Some players find themselves drawn to the call of action, full of loot and adventure. Others have a desire to live out a peaceful role-playing experience. While a whole different group wants the best of both worlds. I would personally adore a game that has the lore of Dungeons and Dragons, the exciting creatures of Pokémon, and the farming elements of Stardew Valley. If you find yourself intrigued, let me tell you a little more about Toby’s Island.
Toby’s Island is a 2D RPG adventure currently on early access on Steam. Matt Beer, the sole developer of Toby’s Island, shared his creation via Kickstarter in late 2019 but has continued to work on it throughout the game’s time on Steam. While listening to the trailer on Kickstarter, he mentioned some inspiration was drawn from Pokémon and Stardew Valley; however, as he briefly explained the lore, I instantly got D&D vibes. I knew this was a game I had to learn more about.
Toby’s Island follows the journey of a tween named Toby whose family obligations dictate he must defend an island from The Dark One. According to lore, The Dark One devastated this land, and Toby’s ancestors each took turns caring for the Island and the inhabitants; however, Toby’s dad dropped the ball and never took his turn. Aiding Toby, in his adventure are Pokémon-esk creatures called spirit companions that are ready to charge into battle. When Toby is not raising eggs, to create more spirits, he can be found farming, fishing, upgrading the town, making friends, or crafting tools and potions.
Battling spirits is a significant part of Toby’s Island, and combat is fully animated and turn-based. The monsters Toby raises grow from eggs injected with spirits, and they can evolve based on player’s fighting style or by taking them to specific environments throughout the world. The two stats that make up a player combat style include physical offense that builds up Rage, or magical support abilities builds up Soul. To me, this means that no two players will have the exact same loadout of characters.
Overall, Toby’s Island is the perfect mix of lore, farming, action, and unique creatures. While it is currently on Steam for early access, the official release date is estimated to be April of 2020. In the end, I look forward to seeing what Beer has created and am excited to start hatching my own spirits!