Toy Soldiers: Cold War is a great way to beat the heat!
Toy Soldiers: Cold War is the sequel to the XBLA 2010 game, Toy Soldiers. Made by Signal Studios the original explored the First World War as one of the greatest wars ever planned in a toy box. The sequel is the ultimate “what if” scenario that every child of the 80’s played out. What if the U.S.A. went to war with Soviet Russia?
The game mechanics are very similar to the original but advanced because of more advanced warfare. The game is a tower defense game through and through. Your tower in this case being your toybox that you try to stop the enemy from infiltrating. When you start out you’re mainly facing soldiers. How you decide to take care of them is up to you.
There are dugouts for you to place your units. From machine guns to chemical warfare with a makeshift roman candle there are tons to plan and upgrade. Each unit is stationary and can be upgraded in some levels to give more devastating firepower. They can also be repaired if they are running low on health and will be destroyed otherwise. All these abilities are under a real time strategy HUD that lets you decide which units to place where.
The game also lets you have direct control over your units to gain special abilities and be able to move faster on the fly as well. Occasionally an enemy in a wave will appear with a red star over his head. You will want to take care of him directly so you will gain a barrage attack.
Barrage attacks are infrequent but very enjoyable to use and devastating for the enemy. The most common one in the beginning is the commando who drops into field complete with his plastic packaging. With a machine gun and rocket launcher he mows down enemies spouting one liners directly from the Rambo movies.
Other barrage attacks are artillery strikes, bomb droppings, and even nuclear strikes. They are good field levelers when you feel swamped and are worried about your toybox being overrun.
There are many different kinds of units each built with certain focuses such as the anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons. Depending on the map you are on there are also rechargeable toys for you to play with such as helicopters, tanks, and jets.
A large amount of success is timing. While having each wave of attackers out as quickly as possible might get you a better score you have to make sure you can survive it first. This makes it a fun thinking man’s game that isn’t impossible to pick up quickly.
The actual single player campaign will last you awhile to finish all the missions. Each one is original with its own map and even bosses. The bosses are giant weapons of mass destruction that are made to be comically big and humorous looking. From laser cannons to more this game really wants to take advantage of the all wild G.I. Joe esque vehicles while saluting the entire 80s as well. You hear themes reminiscent of Top Gun while in the menus. There are heavy spoof names for each mission.
You can easily lose yourself in the game even after you’re done with the missions as there are many harder difficulties that help you achieve a better overall score against your friends in the leaderboards.
The single player leaderboards aren’t the only way to challenge your friends as you can do co-op modes and a fully featured versus mode, things change considerably because now you are able to buy waves of units and have everything from the get go as long as you have earned enough money. It’s easy to get in a stalemate if you are not aggressive enough which stops both players from turtleing.
Toy Soldiers is a brilliant game which really helps you think with strategy in a tower defense game. The nods to the 80’s are silly. The overall game could take up a whole weekend but is much more enjoyable taking breaks after each level.