Toricky Steam Pile Review
If a Sonic the Hedgehog fan artist saved up his entire life saving to create a game featuring the composer of Secret of Mana and the wonderful Dale North, this would be it.
Thank goodness the music is good because it will be all you’ll be able to experience after playing the first level and stabbing your eyes out Oedipus-style in disgust and frustration due to the hideous graphics and horrendous controls.
Toricky has players controlling a bird character through a world that looks like what I’d imagine a stain glassed windows excrement would look like. The developers thought it would be a good idea to have the character move and control like a drunken wing-capped Mario, in that every flap of your wings requires pressing a button or else you’ll quickly glide downwards. On top of that, every time the character flaps his wings he bobs up and down a bit, meaning some tight squeezes near spiky vines will be near impossible.
I can’t stress enough just how bad the controls are, especially coming off of playing one of the greatest games of all time, Owlboy, which has such fluid flying controls. Playing on an Xbox One controller meant using the d-pad only, on which up and down were inverted, meanwhile on keyboard things a smidgen easier, but still basically a test of how long you can deal with the frustrating controls until giving up. I personally made it just over 45 minutes. I even dug out my Steam controller and configured it to emulate the d-pad without the inverted controls (since the game’s launchers configuration seemingly did nothing) and still couldn’t bare it.
Your goal in each level, should you choose to put yourself through this, is to find a star-like creature and bring it back to your ship. Your ship is either parked at the start of the level or can be warped to checkpoints, should you find them. The menu before entering a level leads me to believe that each level has multiple stars to collect ala Mario 64, but I wasn’t able to find more than one before just giving up.
I also never got to experience any boss battles as featured in the trailer for the game, but as the combat has you hovering over boxes till your feet decide to grab them, then flying quickly towards enemies and dropping the box, I can’t imagine I missed out on something entertaining.
“If a Sonic the Hedgehog fan artist saved up his entire life saving to create a game… this would be it.”
Even if the art style and lighting are horrendous, they could be overlooked if the controls were complete and utter shite. Like seriously, the controls are one step away from Flappy Bird levels of frustrations, if not equal to them.
But hey, Dale North and Hiroki Kikuta knocked it out of the park with the soundtrack, so there is that.
[A copy of the game was provided by the developer or publisher for the purpose of this review.]
[Disclosure: Dale North previously worked at Destructoid, where I also am known to do some work. I’ve never worked with or even met Dale. These facts didn’t impact how this review.]