Today I woke up in the mood for something a little off the well beaten-to-death path of hidden object games. I’ve had somewhat of my fill of haunted hotels, dark secrets, and impending doom hidden around every corner, and I needed something that was just a bit different to satisfy my gaming palette.
Toy Defense seemed like just my cup of tea. I enjoy a good tower defense game and was hoping to experience something that would hold my attention for more than a few levels. Well, I’m happy to say that Toy Defense came up all aces, delivering a powerful array of weaponry, strategy, and intense battle scenarios.
I think the name, however, may be a bit misleading. Yes, while I could see that if you really look at the tanks and soldiers, you could kind of tell they were toys, but it was definitely not what I expected.
My mind had already conjured up bright cartoonish graphics that shot wooden pellets or wielded plastic swords. What I found with Toy Defense, however, was a very different story. Greens, browns, and grays adorned a war table where your fierce battles were waged – colors more befitting an actual battlefield rather than a game with toys. Definitely more reminiscent of games like Risk, Stratego, and Battleship than Candyland.
Still, rather than be discouraged, I was elated. I loved those games when I was a kid. Ok… I might have waged a battle of Lord of the Rings Stratego with my husband just the other day… what can I say, I’m all nerd.
Toy Defense starts out by giving you your basic gunners. Before you begin, you place each “piece” in a strategic location. Then press play and the battle begins. As your gunners destroy the enemy, you collect money, which you can use to buy more artillery and keep placing your pieces on the board. Your pieces also gain experience points as the war wages on. Once they gain a certain amount of points, you will be able to upgrade them for a price, making them even more effective at blowing the bad guys to bits.
Each battle has a certain amount of waves in which you will face different kinds of enemy bad guys. Tanks, soldiers, planes — you name it, they throw it at you, and it can get pretty intense for a little bit as you watch them creep closer and closer to your home base.
But, that’s the beauty of this tower defense game… you can pause it. And, this doesn’t pause the whole battle. While the action is paused, you can change out pieces for more powerful ones, make repairs, and upgrade your weaponry. It’s kind of like a timeout so you can regroup and formulate a different plan of attack.
Yes, this might take some of the fun out of it for those of you who like the quick action of ferocious clicking, but for those of us who enjoy planning the strategy of the battle, this is perfect. And, let’s face it, my reflexes are just not what they used to be, so it wouldn’t be long before I was chucking the mouse out the window in frustration if quick reflexes is what Toy Defense required.
On the other hand, you can also speed up the action. So, if you’re confident in your strategy, you can watch it play out at lightning speeds. This really comes in handy in the beginning waves, as all you’re really trying to do is gather money in order to quickly increase the units in your army.
My one and only complaint about Toy Defense… and maybe I’ve become spoiled with all the tutorials that most games come equipped with these days… but, there are NO instructions. No hand holding whatsoever. It’s here’s your pieces, here’s your war… have at it! So needless to say, I struggled through the first few levels trying to figure out what I was doing. I almost gave up on it until I found myself finally understanding the intricacies on how to play the game.
Once I got the hang of it, I caught myself literally at the edge of my seat quickly placing gunners even though the game was paused. Overall, Toy Defense threw me for some loops, but in the end, the good definitely outweighed the bad. The only thing that would make this game even more intense… two players…