Toy Soldiers: War Chest

Game review by
Paul Semel, Common Sense Media
Toy Soldiers: War Chest Game Poster Image
Flawed strategic shooter with toys has tech, play issues.

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Stresses importance of planning ahead, maintaining your equipment.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Your heroes are willing to give their lives to save your base.

Ease of Play

It's both a simple strategy and an action game.

Violence

Though this is a shooter, all the enemies are toys, so there's no blood or gore.

Sex
Language
Consumerism

Besides playing with toys, includes characters from toy-inspired cartoons such as He-Man, G.I. Joe. Product placement with Energizer batteries.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Toy Soldiers: War Chest is a strategic action game where players have to stop enemy soldiers from invading the player's base. This is done by setting up turrets and other armaments that target incoming soldiers automatically and can be controlled manually. If a player defends his base well, he's briefly given control of a soldier, which turns the game into a third-person shooter. But, though there's a lot of gunplay, all the targets are toys, so there's no blood or gore. It also can be played against someone online, which opens up players to unmoderated communication. There's also, oddly, a reference to smoking in the game. The Hall of Fame edition, which adds such heroes as He-Man and Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe, also, strangely, includes a character from the M-rated game series Assassin's Creed.

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What's it about?

Much like the movie Toy Story, TOY SOLDIERS: WAR CHEST takes place in a world where toys come to life when humans aren't looking. Except that in Toy Story, characters Woody and Buzz never wage an all-out war for control of Andy's bedroom. In Toy Soldiers, you have to strategically set turrets, missile launchers, and other automatic guns to defend your base from plastic army men, tiny but tough teddy bears, and rainbow-haired unicorns. Do well enough, and you can call in one of your "heroes," which is code for a toy you can actually move around. Even cooler, the "heroes" in the game's Hall of Fame edition can be Duke or Cobra Commander from G.I. Joe, He-Man, or one of the guys from the Assassin's Creed series of games.

Is it any good?

Though it has some interesting ideas, this strategic shooter is far too simple when it comes to its action and strategy, and it has a bit of an identity crisis. As a strategy game, you're seriously limited as to where you can place your stationary guns, with only a handful of options as to what kind you can build, and you don't have much in the way of upgrades either. It also doesn't help that the enemies take the same path every single time, which is why this is hardly as deep or involved as, say, Plants Vs. Zombies. As for those moments when you get to be a "hero" and this becomes a third-person shooter, the game suffers from awkward controls that make it far less engaging than, say, Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. There also are a lot of technical problems that will frustrate gamers, such as how the game takes forever to load or how it's impossible to see the thin white cursor when fighting on certain battlefields. But the real issue is that the game is too childish for teens and too mature for kids. Though younger gamers would love to play a game where toys come to life, all the shooting makes it inappropriate for small kids and more so for teens, who likely won't want to play a game with toys. Which basically means this is for adults who'll maybe appreciate this ironically.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about planning ahead. Why is it important to think about what you're going to do before you do it? Would that have helped you in deciding where to place your first turret?

  • Talk about product placement and commercialization. Why do you think the batteries are all Energizer? Do you think it's because the Energizer people want you to buy batteries?

Game details

Themes & Topics

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