In early August, mobile gaming company IUGO released some interesting screenshots of their upcoming game called Toy Bot Diaries. Like many other companies, they claimed to understand the iPhone and promised that they had utilized its accelerometer and touch controls in a "very natural way."

After playing Toy Bot Diaries [$3.99, App Store] tonight, I think IUGO was right about their controls and, in doing so, they have succeeded in creating one of the first true iPhone games.

iPhone gaming controls is a topic that I keep coming back to (Ms. Pac-Man, Digga) because it's frequently a major issue when gaming on the iPhone. With many games, you find yourself acutely aware that you are playing on an iPhone. This is because the tilt control or the touch control didn't respond in the manner you've come to expect. With Toy Bot Diaries, IUGO has created a natural control system that blends in and stays out of your way.

I don't mean to single out the control system as anything extraordinary by itself. It's not. In the end, the strength of the game is its natural control system on top of a very well executed physics platform puzzle game. In fact, I forgot I was playing "an iPhone game" and instead was simply immersed in a great game.

The premise of the game is a bit unclear, though, it appears that is by design:

Tiny Toy Bot has awakened within a strange machine and now he needs your help! Use Toy Bot's handy grappling hook and magnet boots to navigate him through environments teeming with physics-based challenges as he plunges into an unfamiliar world. Search for Toy Bot's lost datapads to recover his memory and guide him on his top secret mission.

The lack of instruction or background can be a bit disorienting, but the game gets you up to speed very quickly (see video).

Tilt controls move Toy Bot forward and backward, while touch controls trigger your grappling hook and magnet boots. You'll find yourself tackling some clever obstacles as you negotiate through the stages. While you can make your way through a stage without collecting all the datapads, trying to get gather them all is also part of the challenge.

IUGO has decided to take a unique approach and release this game in a series of episodes. This is episode 1 ("Entry 1"). I suspect this will result in shorter but cheaper games. Toy Bot Diaries appears to have four stages (comprised of many sections) and is priced at $3.99.

While I haven't completed all the stages during my brief time with the game, I already feel $3.99 is a very fair price for this polished and immersive game.

Game Details
Name: Toy Bot Diaries (v1.0) Price: 3.99 [Buy]
Developer: IUGO Size: 11.5MB
In Brief: Toy Bot Diaries is an original and immersive physics platform game that we highly recommended. This is the first in a series of game episodes and introduces you to the Toy Bot character as you try to piece together its memory.

TouchArcade Rating

  • Oliver

    Hmm. In the first level I get to the point where in the video the cube rotates. What should I do there? I can take the pink plate from the bottom and jump into the hole, but nothing happens.

  • Oliver

    Hmm. In the first level I get to the point where in the video the cube rotates. What should I do there? I can take the pink plate from the bottom and jump into the hole, but nothing happens.

  • http://www.mavisxp.com mavis

    I agree, this game is done really well and is a perfect fit for the iPhone. Looking forward to Entry 2! ;)

  • http://www.mavisxp.com mavis

    I agree, this game is done really well and is a perfect fit for the iPhone. Looking forward to Entry 2! ;)

  • arn

    @oliver: I didn't want to post any spoilers in the video. you should probably start a forum thread for tips. I'm stuck somewhere in level 3. :)

  • arn

    @oliver: I didn't want to post any spoilers in the video. you should probably start a forum thread for tips. I'm stuck somewhere in level 3. :)

  • Ryan

    4 levels for 3.99? unless these levels are an hour long each or more, that doesn't sound like a particularly good deal to me.

  • Ryan

    4 levels for 3.99? unless these levels are an hour long each or more, that doesn't sound like a particularly good deal to me.

  • arn

    @ryan the levels can take some time to get through, depending on how well you can navigate the obstacles. There are numerous obstacles in each level. perhaps "stages" is a better word.

  • arn

    @ryan the levels can take some time to get through, depending on how well you can navigate the obstacles. There are numerous obstacles in each level. perhaps "stages" is a better word.

  • Rychiar

    i dunno, watched that video briefly and it seems like it was awfully hard to control...or at least it was for that person, lol

  • Rychiar

    i dunno, watched that video briefly and it seems like it was awfully hard to control...or at least it was for that person, lol

  • arn

    I guess I should caveat all our videos with... it's hard to play most games sitting behind a video camera while watching the gameplay on the video screen.

  • arn

    I guess I should caveat all our videos with... it's hard to play most games sitting behind a video camera while watching the gameplay on the video screen.

  • Aaron Sullivan

    I bought this one because it's indirect competition with our upcoming puzzle/discovery game and I'm glad I did. I really love this game. As a fan of the old Bionic Commando mechanic, I enjoy this physics-based take. Plus, the puzzles feel pretty fresh thanks to those unusual controls.

    Seems like the price is just about right. This is a good quality game and the difficulty level ramped up quickly (for me, at least!) So, I was spending a lot of time spinning the gears in my head, which is the fun part! (horrible pun intended, sorry.)

  • Aaron Sullivan

    I bought this one because it's indirect competition with our upcoming puzzle/discovery game and I'm glad I did. I really love this game. As a fan of the old Bionic Commando mechanic, I enjoy this physics-based take. Plus, the puzzles feel pretty fresh thanks to those unusual controls.

    Seems like the price is just about right. This is a good quality game and the difficulty level ramped up quickly (for me, at least!) So, I was spending a lot of time spinning the gears in my head, which is the fun part! (horrible pun intended, sorry.)

  • http://iphonetests.com/ QQQ

    I like it, it take me aprox 20 min for the first level.

    Each diary ll cost 3.99 or it ll be free update?

  • http://iphonetests.com/ QQQ

    I like it, it take me aprox 20 min for the first level.

    Each diary ll cost 3.99 or it ll be free update?

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  • Whome?

    There are four levels. But there are more levels in each level. I think the total level count is about 10.

  • Whome?

    There are four levels. But there are more levels in each level. I think the total level count is about 10.

  • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

    Does the iPhone's dock connector have a video out, such as for use with the universal dock? One better way of getting videos might be to do something like use a dock extension cable to plug your iPhone into a universal dock (or even just hold the iPhone while in one) and then hook the universal dock's video output to your capture device (and meanwhile also have a camera pointed at your hands so you can do a little inset showing what you're doing with them or something).

    You wouldn't be able to convey tilt so well but at least you'd be able to play the game more reasonably while providing better video quality.

  • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

    Does the iPhone's dock connector have a video out, such as for use with the universal dock? One better way of getting videos might be to do something like use a dock extension cable to plug your iPhone into a universal dock (or even just hold the iPhone while in one) and then hook the universal dock's video output to your capture device (and meanwhile also have a camera pointed at your hands so you can do a little inset showing what you're doing with them or something).

    You wouldn't be able to convey tilt so well but at least you'd be able to play the game more reasonably while providing better video quality.

  • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

    Oh, actually, you don't have to do anything even that complex - Apple's current video out solution is just a dock connector cable, with both component and composite versions available.

  • http://beesbuzz.biz/ fluffy

    Oh, actually, you don't have to do anything even that complex - Apple's current video out solution is just a dock connector cable, with both component and composite versions available.

  • Silverfist

    Actually, showing the tilt controls is very important so give an idea of how easy/difficult it is to play. Ditto with showing touch controls... the Star Wars game images looked great, but watching someone play it showed how repetitive it is, and other than portrait/landscape, tilt and rotation weren't implemented at all, which wouldn't be evident from a direct video feed...

    .

  • Silverfist

    Actually, showing the tilt controls is very important so give an idea of how easy/difficult it is to play. Ditto with showing touch controls... the Star Wars game images looked great, but watching someone play it showed how repetitive it is, and other than portrait/landscape, tilt and rotation weren't implemented at all, which wouldn't be evident from a direct video feed...

    .

  • arn

    clarified the level thing in the review. called them stages and indicated multiple sections to each stage.

  • arn

    clarified the level thing in the review. called them stages and indicated multiple sections to each stage.

  • whooley

    @fluffy: I bought the video-out cable hoping I could use it to capture video of my own game, but AFAICS it's only for iPod usage (playing music, or videos). I don't you can capture the interface or other applications with it, though it may be hackable, who knows..

  • whooley

    @fluffy: I bought the video-out cable hoping I could use it to capture video of my own game, but AFAICS it's only for iPod usage (playing music, or videos). I don't you can capture the interface or other applications with it, though it may be hackable, who knows..

  • Yoman

    I purchased tears game this morning and enjoyed the wonderful and immersive gameplay. The only problem I see with this game is that it is relativle short. You end up paying about $1.00 per level each taking about 10-15 minutes to play once you get used to the controls. I am however looking forward to the next episodes.

  • Yoman

    I purchased tears game this morning and enjoyed the wonderful and immersive gameplay. The only problem I see with this game is that it is relativle short. You end up paying about $1.00 per level each taking about 10-15 minutes to play once you get used to the controls. I am however looking forward to the next episodes.

  • Adisah

    Amazing!!!!! Buying that!!! Sold. It looks so polished and it's not $9.99 which is always cool with me. I hope this game does well and I'm cool with it being short. I mean it's only about $3.99 which is fine for a short game.

  • Adisah

    Amazing!!!!! Buying that!!! Sold. It looks so polished and it's not $9.99 which is always cool with me. I hope this game does well and I'm cool with it being short. I mean it's only about $3.99 which is fine for a short game.

  • http://www.3deified.net Easy Writer

    Looks great and I love the genre but the price seems a bit much for the replayability. I'll wait until the price drops or they bundle up "episode" 1 and 2.

  • http://www.3deified.net Easy Writer

    Looks great and I love the genre but the price seems a bit much for the replayability. I'll wait until the price drops or they bundle up "episode" 1 and 2.

  • ProducerGuy

    But what about episode 3? You don't want that one? ;)

  • ProducerGuy

    But what about episode 3? You don't want that one? ;)

  • http://radiofluff.co.uk adam

    Yeh, i bought this...lasted about 40 minutes of gameplay and now it's complete.. not worth the money in my opinion. Don't get me wrong it a fantastic idea and the controls are excellent, but WAY to short.

  • http://radiofluff.co.uk adam

    Yeh, i bought this...lasted about 40 minutes of gameplay and now it's complete.. not worth the money in my opinion. Don't get me wrong it a fantastic idea and the controls are excellent, but WAY to short.

  • Chase

    Dude, ^^ You unlocked all the memories? I can't get the last one, I'm missing one of those chips. :(

  • Chase

    Dude, ^^ You unlocked all the memories? I can't get the last one, I'm missing one of those chips. :(

  • http://www.iugome.com Shylo Smith

    WOW adam!
    very impressive. Most have stated an hour+.5 for playtime. We were aiming for an average of one hour for E1. E2 will see an increase in the average playtime, additional features and puzzles, and of course, the continuing story of our lil hero.

  • http://www.iugome.com Shylo Smith

    WOW adam!
    very impressive. Most have stated an hour+.5 for playtime. We were aiming for an average of one hour for E1. E2 will see an increase in the average playtime, additional features and puzzles, and of course, the continuing story of our lil hero.

  • http://www.iugome.com Shylo Smith

    I find it funny that some people are finding it too easy, and yet pocketgamer rated it an 8 because they found it difficult. That said, some people will just 'get it'; some people wont. What we had to do was find that balance of not too short/easy or too long/hard.

    cheers again.

    Shylo

  • http://www.iugome.com Shylo Smith

    I find it funny that some people are finding it too easy, and yet pocketgamer rated it an 8 because they found it difficult. That said, some people will just 'get it'; some people wont. What we had to do was find that balance of not too short/easy or too long/hard.

    cheers again.

    Shylo

  • slappy

    The standard naming convention (per Mario) is "Worlds" divided into "Levels."

  • slappy

    The standard naming convention (per Mario) is "Worlds" divided into "Levels."

  • pakkman781

    I was sold on it, until I read that it's only four levels. I just dunno if I can bring myself to pay $3.99 for that...

  • pakkman781

    I was sold on it, until I read that it's only four levels. I just dunno if I can bring myself to pay $3.99 for that...

  • Lucretia

    It's 4 Chapters and 9 levels actually.

  • Lucretia

    It's 4 Chapters and 9 levels actually.

  • Crastic

    Not quite Umihara Kawase, but looks interesting.

  • Crastic

    Not quite Umihara Kawase, but looks interesting.

  • tgf

    not a gamer and I'm totally immersed in this game, can't put it down - but am stuck at the pop gun, I assume I'm supposed to load it with the yellow and black striped cap but I can't grab it - what am I missing?

  • tgf

    not a gamer and I'm totally immersed in this game, can't put it down - but am stuck at the pop gun, I assume I'm supposed to load it with the yellow and black striped cap but I can't grab it - what am I missing?

  • Yoman

    To "tgf":

    you have to load the pop gun with YOU. You are the bullet so get in the gun after you cock it (and before it fires). Takes about 3-4 hits to eliminate boss.

  • Yoman

    To "tgf":

    you have to load the pop gun with YOU. You are the bullet so get in the gun after you cock it (and before it fires). Takes about 3-4 hits to eliminate boss.

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  • ehm...joe

    Some of you are some cheap ass people. I mean i've given more to homeless people, ive definitely tipped more than that, and in ireland we dont have a gratuity fee down the bottom of our bills, I haven't played the game, though im looking forward to it in a minute. i mean think about how much you'd pay for 4 worlds (I do believe this is the correct terminology) of mario if nintendo was 3rd party. Dont get me wrong though, mario games own everything, well except the franchise ones, like mario golf and there was that supermario brothers 2 mixup... but thats not my point. YOUR CHEAP!

  • ehm...joe

    Some of you are some cheap ass people. I mean i've given more to homeless people, ive definitely tipped more than that, and in ireland we dont have a gratuity fee down the bottom of our bills, I haven't played the game, though im looking forward to it in a minute. i mean think about how much you'd pay for 4 worlds (I do believe this is the correct terminology) of mario if nintendo was 3rd party. Dont get me wrong though, mario games own everything, well except the franchise ones, like mario golf and there was that supermario brothers 2 mixup... but thats not my point. YOUR CHEAP!

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  • adam

    so wait with the next episodes we are gonna have to pay another 3.99 why not give a discount to those who already paid for the first one

  • adam

    so wait with the next episodes we are gonna have to pay another 3.99 why not give a discount to those who already paid for the first one

  • http://www.iugome.com Shylo Smith

    Unfortunately adam, the Apps store is not set up to handle that sort of business structure...yet.
    We would be unable to provide any discount through the apps store to previous purchasers.

  • http://www.iugome.com Shylo Smith

    Unfortunately adam, the Apps store is not set up to handle that sort of business structure...yet.
    We would be unable to provide any discount through the apps store to previous purchasers.

  • Mark

    Releasing an "update" that adds levels/functionality could be free. The app store currently supports this feature. Let's not hide behind "the app store won't allow updates to be free" excuse-especially if not true.

  • Mark

    Releasing an "update" that adds levels/functionality could be free. The app store currently supports this feature. Let's not hide behind "the app store won't allow updates to be free" excuse-especially if not true.

  • arn

    @Mark the game was released as a $3.99 episode. no more, no less. I don't see why people are asking for free sequels when it's clear what the business model is.

  • arn

    @Mark the game was released as a $3.99 episode. no more, no less. I don't see why people are asking for free sequels when it's clear what the business model is.

  • Mark

    @arn I'm not saying the sequels should be free; in fact I bought the first one and would be more than happy to pay for three more episodes @ 3.99 each being that the game is so good. The comment about the app store not supporting discounted future updates (btw, free is a type of discount in my book) is not entirely accurate, that's all.

  • Mark

    @arn I'm not saying the sequels should be free; in fact I bought the first one and would be more than happy to pay for three more episodes @ 3.99 each being that the game is so good. The comment about the app store not supporting discounted future updates (btw, free is a type of discount in my book) is not entirely accurate, that's all.

  • http://www.iugome.com Shylo Smith

    Hi Mark,

    The original question was not if we would provide updates for free or at a discount; but if we were going to provide the next episode at a discount for those that bought the first episode.
    The second episode is not an update on the first, it is a completely new game in the sense of download off the apps store.
    So in the current system of the apps store, we can not know (in a secure fashion) if you downloaded the first episode to allow for a discounted price on the second.

    That being said, there is no way to currently allow for a discount to previous purchasers via apps store.

  • http://www.iugome.com Shylo Smith

    Hi Mark,

    The original question was not if we would provide updates for free or at a discount; but if we were going to provide the next episode at a discount for those that bought the first episode.
    The second episode is not an update on the first, it is a completely new game in the sense of download off the apps store.
    So in the current system of the apps store, we can not know (in a secure fashion) if you downloaded the first episode to allow for a discounted price on the second.

    That being said, there is no way to currently allow for a discount to previous purchasers via apps store.

  • Mark

    @Shylo I think your game is great, and I understand what you are saying. Keep up the good work.

  • Mark

    @Shylo I think your game is great, and I understand what you are saying. Keep up the good work.

  • Daphoid

    I find people don't think about prices a lot.

    It's $3.99 for an 1-2 hours of fun, and you think that's over priced.

    Yet you pay that much or more for an star bucks coffee in the morning and drink it in 10-15 minutes.

    Or you pay more then that for parking in some cases.

    It's all relative, complaining about something under $10 is just there to complain I think, I'm sure you can manage $4 in pocket change :)

  • Daphoid

    I find people don't think about prices a lot.

    It's $3.99 for an 1-2 hours of fun, and you think that's over priced.

    Yet you pay that much or more for an star bucks coffee in the morning and drink it in 10-15 minutes.

    Or you pay more then that for parking in some cases.

    It's all relative, complaining about something under $10 is just there to complain I think, I'm sure you can manage $4 in pocket change :)

  • rowan

    love the game stuck on the end boss at the moment. Then I'll go back and do it agai. To get all the chips.

    I'm happy with the $3.99 per episode deal, fine by me. Keep it up!

    I only ask that the difficulty keeps ramping, eg I don't want the strart of entry 2 to be easy, it should follow on.

  • rowan

    love the game stuck on the end boss at the moment. Then I'll go back and do it agai. To get all the chips.

    I'm happy with the $3.99 per episode deal, fine by me. Keep it up!

    I only ask that the difficulty keeps ramping, eg I don't want the strart of entry 2 to be easy, it should follow on.

  • MaeElla

    wow. It's amazing on how many of you all have iPhone/iTouchs' but aren't willing to pay only $3.99 for a fantastic game.

    Honestly, if your going to pay a couple 100 of dollars for the phone, why not use it to the fullest

  • MaeElla

    wow. It's amazing on how many of you all have iPhone/iTouchs' but aren't willing to pay only $3.99 for a fantastic game.

    Honestly, if your going to pay a couple 100 of dollars for the phone, why not use it to the fullest

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