Posted 3 years ago By - Justin Arruda
In my mind, it seemed as though the tower defense genre rose, peaked and declined, all within a couple of short years. My first real introduction to TD games was PixelJunk Monsters on the PS3 and I loved it. After that, I’d follow any news posts about the strategy games, looking for links to flash games or trying out new variants like Ninja Town. But soon after, I felt I’d had enough. I could go the rest of my life without playing another TD game.
Then, along came Toy Soldiers.
If, like me, you’ve been disenchanted by TD games, there’s a good chance this game will sweep you off your feet with its old-school charm. Taking place inside a miniature battlefield, Toy Soldiers throws a new element into the TD formula. Not only do you watch the battle unfold as you manage units, but you can take part in it.
If you’re tired of watching your anti-infantry unit mow down invading soldiers, simply take control of it! Want to be part of that dog fight? Hop into a plane! Be careful not to get too caught up in the fun though, as you still have to keep tabs on all of the enemy positions.
Aside from the ability to take the controls away from the computer, Toy Soldiers really does not do a whole lot different on the gameplay side of things. You combat the enemy by strategically placing troops at points across the battlefield. Air and ground opponents each have their defensive counterparts which you can upgrade with money collected from killing waves of enemies. All this is done to prevent them from getting inside your base. If too many get inside, you lose.
The game even stumbles in the same spots as other TD games. Computer controlled defenses will not always operate the way you want them to. For instance, a Howitzer could ignore a tank within range simply because it is oriented the wrong way. It doesn’t matter that this is the last wave of enemies and your success depends on that tank’s destruction.
Where Toy Soldiers really sets itself apart, however, is in it’s presentation. The old-fashioned diorama sets make great environments for war. The painted backgrounds passing by as I drove my wind-up tank within the confines of a much larger room, brought out memories I never had. The game had me wishing I was the 8-year-old boy playing with his toys, creating these battles in my head because the very idea of a video game had not been thought of yet.
Once you complete the campaign, you can take the action online in multiplayer. The matches work much the same as the standard game, but also allow you to launch special assaults on your enemy in an effort to get as many troops into the enemy base as possible. The XBLA game also lets you connect to the Toy Soldiers Facebook mini-game, where you can fight for territory with other users.
I’m usually wary of any digital title that retails for 1200 MS Points but I can’t help but feel that this one is worth it. I only wish that it cost less because I think that many people will see the price and skip it. The attention to detail in this game is seldom seen in Arcade titles, and I’d like to see that kind of thing more.
+ Diorama setting gives the game real personality
- Computer AI not always great
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Release Date : 2010/03/10
System : Xbox 360
Publisher : Microsoft Game Studios
Developer : Signal Studios
Category : Action-Adventure
ESRB : T
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10