Review: Toto Temple Deluxe
Toto Temple Deluxe is an action-packed local multiplayer battle arena game. In other words, up to four players are scrapping it out on the same screen, dashing about in a way that probably looks insane to a casual onlooker. It offers a couple of different play modes and team battling, which shakes things up a bit. The game feels rather lonely with less than three players, even with a competent AI to fight against. However, if you can wrangle four players to step inside the arena, this game is a monumental amount of fun.
Before even playing the game in earnest, players are taught how to handle their characters through the use of clever, in-game menus. In true 2D platforming convention, the X button jumps and double-jumps while the directional buttons move your character about the screen. If you really want to make it across the screen in quick time, though, you’ll start getting comfortable with dashing. Holding a directional button and pressing the Square button will dash you in that direction until one of a few things happens: 1) You collide with a wall or powerup; 2) You enter another input (jump, dash); or 3) You collide with another player, stealing the goat. Here’s where the game is really played.
The default game mode in Toto Temple is Get the Goat, in which players vie for a literal goat who increases your score the more you hold it. The player with the goat typically wants to avoid all other players by quickly fleeing and using environmental obstacles to his/her advantage. What keeps the games close is that the goat continuously poops out coins that can be picked up by players on the chase. While the goat is being passed back and forth, a viable strategy is to hop around collecting coins and powerups to tip the game in your favor. Powerups show up in the form of walls or blocks that can be dashed into. They range from being slightly annoying (the skull slowdown powerup) to extremely disruptive (the massive four-way attack beam). Powerups can be turned off, but they work well within the design and tone of the game. Everything is lighthearted in Toto Temple Deluxe, which blends well with how chaotic the game truly is.
The other major multiplayer option is Bomb Mode, which throws a twist in the strategic mix: Players who have the bomb now want to be close to opponents when it explodes. This leads to some interesting playstyles and allows the mode to stand on its own. There’s a global bar at the top of the screen that fills up when multiplayer matches are played. Think of it as an EXP bar. When this bar fills up, a new cameo is unlocked. You can now change that poor goat to an archer from Towerfall or a character from Speedrunners. It’s a fun little addition for those players who like the feeling of progressing in some way.
While I love Toto Temple Deluxe as a party game, there isn’t too much draw to playing it solo. The AI are competent but lack the main point of the game: That energy of playing with human beings in the same vicinity. The only single-player offering is Target Challenge, which is fun and legitimately challenging but didn’t hold my attention for too long. I would have loved a couple of other modes like a race/speedrun mode or perhaps a draw mode, where your character’s light trail is used to make images. I think of games like Towerfall and especially Starwhal in terms of great multiplayer and good single player. The Target Challenge doesn’t even count towards unlocking cameos, which feels silly. In all, if you’ve got a group to play with, Toto Temple Deluxe should be in your PS4 library. It may not be the very best local fare on the system, but it’s definitely a top five pick in this reviewer’s opinion.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here.
What I Like:
- Local MP mayhem
- Different play modes
What I Dislike:
- Lonely SP