While the toys-to-life genre may be considered dead and laid to rest for most, Ubisoft’s latest open world adventure game is hoping to challenge that. Starlink: Battle for Atlas seemingly makes all our childhood dreams come true by letting us captain a ship that can physically built in real life, before being transported in-game for us to roam planets and blast away at enemies. This unique idea of customising your shop on the fly (get it?) perhaps wasn’t needed, but it does serve to help the game feel more engrossing.

It’s not game-changing by any means, but I think the developers have been smart by creating a toys-to-life title that doesn’t necessarily funnel people in and pressure them to buy all of the additional ships and add-ons from shops. Starlink: Battle for Atlas can entirely be played without having one ounce of additional plastic in your home when purchasing the digital version. The only set back being that buying it digitally will set your wallet back quite a bit thanks to it coming as a fully-featured package. Price aside, Starlink: Battle for Atlas is one of the most unique holiday offerings in a year full of sequels and established franchises.

So how does the game actually look and play? Well, pretty good on both fronts actually. As already mentioned, Starlink: Battle for Atlas doesn’t do too much outside of what you’d expect it to do, but that doesn’t stop the feeling of wooshing over an alien hilltop of landing down on an icy sand dune feel any less bad ass. Gameplay is broken up into a varied assortment of tasks and missions, and the entire time you’re exploring the space in your ship you have the benefit of being accompanied by an eclectic cast of pilot characters.

Some have described Starlink: Battle for Atlas as a mix between No Man’s Sky (due to the pastel-like visuals) and Destiny (thanks to the heavy helping of customisation) – that’s true, but the great thing is that most of the fat found in both those games is thankfully cut out. Want to take down a group f outlaws? Bosh, go and do it. Want to jettison out of the atmosphere and into space? Nothing is stopping you. Starlink: Battle for Atlas does a great job at capturing the imagination of what you wanted to do as a kid. It’s all the better for it.

Picking the game up on Switch specifically will see you get access to exclusive StarFox content, continuing to solidify the strong relationship between Nintendo and Ubisoft this generation after the brilliant Mario x Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. This makes the high price tag Starlink: Battle for Atlas demands sting a little less. Put simply, if you want something different and beautiful to jump into this holiday season, this odd little toys-to-life game is the perfect serving.