The void is trying to swallow everything in the known universe and the "King President of the Universe" Togge (he's a modest old soul) enlists your help in putting things right. I'm not sure what the designers were smoking when they thought this game up, but I don't want any–or maybe I do? It might look cute, but Togges is a rock hard puzzle-platformer with an original game mechanic, it doesn't pamper the gamer with constant hints and instructions, which leaves you to explore and discover what is possible and how things interact. This is made challenging as 'surreal' doesn't begin to describe the Togges universe!
You play as Toomba, a magic Roomba (the well-known brand of robot vacuum cleaner) who can both distribute Togges and suck them back up to reuse elsewhere. You trigger and unlock various things by laying a trail of Togges to something or surrounding it, and if this sounds simple, well yeah it is, but only when there's a Togges spawn point to start a trail off from.
Togges plays like many other cartoony platform adventures, you can go just about anywhere with Toomba, who is agile, very accurate to control and has a double-jump ability. Toomba is also indestructible, but these attributes only help in terms of exploration, as in order to achieve most goals you're going to have to lead a trail of Togges to an objective. The basic aim is to find seeds and fruits. Seeds increase the number of Togges you can lay by 5. Fruits are often difficult to reach and once found you need to cover them with Togges to turn them into a Star Togge–these are checkpoints or spawn points from which you can carry on spreading Togges. The quirky nature of Toomba's relationship with the various Togges and some clever level design make it unique–WEIRDLY unique.
Different colours of Togges have differing abilities, and there's a gauge in the top right corner to let you know how many you have to use/have used and the maximum height that they can be stacked. The 6 types of Togge are:
Red: The basic type, costs 1, can stack 5 high and are immune to fire meaning you can burn certain objects down by leading a trail of Togges from a flame.
Blue: costs 1, stacks 3 high but can be spread underwater.
Yellow: costs 2, stacks 7 high, conducts electricity!
Green: costs 9 because it's a giant 3x3x3 Togge that can stack 3 high. Can be used as a bridge or step for smaller Togges.
Black: costs 5, stacks 5 high and is indestructible!
White: No limit and can spread other colours from it, but they disappear after a short time.
Imagine some obstacles that require several of the various abilities, and you can probably guess there are some head-scratching puzzles to overcome.
Once you've completed the intro levels you can fly a Togges-powered spaceship to different parts of the cosmos, including a medieval space station. The various levels are complex and finding all the hidden stuff, and even figuring out how to get to the obvious things, will take a good deal of exploration and brainpower. The combination of platform action and puzzling is finely balanced, and only some sticky scenery (we had to quit out of a level twice because we got Toomba stuck) spoils things. To be fair, testing every nook and cranny on these maps would have taken years, and indie game developers don't get that sort of time–plus, I'm very good at finding stupid places to get stuck, regardless of the game genre.
So no, Togges isn't perfect but how many games are these days? I have enjoyed Togges a lot to this point and am far from finding everything there is to discover in the game. I will be going back at the first opportunity–it's a huge and challenging game. Togges rose further in my estimation when I learned that the developer, Regular Studio, comprises two brothers located somewhere in the Brazilian countryside, plus its attractive price of only £16.99. The brothers say they are keen to deliver new ways to play in immersive 3D worlds, and with Togges they certainly achieved that.