Commander! We need fire support! The enemies are storming our trenches and breaking through our front line! Commander, our toybox is taking damage! SAVE US!!!! Protect your own toybox and destroy your opponents, in single-player campaigns, online or split-screen multiplayer, in a remastered classic that first appeared on Xbox Live Arcade. Toy Soldiers HD has been remastered by developers Signal Studios and Outer Heaven and published by Accelerate Games.
If you haven’t seen or heard of Toy Soldiers, it is a WW1-styled tower defence game, so instead of monkeys popping balloons, it’s plastic army men vs tanks, cavalry, and more! You can directly take control of your deployed towers or vehicles to protect your precious toybox/headquarters, and if playing multiplayer, destroy the enemies.
Now, the level designs are based around WW1 campaigns and are portrayed on a diorama, and in the background, you can often see the living room, bedroom, library areas, etc. These little details made me appreciate the game a little more, helped to accentuate that these are toys, and I’m playing on a mini battlefield just like I would when I was a kid. In classic tower defence style, the enemy troops have a specific pathway that they follow, but as most battlefields have multiple paths, you must pay attention to the flanking cavalry or the planes above taking a tactical route.
Taking control of the specific units really made the game a lot more fun, instead of just placing units and waiting for the round to progress, I could actually do some damage myself and introduce the enemies to the meat grinder of Vickers machinegun fire. In a typical tower defense style, each unit is upgradeable for a cost, and to gain money, you simply have to stop the enemy troops in their tracks. Upgrading units fully change their look and operating abilities.
Upgrading the base LMG encampment from the high rate of fire, high capacity Vickers to the tier 2 37mm machinegun not only increases damage but slows the fire rate and lowers the magazine capacity, meaning you need to reload more often, and then upgrading to the tier 3 cannon adds extra damage to light vehicles. Depending on which troops you’re facing makes the towers you place a tactical move. Backed by an audio track inspired by the great war era, from the menu to loading music, to the little sound effects, the immersion is unreal.
The HD version comes with all the original DLCs and also a few new levels, which include Toy Soldiers: Cold War, The Kaiser’s Battle DLC, and the sci-fi Invasion DLC. This extra content adds Space Tech, knights, and a plethora of different WW1 defenses to the base version of Toy Soldiers, making the controllable toy force amass around 50 units! Now, this HD remaster is only for the PS4/Xbox One generation, and with it releasing in 2021 I thought it would make more sense to release on all current-generation consoles including the PS5 and Series X/S, but unfortunately not, sorry current-gen consolers!
Toy Soldiers HD will also be available on PC and Switch, and I think this would be a perfect adaptation on the Switch. It’s a great game to distract you from long journeys or on a rainy day tucked away in bed, the portability aspect of this style of game is great. And anyone who likes tower defense-styled games, or wants to relive the great Sandpit Wars fought with their Toy Soldiers should definitely check this out!