Toy Sight

by Gregory Ng Aug 23, 2004

I love my iSight. But unfortunately there just aren’t enough of my iChat buddies that have one. So instead of looking at myself all day I thought I would try to use my iSight for a different purpose. No, I’m not talking about a porn webcam. I’m talking about Toy Sight, the suite of iSight games from Strange Flavour and Freeverse Software.

According to the Toy Sight website, “Toysight is set of cool games and toys to play using your iSight™ or similar firewire camera. Using a system of object and motion detection to track your position, Toysight allows you to control buttons, sliders and perform gestures on the screen, putting you right in the action!” This statement is certainly true as Toy Sight delivers a highly challenging and addictive set of games.

Toy Sight comes packaged as a CD. The application folder is 153.4MB in size and it is a simple drag into your Apps folder installation. You are not required to restart after installation. Your iSight or compatible camera must be connected for Toy Sight to run. Although primarily marketed as games for your iSight, other firewire cameras can be used. You should consult with the website for compatibility issues.

Once launched, a loading screen popped up and lasted for approximately 1 minute. [I tested Toy Sight on a G4 1.25GHz 15” Powerbook with 512MB of RAM] Then the tutorial began. This narrated tutorial is invaluable. I advise you not to skip over it. First the narrator, tells you to move out of the camera’s view as it scans the background. This takes about 30 seconds. Then she asks you to step into the camera view and move your hands to access 2 hands on the screen. This is necessary to calibrate your hands with the controls. Incidentally, the hands are white and cartoony like Mickey Mouse’s or Hamburger Helper. Finally, you are taught the different types of controls. I realized that, with my computer in the corner of the room, I did not have enough room to appear in the camera and flap my arms. You might want to give yourself plenty of room.

You control everything with your hands: selecting games, confirming commands, and playing the games. Although this seems tricky at first, I liken it to the first few days of a new cell phone—every time you play, it feels more and more natural. They have built in however, the use of the space bar which pauses the game and pulls up commands like “Return to Menu” and the all-important “Quit”.

With 12 games and toys included in this product, you are sure to find one or two that strike your fancy. These games vary in difficulty and learning curve and although I find some more successful than others, they are all elegantly simple and beautifully rendered. The developers have really used the unique controls to make games that are fun to play over and over.

My two favorite games in Toy Sight are Plank and Freefall.
In Plank you control a seesawing plank by lifting both of your hands on either side of you up and down. As colored balls come down, you tilt the plank so that the existing balls roll from one side to another. Once you have 3 balls of the same color next to each other, they disappear and you rack up the points. The controls were very responsive and the gameplay challenging.

In Freefall, you are a skydiver who is trying to land as close to your target landing spot as possible. Again, by waving your hands up and down, you can control the rotation of your freefall. By raising both hands, you slow down your speed and by lowering both hands you accelerate your speed. As an added bonus challenge, a ring of skydivers have formed beneath you with one missing link to the circle: you. If you can time it so your rotation lines up, you form the circle link and gain added points.

Here’s a quick list of the remaining included games:
Submarine Battle–2 player game where you fire missiles at each other’s submarine.
The Owl and the Pussycat–Flap your arms to flap your wings and carry your cat with you on a magical flight.
Marble Factory–Laser blast colored marbles sent down from aliens
Volcano God–Use your godly powers to prevent the evil laborers from stealing your crop collecting villagers. (Not kidding, that’s the plot of the game!)
PieSight–Fire custard pies at monkeys who are throwing bananas at you!
Toy War–Take a snapshot of your toy and battle your opponents toy.
Extreme Tennis–Picture Pong with an exploding ball.

Absolutely. If you own an iSight, this game is worth every penny. Toy Sight offers a good selection of 1 player and 2 player games. And I have found that every game is great for parties. It beats karaoke any day!

Retail Price: $34.95
Minimum requirements:
OSX 10.1.5
G3 600MHz or G4 400MHz
256 MB RAM
200 MB of free hard disk space
iSight or other compatible firewire video camera


  • Nice review. I do have some quibble with the game tho: you’re review was so great I downloaded the demo.

    The interface is extraordinarily hard to use, for so simple a task. That button bar on top that requires you to “click” to get it to move, and you can only “click” the button in the direct middle? That’s insanity.

    The demo game, Skydiving. Not sure about you but my arms started hurting after a couple minutes. Sure us lazy Americans can use some exercise, but this is like using the original NES brick controllers for 6 hours straight.

    I really dislike when game companies grossly misrepresent the minimum requirements. I have a G4 1.25 with 1GB RAM and 64MB VRAM. It played marginally well at 1024x768. I can’t imagine using it on anything slower because the key to the interaction is smooth and accurate tracking of your hands. Which my system could barely keep up with.

    Other than that, I think its a fantastic proof of concept, can’t wait to see the next version.

    Nathan had this to say on Aug 27, 2004 Posts: 219
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