box.jpgThe next iteration of the beloved Toy Soldiers series of games is here! Toy Soldiers: War Chest Hall of Fame Edition brings to life the iconic action figures from your child hood, with a mixture of fast-paced action strategy gameplay and tower defense mechanics all rolled up into one fantastic game. Gamers of all ages can play as, or battle against legendary toy armies to determine whole rules the toy soldier battlefield!

Toy Soldiers: War Chest Hall of Fame Edition is developed by Signal Studios and published by Ubisoft
Release date: August 11, 2015
ESRB Rating: T (Ages 13 and up)
Genre: Action-strategy
Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Strategy on the toy field

In Toy Soldiers: War Chest Hall of Fame Edition, your objective is to defend your toy box from the invading toy army forces. Destroy your foes using a wide variety of weapons including, machine guns, rocket launchers, and mortar towers. By doing this you’ll earn money to build defenses, protect your toy box, and advance your army to victory.

In order to be successful you’ll need a good view of the battlefield. Using the left and right thumb sticks, you can zoom and rotate to see every detail of the action upclose. Alternately, by clicking the left thumb stick you’ll get a top down view of the entire battlefield that is very useful when planning your attacks, and locating your enemies.

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Build your defenses and protect your toy box

With each scenario you’ll start out with a limited amount of money, in order to earn more money you must destroy enemy toys. Don’t get too wrapped up in taking out your enemy, you’ll need to keep a close eye on your toy box’s health bar, if it gets to zero your toy box is destroyed and you’ll lose the battle.

To fend off the advancing enemy you’ll need to build turrets, you can construct turrets on “build sites” that are scattered around the battlefield map. There are several different turrets you can build such as anti-aircraft, and anti-armour turrets just to name a few.

What’s really cool, and one of my favourite features of this game, is the ability to upgrade your turrets. Yes that’s right, you can upgrade each turret’s range, damage, and health attributes. You can even sell your turrets to build new turrets in their place in preparation for the next wave of oncoming enemies. Additionally, your turrets are computer controlled so you don’t have to worry about controlling all your turrets at the same time.

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Controlling your Hero

You’re probably wondering “When do I get to play as He-Man, Cobra Commander, or any of the other heroes?” To play as your hero, you must fill up the action meter, simply manually take control of  one of your turrets and in rapid succession take out the enemy toys. In no time your action meter will start filling up, and then with press of the button, you can summon your hero.

Your hero has a health and battery meter that you must keep close watch on. The battery meter will slowly drain, and when it’s completely drained your toy hero will explode. Not to worry thought, you can find a select number of batteries on the battlefield that will replenish your battery meter and extend your playing time as the hero.

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Game Modes

Toy Soldiers: War Chest Hall of Fame Edition offers a variety of gameplay modes including single and multiplayer modes. One mode in particular that caught my attention was the weekly war mode, I found my self eagerly anticipating the next day, so that I could return to the mode and advance.

Weekly war mode is unique in that each week there are five new objectives that are unlocked one day at time. After successfully completing the objectives, you are rewarded with a prize from the toy box. Objectives can vary from fighting off Cobra’s army and killing 100 infantry, to destroying 100 invading aircraft. The rewards are fantastic, I was able to score a toy box containing three Enzio toys, and two random toys from any level to use in game.

Multiplayer mode offers a variety of options, however I most enjoyed the ranked game mode. Two teams consisting of two players each, battle against each other for supreme victory. You alternate between attacking your enemy with troops and vehicles, to defending your toy box with turrets until someone wins. Resources and money are shared with your team mate, so it’s important to talk to one another and make a plan.

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Eight Iconic and customizable armies

Toy Soldiers: War Chest Hall of Fame Edition features four standard armies and four licensed premium armies that are all highly customizable and unique. The World War I German leader, Kaiser makes his return to the Toy Solider series, Starbright is new to the series and wields an army of flying unicorns, and laser-shooting teddy bears. In addition, you can choose from a character called Phantom, who is from the future that uses guerrilla warfare tactics, and finally there is the villain Dark Lord, who uses speed and supernatural powers.

The remaining four armies are composed of nostalgic action figures that will be near and dear to your heart. He-man leads the Masters of the Universe army with the power of Greyskull, Duke leads team G.I. JOE, and Cobra Commander leads team Cobra. Not to be outdone, you even have the option to play as Ezio, an ancestor of Desmond Miles, who leads the Assassin’s Creed army.

Each army is unique and have their own weaknesses and strengths that you can use to your advantage against your enemies. Another neat feature are tokens, you earn these after winning a battle, you can then in turn purchase and unlock new weapons, perks, vehicles and attackers to use on the battlefield.

Presentation

Signal Studios did a fabulous job in the presentation of toy soldiers and the surrounding environments in the game. The soldiers are animated just as you would imagine them to be, rigidly walking, tipping over and falling down in comcial fashion. You will jump for joy the first time you see your hero burst out of their authentic blister pack on the battlefield.

Your environment looks a feels like a living world made of toys! Pencils, cigars, and toy boxes are used as barriers on the battlefield that separate you and your enemy. You can even use certain items in your environment, such as the overgrown mushrooms for cover. Pretty cool isnt it?

The sounds of the battlefield are all here, with explosions, music and gun fire that surround you as you play. You’ll even hear licensed characters such as Cobra Commander yell their signature catchphrase while in battle that will further immerse you in the action.

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Final thoughts

Toy Soldiers: War Chest Hall of Fame Edition offers the right balance of deep rich strategy, compelling gameplay, and a difficulty that never gets frustrating, that will keep you coming back again and again. The interactivity, game flow and licensed characters set Toy Soldiers: War Chest apart from other games in this genre, and make it shine. Coupled with the low cost of the game, Toy Soldiers: War Chest Hall of Fame Edition is a worthy addition to any gamer’s collection and one that I recommend.

Let me know in the comments section below who your favourite toy soldier army hero is. See you on the battlefield!

+ Unique game experience
+ Deep, rich gameplay mechanics
+ More missions, playable armies, and heroes than previous games in the series

– Enemies are not in your hero’s universe
– loading time between levels can be a bit long
– Ubisoft Uplay account is required for online play

OVERALL

Gameplay: 4.0/5
Graphics: 4.0/5
Sound: 4.0/5
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.0/5

Overall Rating 4 /5 (80%)