Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots is a platformer that wants very much to be a puzzler. Spongebob Squarepants, Danny Phantom, Jimmy Neutron, Timmy Turner, and Tak all team up to take on Professor Calamitous and his army of evil toys. Attack of the Toybots, as is common with platformers aimed at children, is light on story, and that’s okay. You probably won’t be playing all the way through this game anyhow. It just isn’t fun.
Levels work like this. Run from point A to point B, and beat up deranged toys along the way. In and of itself, this is a sound concept that got us through the 80s. Run around, beat up baddies, and if you were lucky there was a story blurb in the instruction manual. I still play Streets of Rage II to this day, and that’s all it was, but the difference between Attack of the Toybots and classic brawlers is that Attack of the Toybots is designed like a platformer. Combat is unsatisfying and cheap, death is frequent, and enemies just aren’t interesting. The platforming fares little better as it’s extremely common to fall off of ledges, get tagged by a laser beam that you know you jumped over, and get pushed back to the last unmarked checkpoint.
Attack of the Toybots, despite being littered with enemies, isn’t about combat. Most enemy encounters can be bypassed by simply running around or through them. The emphasis here is on level navigation, and it really serves to highlight Attack of the Toybot‘s repetitive level design. Two player cooperative play is available, but with a focus on navigation instead of combat it just feels tacked on. Having a buddy join in doesn’t make platforming easier, and the level navigation sections continue for a long time.
Neither the PS2 nor the GBA are powerhouses of graphics and sound, but Attack of the Toybots just doesn’t stand up to concurrent offerings on either platform. Games aren’t all about graphics and sound, but both the PS2 and GBA are several years old; we should know by now how to get the most out of each system. Sound is also a bit of a letdown. Nickelodeon cartoons are supposed to be funny, but the voice clips found here just don’t feel like the same characters, and they don’t have the same humor.
Nicktoons: Attack of the Toybots is repetitive, bland, and frustrating. If you or somebody you know loves Nickelodeon programming there are better licensed games out there – like Spongebob’s Atlantis Squarepants.