You magnificent bastard, I read your book!- Patton
As strategy defense games go, thereís not much more to it than placing the right towers in the correct spaces. So many titles have been passed up because they lack innovation and fail to bring anything new to the table. We now mostly see towers in flash games. Itís a shame that developers are unable to tweak it to fit the growing market. However, Toy Soldiers may have found a way to add a bit of spice to this otherwise stale genre. Utilizing a consoleís power, they have given the player the ability to take direct control of a single tower. In fact, itís encouraged that you do so. You have better accuracy, power, and a handle of the battle. You can choose from a variety of firepower from machine gun turrets to howitzers to chemicals. You can even take flight with a fighter plane and either shoot others out of the sky or drop bombs on unwary enemies below. Speaking of bombs, youíre able to zoom in and control the speed and direction of a howitzerís shell. This is an invaluable tool when trying to hit a troop just out of distance or in a tricky location. The enemies you face are imaginative, as well. You have the standard soldiers and tanks, but there are horsemen, enemy planes, and a giant cannon/tank that can drop hordes of soldiers from its belly. The battles can get extremely crazy as you franticly try to dispatch the increasing amount of soldiers running into your base. Luckily, barbed wire and barricades help with blocking the inevitable onslaught.
Graphics and Style
Toy Soldiers has gone with a retro plastic figurine design. Many of you wonít remember the days of setting up mock battles with your brand new, hand painted soldiers and tank models, as they were a generation before. Itís still an appealing choice, nonetheless. As whimsically oriented as the appearance may be, the graphics themselves are surprisingly good. The soldier animation and explosions are detailed and the environments are appropriately themed. All of this wonderful scenery and war is set to classic oldies tunes, reminiscent of Falloutís radio.
The multiplayer is definitely the most lacking part of Toy Soldiers. During matches against friends, youíre able to choose from five different maps, tweak what kinds of units can be placed and how much money each person receives, but during online matches, you have no choice whatsoever. If nobody you know is willing to fight you, youíre forced to take a gamble against unknown opponents with no customizable rules. Most likely, theyíll rape you with tanks. They unbelievably overpowered.
The campaign is lengthy and rewarding, allowing you to play both sides, but the multiplayer leaves a lot to be desired. If you love tower defense games, turret defense, or both, then youíll get a real kick out of this one. Just donít expect to be playing online and youíll get a couple of weeks worth out of single player until you finally get bored and move on to the next big release.