This strategy / action hybrid has gotten only a mild facelift but its unique and approachable play remains intact
While I never got to partake in the Toy Soldiers experience back on XBox Live it’s one of those titles I often heard people raving about. So when it suddenly showed up on the Switch a few months ago (it has only just been formally released due to apparently serious online multiplayer issues… which I’m uncertain have been addressed) I was excited to finally get a look at the experience. I can honestly say that even with all of the strategy games I’ve played over the years I’ve never seen anything that blends elements together quite like this. There’s absolutely a tower defense-esque element to it, where you’ll need to consider which defenses to place where as you try to deal with a variety of enemy units looking to overwhelm what you’ve set up to break through and get to their objectives. That part works well enough, but isn’t anything terribly revolutionary or surprising either. Where it really kicks in with its own compelling flavor is with your ability to take over control of one of your given units, whether that involves looking to mow down enemy troops with a machine gun, blow them up with a mortar, or through a number of other choices at your disposal. This element feels fresh and pretty fun and, best of all, gives you a degree of freedom to enjoy the game however you may like, whether staying purely strategic, always putting yourself in the center of action, or moving around stations as circumstances may demand. I tried to check out the online multiplayer to see what state it’s in (since I didn’t get a follow-up saying it was ready for review, instead just saw it was finally put on the eShop) but had no luck connecting to a Quick Match after waiting several minutes during what I’d think would be pretty prime playing time. So unless you see something explicitly otherwise I’d assume the multiplayer is still either DOA or only marginal (numbers are rarely in smaller releases favors in terms of long-term availability of competition) and stick with the strengths of its unique single-player (or local multiplayer) experience, which has charm but certainly looks its age even with the HD upscaling in spots.
Justin Nation, Score: