Thursday, March 04, 2010

Video game number sixty seven: Toy Soldiers

Video game review number sixty seven in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Toy Soldiers".

Toy Soldiers is a tower defense game. Your army is made up of (you guessed it) toys. The battle takes place on a diorama set up between two toy boxes. The twelve year old me wants to meet the kid who has this set up in his room and become his best friend.

If this were just a standard tower defense game, I think I probably would have played it quickly and moved on, but it's much more than that. You have all the standard types of units (soldiers, machine guns, artillery and even vehicles), but you also have something no other tower defense game has had before this one. Control.

If your little automated machine gunner isn't hitting the right targets, you can jump into a first person view and take it over. Suddenly, you're the machine gunner, shooting at the little targets yourself. I don't know how many times I've played a tower defense game and wished my stupid gunner would focus on the damaged unit that was almost dead and turning a corner, instead of the healthy one that was right in front of him. Now I can.

This game isn't easy, by any means. There is a lot of strategy involved around what to build and when...but when you finally figure out the magic ingredients to solving a level, you can sit back and enjoy watching the enemy be turned into plastic bits and pieces beneath your artillery.

Toy Soldiers takes place in World War 1, and apparently...every battle you fight is affecting the outcome of the war somehow. I believe it's done with stats, and every battle you win (or lose) will have some small effect on the overall war. That feature doesn't really blow my socks off, but the next one does. This game supports Facebook integration

While it's just in it's infancy, the basic idea can be at home playing Toy Soldiers, winning battles and earning money towards the war effort, or you can be at work doing the same thing. The facebook version is a little puzzle game (similar to Puzzle Quest or Bejeweled) where you match different colored pieces to form combos. Each piece has a different kind of weapon on it (soldier, tank, plane, bullet, horse, etc). When you get a row of 3 or more, that line will fire its unique power at the enemies who are walking down from the top of the screen like Space Invaders. It's addicting, fun and easy to play a quick game of while you're sitting at your desk wishing you were somewhere else.

Currently, your score just goes towards the overall war effort happening on Xbox Live, but in the future...I could see them doing things like unlocking cash for the Live game while you're playing on Facebook, or maybe unlocking special units. Then of course there's the ever present lure of achievements, which would be great to earn in this puzzle game. Regardless of what they are doing, they got me thinking about the future for this game...which was great.

Overall score 8/10. Very solid game, lots of replayability and a ton of different ways to play. The difficulty is steep, but the rewards of beating a level make it worth it. I got a few achievements below.

Edited 3/9/10--I finally beat that damn TSAR tank and got the achievement that's greyed out below. :-)

No comments: