The city map consists of 16 areas, not counting the bridge. Only two will be unlocked at the beginning. When you enter an area you'll be presented with a 6x6 grid that you'll have to explore. Each area has a mission, such as destroying bug nests. When you find a square containing something related to the mission, you'll make a little progress. As you move your character around the grid looking for the mission objectives, there's a lot of other things you'll encounter. Some squares don't have anything at all, others have hostile bugs, you can also find consumable items and survivors. There are some actions you can take to make searching a little easier. Shouting can help you locate survivors and once you purchase the scanner it will show you what's in surrounding squares when you use it. Keep in mind that everything you do takes up time and once you hit your time limit the day ends and you're sent back to the map screen.
As mentioned above, as you explore you'll come across survivors who will join up with you. On the map screen, you can click the roster tab to equip two survivors to bring with you into the fray. Each survivor has bonuses they give when you equip them. These bonuses can be boosts to damage and defense or may cut the time used up by certain actions. There's also the standard equippable weapons and defense items. You can equip one defense item and two offensive weapon, a gun which requires ammo and a melee item.
Analysis: There's two ways to play through Toxers. There's the OCD way where you fully explore every area, get every character and basically just power through the whole game. Then, there's the tactical way where you'll use a mixture of survivors and equipment to help you pinpoint squares with important items. No matter how you play, Toxers is a long game. The length is good if you like games that last. It's bad because Toxers can get somewhat repetitive, especially given how your role in completing missions is mostly passive. You'll probably want to play it in bits and pieces instead of in one long sitting.
Despite the repetition Toxers is fun. It's always exciting to see what the next square holds. What really keeps Toxers enjoyable is the well done battle system. When in battle only one bug will attack you each turn, so you won't get overwhelmed. This makes the individual battles less dangerous, while still taking away enough health that you'll need to be careful for the rest of the day. This keep battles quick and makes the game challenging without it becoming frustrating. While the turn-based combat and the equipment make this RPG-ish, it is missing the big RPG factor of experience points. You won't be able to make your character stronger by battling, only through better equipment and your companions. This also keeps the game moving as you won't need to keep fighting and fighting in order to make progress.
Toxers is a simple game that can be played in many different ways. It would benefit from a little more depth, especially when it comes to the missions. Despite that, it's fun to play and it will keep you busy for awhile. Add in distinct visuals that will be familiar to anyone who's played a robotJAM game in the past and you have a quality game. It might get a bit old after awhile, but if you step away from it for awhile you'll find it very easy to come back. If you hate the mutated bugs and their humanity hating monkeyshines, you'll have a great time blasting and bludgeoning your way through Toxers.