New Facebook Developer, Toy Studio, Launches Killer Toon

It’s always nice to see new developers step up to create something on Facebook. The latest one to come to our attention is a small, social outfit in Chicago by the name of Toy Studio. Describing themselves as a gaming studio that creates “social interactive toys” rather than games, we felt an obligation to take a look at their first Facebook application, a simple “toy” fighting game by the name of Killer Toon.

It’s simple enough to pick up: Players create an avatar and fight each other. When they first start out, users only have a small selection items in which to customize their character with (shirt, pants, hair, etc.); nothing too out of the ordinary for first starting a new game. As players fight and level up, new items that grant bonuses (like extra health) become available. After initial creation, they have to acquire some energy (i.e. steroids) from the store so they can actually play the game.

Curiously, the energy doesn’t actually work the same way Facebook users are familiar with – the way it is utilized in mafia-style RPGs. Rather than actions taking up a specific amount of energy only, there is also a limited amount of time that the energy lasts. Don’t worry, because the time limit is more than enough for what the player can do in a single sitting.

Players are able to fight three fights (unless you buy an item called “Adrenaline,” which costs the virtual currency, Toon Bucks) before having to wait for X amount of time to do more. As you can see, this is where the game starts to come together, as you need the energy to initiate the fights, but if you do not use up all your fights before time expires, then you have to buy more. In theory, this is a means to either get the player to play for a little bit longer each day (because they will have to buy more energy otherwise), or to drain their virtual wallet a small iota more so it takes just a bit longer to earn new items (a tactic used in most massively multiplayer online games for longevity purposes).

As a game where you fight against other players to work your way up the leaderboards, obviously the biggest items to buy are weapons. As expected, bigger and more expensive weapons also unlock with new levels, but since this game follows a cartoon-like style (hence the name), weapons consist of everything from an icicle sword to a fish.

In regards to the fights themselves, players challenge another person in the leaderboard and watch their, and the opponent’s, avatar run back and forth, whacking each other with whatever weapon that happens to be equipped. If you win, you get a hefty amount of experience and coin, but if you lose, you still get a small consolation amount as well. As players fight, a record is kept of your wins and losses, and if you lose to a particular individual multiple times, they become classified as your nemesis.

Unfortunately, the whole combat system is where the biggest issue with Killer Toon comes into play. The whole running back and forth and whacking each other is done in the same animation every time with the only difference being the weapon they hold. Also, weapons do a random amount of damage (i.e. 10-30 damage) so fights come down to a combination of luck and equipment. The thing is, though, you can’t skip any of this and fights consist of about 30 seconds to a minute of watching the two avatars bounce back and forth, doing the same thing until one of them falls over into the fetal position. This wouldn’t be a bad thing if the fights were more interesting to watch, but with the same handful of stiff animations (attack, run, win, and lose), it does get a bit boring.

Despite these issues, though, Killer Toon does actually do something most interesting with its virtual currency. Normally, games make items available through this method that will give users that purchase it have a bit of a competitive edge. What is very cool here is that Toy Studio really takes this verbatim, selling items that not only recharge energy and how many fights you can do, but even sells items that earn you extra experience from a certain number of fights.

Overall, Killer Toon has all the makings of being a nice little game to entertain players for a few minutes a day. Artistically, it looks good, save some the animations, and its quirky, cartoon style is certainly appreciated. Frankly, all that’s really needed are a few tweaks here and there and maybe some new animations (perhaps even some new outfits), so not a bad start at all. We will look forward to seeing what updates and new titles come out of Toy Studio in the future.