Toasting the Competition!
As odd as it may sound, I’ve been fascin-wheated by all the unique ways people have been able to use toasters. From using them as a controller for a certain retro shooting, game to using one to read NES carts. However, in all of my days, I would have never considered the possibility of actually playing as a toaster fighting against other toasters and beasties. This absurd yet intriguing concept was fully realized in the arcade multiplayer game Toast Time: Smash Up!
You take control of an adorable toaster named TERRY or Toast-Ejecting Recoil & Reload System who has a huge admiration for bread, hats, and laying waste to their enemies. It up to you to help TERRY rain on the enemy's parade by dishing out some delicious justice.
There are two primary modes with some supplementary modes available. The two main ones are Multiplayer Smash Up and single player. Multiplayer Smash Up is obviously a multiplayer mode that allows up to four players to control their own TERRY, with the goal of shooting the other TERRYs and being the last one alive. There are some modifications you can make to each battle such as weapons, number of rounds, rules, and even cosmetics. Single player is broken up into two parts, missions and survival. Mission has you go through multiple levels with the objective of defending an alarm clock from baddies for a certain amount of time. Survival is exactly as it says, you go through multiple levels found in the campaign and try to survive for as long as you possibly can.
Besides playing as a toaster and hurling different forms of bread which are already hilarious to me, there’s another gimmick that actually makes the entire game really interesting. For each shot you shoot, you’re flung around the map from the recoil, no loafing around for this toaster. This adds a level of difficulty since the only control you have over the recoil is being able to stop in place for a short amount of time. While there is a semi-auto aim feature that targets the baddie of your choice, it isn't always effective as the farther away they are the less likely it is to hit. This might seem like an annoying concept at first, but I slowly adapted to it and found it both hilarious to see the adorable toaster flying around like a jumping bean, and intriguing due to the strategy you have to put into each shot so you aren’t left in an unfavorable situation.
While I can’t really compliment the game on its art, as it uses a generic retro arcade art style, I have to say that I’m quite impressed by its music. Mind you, the tracks aren’t exactly moving or anything I would see myself jamming to in my car. What shocks me is how they created a unique track for each and every level. Each one feels like it was crafted for that level to bring out its intensity and try to get the player to figure out the gimmick behind it in order to progress. Though I should mention that these aren’t long tracks as the levels don’t last for more than a minute. This became apparent as during multiplayer if a match goes on for too long the song will come to an end and not repeat as the tracks aren’t meant to be played for that long.
I personally had no issues with the game and thought it performed exceptionally well. My only gripe with it, and it's mainly a nitpick, is the fact that once you manage to get through the campaign, there isn’t really much else of a reason to play the game other than to try to beat your score in previous levels or in survival, as multiplayer requires other people to play since it doesn’t offer any CPUs.
All in all, while I was honestly a tad skeptical by its initial concept, I found myself slowly falling in love with it and having a good time slowly going through each level and playing multiplayer with my friends. If you’re a fan of mindless arcade fun, I’d definitely recommend adding it to your library