STAFF REVIEW of Togges (Xbox One)

Monday, January 2, 2023.
by Adam Dileva

Togges Box art 3D platformers can be fun, but those that have a cute protagonist and set in a very colorful world are even better. Togges, developed by two man team Regular Studio, is the latest 3D platformer but has its own unique twist. Not only is it set in a very colorful world and quite adorable, but it’s also got a wacky story that at least helps you have some overall goal aside from simply solving puzzles. Each world is designed to be non-linear and you’re able to freely explore and solve puzzles in any order you wish, all while stacking the cutest little blocks. And if you get feelings of Katamari or Super Mario Galaxy, you aren’t alone.

Surprisingly, there is a story within Togges that revolved around some sort of threat called The Void, so you are helping King President to save the universe by dominating it. Even funnier, your character is basically a small Roomba vacuum cleaner, though of course you have some special abilities that will help you solve puzzles along the way across each world.

You’ll be tasked with collecting a handful of different fruits in each world across a handful of different worlds. How this fruit will stop the universe from being destroyed by The Void, I’m not sure; I just work here, I don’t ask questions. You’ll also need to convince each world’s gatekeeper to join your quest to save the universe when you finally get to meet them, something that might be easier said than done.

You’ll not only be tasked with placing adorable cubes called Togges, but sucking them up as well, you are a small and cute little vacuum after all. You’ll be doing so across seven different worlds with dozens of bonus levels, ranging from a lush and green field, desert, carrot cake land, a moon world and more. You’ll meet some characters along the way, some funny pair of brothers, and others that seem to want to chat for what seems like forever. There’s a surprising amount of dialogue for a 3D puzzle platformer, but it shows that effort has gone into making this world livelier, even if it can be a bit much at times.

Togges is quite unique in its gameplay, as it has you spreading your little cubes one at time by holding the Right Trigger. As you do so, a line of Togges will appear behind you, leaving a trail in the path you go. You’re tasked with solving puzzles with the Togges, as Toomba (your Roomba) can’t interact with anything without the Togges there. So this has you stretching your resources of Togges as you try to reach the next fruit you’re searching for. You’re only able to start placing Togges down from specific points, usually the starting point or fruits that you find and collect.

The other thing to keep in mind is that you’re a vacuum, so any Togges you no long need can be sucked back up and put into your pile of available ones to place. You’ll only be able to reach so far without going back and collecting any Togges you no longer need, so you’ll constantly be cleaning up after yourself. Once a Togge is placed you can spread more from that cube, but if you accidentally suck up all the ones you need to reach somewhere, you’ll have to find one of the fruit starting points and make a new trail.

You start with basic red Togges, able to be stacked up to five high, but they can only be placed one block apart. You start off with about a thousand Togges to be placed, which is more than enough to get through a few puzzles without cleaning up Togges you no longer need, but you’ll eventually have to backtrack to vacuum them up and put back into your available pool. Since you need to reach objects with a Togge to interact with an item, like doors to bonus levels, fruit and more, the puzzle elements that come into play is how do you reach your destination with your Togges trail. Sure you can explore freely without placing any Togges to get an idea of what’s around you, but you’ll have to figure out a way to reach your destination with your Togges to be successful and interact.

As you progress you’re going to find new abilities and colors of Togges that change how you approach some puzzles. Green Togges for example are huge, allowing you to reach higher areas but cost more to place. Yellow and conduct electricity and Blue can actually be placed along water like a bridge provided you don’t stop for more than a moment, but aren’t able to be stacked very high. So once you have a few more options you’ll need to be strategic of when will be used to reach your destinations. Making things even trickier is that it seems like you can’t mix and match Togges, as they have to be a line of the same color from the starting point, so you can’t use your normal Red Togges then all of a sudden place form Green’s to reach higher.

You can even find some abilities to help you along the way as well, such as being able to place a massive bomb and knock it in a direction. These abilities will help you find all the collectables, and you’ll be the most successful if you spend the time to explore the world you’re in. Because of the level design, you’re not forced to finish levels in a linear path, though if you try to go too far or place too many Togges, you might not be able to solve the puzzles. This is where you can find small fruit shards that once collected, by placing a Togge on it, will add to your overall Togges count, allowing you to reach ultimately further.

The opening world is a perfect introduction to how you play while not feeling overwhelming. Eventually though I’ll admit, the worlds became absolutely huge, like the Carrot Cake land, making me feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start. I found it best to find the closest fruit I could and simply focus on that, one at a time. Trying to do too much at once simply frustrated me, so I chose to focus on one puzzle at a time.

I quite enjoy Togges' art direction, as the world's are quite colorful and there’s something adorable with the hundreds of cubes you place down having cute little smiles. The level design is done quite well and you can tell the worlds are hand crafted with plenty of detail. While there’s a lot of dialogue, all of the text is done in that Sims-like gibberish and the background audio is relaxing and varies based on the levels.

While I did become stumped quite often at how I was supposed to reach certain areas with my Togges, sometimes taking a break or working on finding another fruit before coming back seemed to help. There’s supposedly a Hint system integrated, but every time I tried to use it I would just get “No Fruit Nearby” even if I could see it, just unsure how to get there properly. It can sometimes be tricky to place your Togges exactly where you want, especially on single cube spots, but you eventually get a feel for doing so more proficiently as you spend more time in its world.

Truth be told, one of our other writers was set to do this review, but was unable to due to some severe motion sickness, so I've asked them to describe what they encountered:

"As a huge fan of Thunderful games as well and Indie puzzle platform games, I was extremely excited to play (and review) Togges. Sadly, I couldn’t play for more than 15 minutes at a time without encountering some pretty severe motion sickness from the way the camera moves and swivels. This isn’t an uncommon problem for me in games but normally you can find a way to adjust the camera or movement or sensitivity settings in the options. This, unfortunately, wasn’t the case with Togges as I saw no setting for any of these, nor things like colorblind mode. I don’t need this feature, but with a game that relies on using a variety of coloured blocks (with differing abilities) in levels to complete them, it seems to be another feature lacking."

Togges excels at placing you in its colorful and whimsical world, and those that enjoy taking the time to explore every corner of the levels will surely get dozens of hours out of it. Those that want a little more guidance might become a little frustrated, especially once you unlock the later levels that are much larger and can be a bit overwhelming at first. Surely to twist your mind and puzzle solving skills, there’s plenty of longevity in Togges, all while placing hundreds of adorable cubes.

**Togges was provided by the publisher and reviewed on an Xbox Series X**

Overall: 7.0 / 10
Gameplay: 7.5 / 10
Visuals: 7.0 / 10
Sound: 6.5 / 10


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