Indietail – Toy Tinker Simulator

As a kid, I had this dream of owning a museum and displaying different things. Eventually, I came to realise, however, that that would not only be quite expensive but also incredibly boring and unrewarding. The idea of educating people is still something that I pursue – as I’m currently studying English Studies and Philosophy intending to become a teacher – but the whole “museum” idea is off the table. Still, the medium of games lets us explore possibilities like that without the repercussions of having a boring job or having to deal with bills, etc. At the same time, they offer a form of escapism as they let us flee into the worlds of shipbreaking or toytinkering. Well, today, I’m taking a look at Toy Tinker Simulator – a game where you repair, polish and restore toys and build up a museum!

Developer: Turquoise Revival Games
Publisher: GrabTheGames, WhisperGames
Genre: Sandbox, Simulation
Release Date: November 20th, 2021
Reviewed on: PC
Available on: PC (Win)
Copy was provided by the publisher.

Toy Tinker Simulator is a game where you repair toys and earn money. Using that money, you buy new equipment, decorate your apartment or you buy toys specifically for your own museum where you then can play with them. I figured the idea was cute and interesting and the “Run your own museum” aspect sounded intriguing but in the end, I was a bit disappointed. The initial sections of the game consist of repairs, restoration and investments. After a quick tutorial, you’re basically let loose on a bunch of work orders that seemed so dull that I was on the brink of quitting the game. Every order requires you to buy tools, paint and cleaners – and at times, you may have to get new equipment like the powder coater or the sandblaster. Different orders require different steps to complete but in the end, it’s usually the same kind of: Disassemble toys, clean them, paint them, assemble them, and take a photo. Most of these steps require you to do essentially nothing. It’s automated to the point where I’m not sure why I’m supposed to enjoy this. Furthermore, the initial orders are more of the same and make you repeat the same steps over and over again, which is far from fun. It’s not “realistic” enough and it just feels grindy and tedious.

Why the colour change?

Each order earns you money and experience. At level 5 you earn the right to conquer advanced orders. At level 15 you can then start working towards your own museum. The highest difficulty of work orders requires level 25, btw. I don’t get why this form of content gating is implemented in here but I’d argue that it’s very unnecessary and that it ruins all the fun there is. I mean, even when you unlock the advanced jobs, you can’t do most of them because you need certain equipment that costs a bit more. Hence, you’ll have to earn money with the beginner jobs before you can do those advanced jobs that are arguably more fun. The experience points are unnecessary and the whole levelling system is only there so that the player spends more time in the game than needed. Ultimately, that ruins the fun of things.

But eventually, it’s getting there to the point that is presented on the store page. The store page shows toys that can be played with and it informs you about this museum that you can open! The most interesting part of the game is the museum after all… But I’m two hours into the game and I still have to buy and restore six more toys that are rather pricy before I can actually open up the museum. It’s a bummer. I was looking forward to that aspect but I’m disappointed in the end because it takes so long.

The most dreadful part about the game are the sound effects. Equipment often uses the same sounds in different instances. Similarly, the music is absolutely dreadful and so obnoxious that I had to turn it off and listen to “the three ???” to at least enjoy the game a little bit. Turning off the music, however, doesn’t turn off the annoying sounds that play when you complete a job, including the little tune that plays after a completed job. All of the music in the game sounds like royalty-free music that you may find in the YouTube editor… and it’s horrific and annoying.

Now, after nearly three hours, the game ended up being somewhat enjoyable. Every little bit before that, however, was dreadful. I’m not trying to be mean here because I really wanted to enjoy this game. I got this game as a review key and I figured that the premise is interesting but the content gating is annoying and the actual gameplay is tedious and bad. When you colour a toy and end up printing something to add to it, it often looks worse than before. I have no idea what the developers were thinking when they created a sandbox game with no freedom at all. Had I not gotten this game as a review key, then I would have refunded it within the first fifteen minutes. Alas, I can’t recommend this game because Toy Tinker Simulator is just incredibly bad… unless of course, you want to play about three hours of this to potentially enjoy yourself a little bit…

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken. If you like what you see here and want to see more, you can check me out on Twitch and YouTube as well.

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