PC, PS3, Xbox 360
You’ve got a friend in Toy Story. You’ve also got a series of lucrative licensed games that have well outperformed the others based on Pixar movies. With a third film in cinemas, the game version was as much a foregone conclusion as the fact that it will make money regardless of what reviewers think of it. Still, for a licensed game it’s not bad.
Toy Story 3 has two sides to it: the first is a series of mini-game levels starring Woody that loosely follow the narrative of the movie. So loosely, in fact, that you won’t have your cinematic experience spoiled. While fun, these levels are easily beaten and forgotten, even if you’re part of the movie’s intended pre-teen audience. But the second side, an open-world ‘Toy Box’ mode, where you charge around as Buzz Lightyear, is entertaining for young and old alike. Exploring a toy-filled world, you can unlock new challenges, as well as create new buildings in the town and watch it come to life.
Much of the playing involves unlocking new pieces or areas for this world, while taking care of bad guys invading your village takes up the rest of your time. This creates a fun mix of open-world exploration and platform-game levels, full of puzzles and bits where you need to jump and dodge obstacles (not to mention a few spins using Buzz’s wings).
The mini-game levels feel decidedly tacked-on: this open-world portion is clearly where all of the development team’s energy went, creating an experience that is fun and engaging for kids, while adults can also get in on the action. The game features co-op play, but only in the drab campaign mode. Instead, Toy Story 3 is great if you want your kids occupied in a bright and colourful sandbox world while you get a bit of reading in.