Breakfast is the best meal of the day PERIOD. I will never say no to a fried egg sandwich with pepper jack cheese, maple sausage and on a toasted Everything Bagel with cream cheese. They say that breakfast is also the most important part of the day, and one of the biggest breakfast staples is toast. Throw some butter and strawberry jam on it and you have a recipe for a successful day! Of course, this would not be possible without our handy toaster!
I would like to think that the studio Force of Habit recognised this unsung hero of the kitchen appliances and they felt that he deserved a game all to his own. Either way, they have put together a quirky game called Toast Time: Smash Up! and fellow breakfast lovers, it is gloriously weird.
In Toast Time: Smash Up!, you play as TERRY (which stands for Toast-Ejecting Recoil and Reload system), a spring-loaded toaster with a penchant for breakfast! You use whatever means necessary to stop the “Inter-dimensional time-blob beasties” from reaching the stopwatch in each stage. You will use a small arsenal of different bread products to shoot them with, which ruins my immersion as my toaster barely spits the bread up past the lip, so I always burn my fingertips while TERRY the Toaster is able to blast bread across an entire stage!
Controlling TERRY will not come to players easily. TERRYs only means of movement is the recoil from firing off bread. By default, you are equipped with the golden standard Whitebread! You have the ability to freeze in place for a short period of time which is helpful so that you can accurately aim at the beasties. Periodically there will be special crates that will fall from the sky. If you have a spare second, you absolutely want to try to either shoot them or run into them as they are the collectables in the game that are needed to unlock more customization items to make your TERRY extra unique. To unlock every item will require you to acquire 2,000 crates!
By far my favourite part of Toast Time: Smash Up! is the humour! From stage names that come off as glorious Dad jokes such as “Scone Henge” to “On Your Marks, Get Set. Toast!”. Even looking at the descriptions of the items can surely give a chuckle or two. Under the “Sad” face, the description is “Face: Meh TERRYs Checked His Bank Account”. It’s this type of humour that I personally appreciated very much, it never goes stale!
Let’s talk about the presentation of Toast Time: Smash Up! itself. It is clear that Force of Habit drew influence from retro games. Artistically it has a modern retro look. There are 6 worlds with 9 stages each. The worlds feature a predominant colour as the main backdrop. For example, the first world is Blue, so you will see the world as mostly blue and white. Graphically, it is pretty minimalistic, but that has a very little impact on the quality of the game itself. The music and sound effects also carry that retro feel like a badge on its shoulders. It has a very 8-bit sound, so be prepared to hear nothing but bleeps and bloops!
Players that decide to tackle the single-player levels will quickly note that there is a bit of an imbalance as far as the difficulty is concerned. There are some levels that you can literally just keep firing in the same direction and pass the level with no issues. However, it seemed that from time to time you would be put in a level that you will fail over and over because the beasties are coming from every direction. Personally, I don’t mind the challenge, but I would complete the level and then the next 4 would be extremely simple. I personally like games to build up instead of the hard levels to be sprinkled randomly throughout the game.
If you can round up friends, you will be able to do 4 player Multiplayer Smash Up! In this mode, you can set up to 10 rounds of combat against each other where whoever is the last one standing, will be claimed the top Toaster in the land! You have the option to change what weapons will be available, from the “Pure” option where you only fire White Bread all the way to Extreme where you are given literally every weapon in the game. Other than that, you can mix things up as well by making it so there are extra crates, a special time limit amongst other things.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with Toast Time: Smash Up! It is a nice call-back to the simpler times in gaming. Honestly, I could see myself playing this game back when I was 10 with my original Game Boy. It is a wacky time when you’re able to get 4 friends together to play! The single player was addictive enough that players will be able to ignore the difficulty being off at times. All in all, though, playing this game made me that much more excited for breakfast tomorrow morning!