NIGHTMARE IN THE TOY FACTORY

 
Dangerous machinery, poisonous pain, giant snakes, its a kid's...

NIGHTMARE IN THE TOY FACTORY

The professor has been captured by evil snakes. It's up to you to create your character and set out on his suspenseful, 3D, V-R platform game to rescue him - if you dare?
  • Go from the dark basement into the king snake's belly in this VR platform game with 50 fantastically rendered levels.
  • Build a new 3D motion-captured hero to battle the snake everytime you play.
  • Find the 25 fully-playable bonus games while avoiding the robots, snakes and antibodies.
~ from the back of the box

I don't quite get the point of Nightmare in the Toy Factory. It's a budget title that didn't really get enough of a wide release to be called shovelware. It's a 3D platformer without the 3D, yet still needed a lot from your computer to run smoothly. It's a Christmas game without much Christmas in it. The bad guy's a giant snake for Christ's sake! Yet despite this, there is an undeniable charm to the whole package that almost - but not quite - makes up for everything else.

One of the big selling points is that you can create your own character. This ammounts to choosing scalable sprites from a selection of gizmos found on a shelf. You then have to get used to a control scheme unused in any other game ever so you can jump on moving ill-defined platforms with a delayed animation arch to ultimately save a professor from a giant snake who has imprisoned him so he can threaten to eat him for dinner and yell "bah, humbug!" while he's at it. All because it's Christmas!
 
Technically speaking, the inventive way Nightmare in the Toy Factory gets around the limitations of its dated engine is admirable. Or it would be if polygonal gaming weren't becoming the norm when it was released in 1997. The level consits of a 360° pre-rendered backround with scalable sprites and voxels masquerading as geometry within. It's fairly convincing too, although you do have to squint into a small corner of the screen to play it. Get from one door to the other to move on, perhaps collecting a stray present along the way to unlock one of two-dozen mini-games.

These mini-games range from a Breakout clone to a tank battle and each use the same technology of pre-rendered backgrounds et al to give the illusion of a detailed 3D envronment. Some of these optional mini-games are actually better than the main game; one is even a sandbox art tool using the game's assets and engine. You cannot deny that a lot of work and imagination was put in by the staff at Black Sheep Design. 
 
Ultimately, the controls are too fiddly, the platforming too imprecise and the game just a little too weird. A curiosity, not a classic.


To download the game, follow the link below. This exclusive installer uses the DOSBox Daum build of DOSBox 0.74 running Windows '95. Tested on Windows 10.

IMPORTANT - Remember to shut down the emulated version of Windows before exiting DOSBox. This could potentially result in errors, lost saves and corrupt data. Press Ctrl-F9 when it is safe to do so.

File Size: 267 Mb.  Install Size: 471 Mb.  Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ

Download


Nightmare in the Toy Factory is © Anglia Multimedia
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me


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3 comments:

  1. For a moment I thought this may be this one half-remembered game I've never been able to find the name of over the years, nor evidence of its existence. I wonder if such an esteemed authority on weird 90s gaming miscellanea such as yourself, Biffman, would recognise it if I tried to describe it?

    It was a game in which you deployed wind-up toys on a grid, trying to get them from left to right (or vice versa) against an opponent. Each toy had a different weight and speed and possibly additional characteristics. For example a toy tractor would move very slowly but shunt back anything it its path.

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    Replies
    1. That doesn't ring a bell at the moment. Can you tell me which platform it was on, it's graphical syle or rough era? Could it have been part of a mini-game or a full release?

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    2. I think it was Windows 95 in the mid nineties, and a full release? I remember seeing it played on a demo loop at a computer store. It's a strange one. I think we all have one or two of these from childhood that we can't quite truly be sure existed.

      Maybe I need to spend more time mooching around mobygames to see if I can dig it up!

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