Toy Soldiers is a fun, polished, action oriented tower defence game that has interesting elements not generally seen in a tower defence. If you're into this genre, defeneitly check it out.
It's not based in WWII. A good entry to the TD genre. Action is fast paced and varied and flying a bomber around the map raining scale model death is good times.
The could be more variety in the amount of towers and the addition of some more advanced TD concepts like controlling enemy paths.
Tower defence games are a pretty niche genre and Army Men... a non-existent one. Both of which I’m big fans of, though on Army Men I liked the idea better than the games. Toy Soldiers takes place on a basement Ping-Pong turned model war table. You’ll experience World War I in a way you never have before: in a game. It’s good to see another historical war used as the backdrop other than WWII.
The presentation and graphics in this game are pretty slick. Missions take place on a representation of a detailed miniature war-gaming tabletop. Where props and terrain faithfully look like ones you would buy in a hobby store. The neat thing is you're also given a sense of your relative scale. If you look around the sides and ceiling of the battlefield there are giant 'real world' cans of plum preserves (for real) and desk lamps that tower over you. Appropriately making you feel an inch tall.
As far as tower defence games go Toy Soldiers is more on the simplistic side; compared to something like Grid Defence. Here you're unable to shape the path enemies will take to the goal. There are no ice/temporal buff towers that consistently slow down all enemies. All towers do varying levels of damage to different enemy types, using a rock/paper/scissors game-play approach. There are only five separate types of towers, each having three upgradable levels. It would have been nice to see a few more tower types. But in this streamlined action approach to tower defence, Toy Soldiers does a good job in making every tower serve a purpose and have a vital role.
One major way that Toy Soldiers is different from other tower defence games out there is that you can take manual control. This includes any tower you've built as well as vehicles; a tank, a different kind of tank (that feels the same) and some planes. This nice addition gives players the chance to alter their play. Go from a strictly defence, to offence is the best... defence.
The game does a nice job of trying to encourage players to direct control units. On the map as every tower performs better and gains a special ability when controlled. For example: the mortars fire three rounds per reload, and machine guns fire longer bursts. The other big benefit for direct control is it gives you the ability to string combos together, which gets you multipliers for resources. Setting up a flamethrower in an infantry chokepoint will get you some much needed tower upgrading cash.
While you could control everything, it doesn't mean that you necessarily should. Units such as howitzers work just fine automated. The effort from your divine intervention of a shot across the screen would be better used elsewhere.
Controlling vehicles gives you an up close and personal perspective over the chaos on the battlefield. While your default is an omnipotent floating over everything view. I've found there's a tank controlling way to do things, where their glacial velocity and low health make them better suited to hang back in your base. And a Wright way; with planes that have easy flight controls making them fast, fun and destructive.
The game contains two campaigns with 24 total levels. Each level is uniquely designed with some focusing more on a certain enemy type, adding some welcome variety. There's also some bonus challenge unlockables in each level, which get added to an in-game museum of sorts called the 'ration dump'. This is where you can view antique WWI era tools, and colourful commentary, that were used in the real life trenches.
You don't get the feeling that each level was just cut-and-pasted from the previous one. Add on to this a few difficulty levels ranging from embarrassingly easy to soul crushingly hard; where no towers fire automatically and you have to direct control everything to win. Beating all levels will probably take about 6+ hours, more so if you want to complete the ration dump, survival mode and two player head-to-head online multiplayer. There's plenty of content to play through.