Video Game Thoughts: Toy Story

Toy Story was a 1996 platformer game by Tiertex Design Studios for the Nintendo Game Boy. Toy Story was one of my favorite movies growing up. When I saw this Game Boy game based on the movie at the local Toys R Us, I was ready to spend my money. Toy Story was a platformer like Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins or Donkey Kong Land. The story was mostly in line with the movie’s story. The player controlled the main character, Woody, who was a cowboy doll toy. Unlike Mario and Donkey Kong, Woody could not jump on enemies to defeat them. For the most part, Woody had to just avoid enemies. He did have his drawstring though. It functioned much like the famous whip from Indiana Jones. The drawstring could stun some enemies, giving Woody more time to navigate past them. It could also latch onto hooks here and there to allow Woody to jump over enemies or gaps in the floor.

The gameplay in Toy Story was far from the best. I would consider both Super Mario Land 2 and Donkey Kong Land to be better games objectively. Toy Story was pretty short with only around ten levels total. The controls were pretty clunky. Sometimes it felt like I did well enough to dodge an enemy but still got hit. Some levels were way too hard, taking me many tries to beat. That may have been good because Toy Story was a pretty short game. It only had around ten levels. There was no replay value. Each level pretty much had to be completed one way. There was no way to complete levels a second time in new and interesting ways.

I really enjoyed seeing the same characters and settings from the movie in Toy Story. The game mechanics all fit nicely with the Toy Story world. In this way, the game served its purpose as a licensed game. It couldn’t compete with other platformers, not the ideal, but at least recreated many fun scenes from the movie in interactive ways. On top of that, I never expected that much from Game Boy games. The technology wasn’t all that amazing, so I always expected the games to be short with no replay value. That also made the game pretty forgettable though. I completely forgot about this game until I rediscovered all my old Game Boy games in a drawer one day.

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