvious influences, Toby’s Island doesn’t sound like the smile-a-minute festival of kawaii that I’d first anticipated.

Toby struggles with an abusive father. One that blames him for many things. The biggest? Toby’s mother died giving birth to him and his father never really recovered.

And, judging by the team’s ambitions, the game won’t simply be a homage to those that have inspired it.

We want everything from NPC’s to vegetation to appear only upon specific requirements like time of day, day of the week, which creatures are in your party, how much health you have, how much space in your inventory. We want there to be a quest, treasure chest, enemy or easter egg hidden on the island that maybe you and you alone might find!

The aim is to make your experience extremely dynamic by making even some story events triggered by chance and situation. Making every trip out into the island an adventure of curious anticipation. All of this random chance and yet we still plan to bring excellent flow to the games progression with strong focus on the story.

Sounds promising.

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Adam Smith

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