Toby: The Secret Mine Review

Game: Toby: The Secret Mine System: Nintendo Switch (also available for Android and IOS) Developer: Lukas Navratil Publisher: Headup Games Age Rating: 7+ (EU) | 10+ (US) Price: £7.99/€9,99/$9.99 Release Date: 7th August 2018 (Review Code kindly provided by Headup Games)
Toby: The Secret Mine
Despite its availability on Wii U, I had previously allowed Toby: The Secret Mine to pass me by. By the time of its January 2017 release, I was eagerly awaiting the console launch of Nintendo Switch, and so I held back from spending money on the eShop. The game is now available for Switch, and thanks to the kind folk at HeadUp Games providing a review code; I’ve finally been able to play Toby: The Secret Mine. So how does the game shape up?


The game begins in Toby’s village. For a while, village residents had been mysteriously disappearing, and those that left the village in search of their friends never returned. Just where could they be? Well, Toby soon lays his eyes upon a mysterious figure carrying a caged resident. Toby must traverse through treacherous environments filled with booby traps in pursuit of the kidnapper! Can Toby save his friends? That depends on you! Toby: The Secret Mine Screenshot 1


Toby: The Secret Mine consists of 21 short stages that are made up of basic platforming puzzles, and numerous booby traps. A lot of the game consists of finding where the traps are, inevitably dying in the process, and striving to avoid them next time. There are warning signs pointing out positions of traps, but with the dark presentation you’re bound to miss a large number of them. Be prepared to die a lot while playing Toby: The Secret Mine! The game’s main screen contains a death count which informs you of the player’s entire death total. Sadly, I led Toby to his demise a whopping 284 times during my first playthrough. Traps include the likes of spikes, stomping pillars, shooting arrows, etc. On top of that, Toby must beware of large rotary saws, explosives, broken bridges and crumbling platforms. Thankfully, death doesn’t result in having to replay a whole stage. Upon his demise, Toby usually respawns just before the trap that killed him. Also, the short nature of each stage helps the player remain positive about their progress. Puzzles are not excessively hard, repeatedly dying isn’t overly frustrating, and the game remains enjoyable to play. Other gameplay elements include using keys to open doors and activate switches, riding in mine carts, and running from a deadly snow storm. All of the elements referred to above help to make Toby: The Secret mine an enjoyable game, but it’s an experience that’s short-lived. My playtime probably averaged somewhere around the three-hour mark, and I couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed by the rather abrupt ending. The game does offer a degree of re-playability; players can search for any undiscovered creatures and stage 21 offers a twist in the tale (depending on what the player chooses). Toby: The Secret Mine Screenshot 2

Graphics and Sound

The game is visually impressive! The mixture of both darkness and light can create moments of true beauty. For the majority of the game, visuals make the Secret Mine Feel dark and threatening. At no time did I feel as if the dark art style hindered play or made things impossible to see. It may require certain players a little time to adjust to the dark setting, but the brain soon adapts to the nature of the surrounding environment. The games sound and sound effects suit the game’s setting well. They help to make Toby’s surroundings feel both mysterious and threatening.


I really enjoyed my playthrough of Toby: The Secret Mine. I found the environments, the puzzles, and feel of the game very engaging, but I’m left disappointed by its length. The gameplay elements mentioned above could have been used to create a game of substantial depth, but Toby: The Secret Mine feels more like an experiment, rather than a fully fledged game. Is Toby: The Secret Mine an essential purchase? No, but if you enjoy puzzle-based platform adventures, it offers the player a few hours of fun, but don’t expect a mammoth adventure.
I like it
I like it

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