If you would have told me yesterday that someone was making a scrolling shoot ’em up/Match 3 crossover, I’d have wagged my head with a prediction of doom for whatever dev would try such a thing. But then again, the reward for thinking outside the box is instant appeal as long as the wacky creation works — and that’s what the folks at Barrel of Donkeys have accomplished with Toybox.
So here’s the deal. Toybox literally has you playing a top-down scrolling shooter with your left thumb and a falling block puzzler with your right. True, the genres couldn’t be more dissimilar, but here they interact in a really cool way. The mix of blocks falling on your right is determined by the enemy swarms your auto-firing rocket ship picks off on the left. You could presumably try stacking the deck in your favor but good luck trying — the enemy assortments come so thick and fast you’ll have to shoot them down before you can give much thought to color targeting. Making a match on the right-hand game board upgrades your ship’s firepower, so keeping the Match 3 board clear is important if you want to keep up with your opposition. If you’re enough of a Match 3 guru to set up chains of matches you’ll get one-ups and other high end perks.
Barrel of Donkeys is just the kind of open-minded studio we like to see on iOS, so we’ll be keeping an eye on their website, Facebook page and Twitter account for the latest news. Surprise Attack is also hosting a nice gameplay overview and more screenshots. Toybox is currently slated to land sometime in August on the iPhone and iPod Touch, and we’ll bring you some preview footage when it becomes available.