Sand them down, paint them up, and make them fun in your very own toy workshop that will make the process of toy building one of the more relaxing activities you’ll do this holiday season.
In Toy Tinker Simulator, you’ll play as not just a toy builder, but a toy renovator. From toy cars to plush bunnies, you’ll take apart each toy, clean it up, then put it back together before sending it off to your client who will offer you a monetary reward for your work. The more toys you fix, the higher your workshop level will be. With each new tier that opens up, the difficulty of the toy repairs as well as the payout for them increases, but don’t expect to be searching for every needle in every haystack with the higher up jobs. While you’ll be working with a lot of pieces depending on the job you take, Toy Tinker ends up being a very easy-going experience that doesn’t really challenge you too much. With a constant stream of background music that immerses you into the workshop atmosphere, you’ll easily find yourself losing track of time as you start hammering out toy after toy for your clients as well as your very own range of Toy Museums.
Going into this game, I was expecting something far more tedious than it ended up being. With the concept being to take apart each toy down to the smallest components, I imagined a table full of screws and choking hazards that 2 year olds shouldn’t try to eat. Instead, Toy Tinker offers that basic concept of dismantling without giving you a million pieces to work it. While there are hardware pieces you need to interact with to actually take apart each toy, that is the only time they come into play. What you actually deal with are the main components of each toy; the car body, small flags, figures, wheels, houses, etc. When you’ve taken apart each piece, you’ll need to move them to the next station to clean them up and make them bright and shiny. This won’t be a guessing game, thankfully, as the stations they need to go to are clearly marked and only require a simple click of a button to actually move them. The variety of workstations was unexpected and I actually have a more in depth understanding of the fragility of how each piece should be handled in a real workshop setting. Some pieces can only be hand-washed, some need to be sand-blasted, some only need varnish, and others will need paint and stickers. Each piece is treated just as important as the next and handling each one individually really made that clear. Once you’ve cleaned up all the components and painted them (if it was required to do so), you’ll rebuild the toy and then deliver it to your client. It’s really that simple; dismantle, clean, beautify, rebuild, and deliver.
As mentioned before, along with clients that you’ll repair toys for, you’ll also have the opportunity to display your creations in a variety of Toy Museums. The first one will be free and available from the start, but the additional ones will all cost money to unlock. Don’t worry about grinding too much for the necessary cash, though. Along with the ease of gameplay, making money in Toy Tinker is far from a hassle. You’ll be needing to focus on earning money in general so you can unlock all of the equipment in your workshop, but once you have everything there, you can better focus on the Museums. Once you’ve filled a Museum, you can open it up to the public and earn yourself some additional income on the side. Once you start getting these going, you’ll be earning more money than you know what to do with, making you feel like quite the successful toy tinkerer. The only thing you really need to make sure of before going on a spending spree is that you have enough money afterwards to complete at least one job. As long as you do this, you can go as crazy with your money as your heart desires.
While I did find the majority of the game to be quite fun and relaxing, there were a few aspects that felt like they could’ve maybe been done in a better way. As I mentioned earlier, the game does a good job of having a constant stream of background music for you to listen to. The music can be adjusted in game should you not like the default, so it’s not even the music itself that was the problem, but more so the quality of it. There were times where the music was crisp and clean, then there were other times where it sounded like it was recorded on an old cassette tape and digitally transferred into an mp3 file. There’s just a gritty fuzz in the sound that shouldn’t be there, but it’s not every song and you really only notice when you’re idled (which is usually once you rebuild a toy and are in the photo-op section of the job). If it gets to be too much for you, you can easily just mute the game and put on your jams then carry about your tinkering ways. The other feature in the game that could be worked on is one that takes the game from easy-going to incredibly time-consuming and it’s unfortunately tied to the Steam Achievements. The Achievements are also in-game challenges that you can complete for medals. These are all associated with fixing and repairing toys, but the problem comes with how many. I’ve mentioned that the game is very easy-going and you can definitely lose yourself in it, but it’s also quite small and there’s only so much you can really repair before you start to repeat jobs. This problem isn’t really noticeable unless you go for those in-game medals. Repairing 5 cars or 10 ships doesn’t sound too bad. But when you’re tasked with fixing 100 plush cats, it can be a bit of a task to take on. Especially since the progress towards each medal tier resets when you start a new one. If you have the time to kill, you can generally crank all of these out in a weekend or two, but it will require a lot of repetitive repairing that I’m not sure the average gamer will want to sit through. I was able to get each 100 tier medal up to about 30 in each category before feeling like I was going cross-eyed, but I do intend to go back and finish them. A break between 1 and 100 will definitely be necessary so the medals don’t ruin the game for you, but if you don’t wish to go for those, you will undoubtedly have an enjoyable experience with what the game has to offer.
- Easy to learn and great for all ages
- Money management system is quite forgiving and the reward for completing jobs more than makes up for the time spent on performing the actual job itself
- The workshop atmosphere feels genuine and you can easily learn a lot about the different tools and equipment available
- The music quality dips in and out and can be rather inconsistent
- If you’re going for the Medals, the game can get repetitive as you go for the higher-tiered challenges
Overall, Toy Tinker Simulator is a great game library addition for any simulator fans out there. It’s not a convoluted game, even though it could’ve easily gone down that route, and doesn’t take long to get the hang of. It puts your attention to detail to the test and will make you appreciate what went into your favorite toys when you were a kid. It ended up being far more relaxing than expected and was just good fun to play.
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Game & Developer Information
Developer Website: Turquoise Revival Games
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: Whisper Games and Grab The Games
Publisher Socials: Twitter and Twitter
Steam Store Link: £9.99/€12.99 Europe / $12.99 North America
Images – https://www.igdb.com/