There are a number of strategy games that have been released in the last decade or so, spanning mobile, PC, and console games. Many of these games attempt to offer players the freedom to control their units and customize placements, but few fully allow for the ability to create formations with ease, allowing you to send a whole designed offensive at once.
Toy Tactics seems like it’s aiming to be a friendly approach to the strategy genre while still being complicated enough to challenge players. It’s not a walk in the park by any means, but it’s also really easy to learn the basics of the game thanks to the simple drawing system. It’s one of the main draws to the game, allowing near-limitless creativity for players.
While it’s not the most advanced tactical strategy game ever, there’s a lot of fun for players of arcade-style games. Toy Tactics doesn’t try to do anything other than be a fun game that gives players the freedom to strategize how they please.
A background narrative that’s not all that important
It should be said that any narrative or story in Toy Tactics is minimal, with the main focus being the way the levels and enemies are set up. Throughout the first few hours of the game, players will spend most of the time learning about new units in one of the factions, with other factions being usable later in the game. Each group offers different champions and characters with special attacks.
Much of the game will see the player trodding through a very nicely designed overworld map, hopping from location to location to fight against a new wave of enemies. It’s pretty repetitive when you take it all in one go, so it might be wise to approach the game a few levels at a time, especially as you get further on the first island and the difficulty ramps up.
The different groups of enemies are fairly unique and it’s fun to scroll through them and try out different combinations inside the game’s Sandbox mode. This allows you to build a strong defense of multiple enemy and faction types against a force of enemies you design. You can test the strengths and weaknesses of different units in the game.
As stated above, the world the game takes place in is pretty weak overall from a narrative perspective, with very little of the information being memorable. The toys also being some kind of afterlife for spirits fighting undead could be an interesting concept, it just doesn’t seem like the team at Kraken Empire was as focused on building a world as they were creating interesting levels with awesome units.
Strategy mechanics that are so easy, it’s deceptive
The real highlight of Toy Tactics is the drawing mechanic mentioned previously, with a single brush giving the player so much freedom in how to tackle a battle. In the game, players will design unit formations and spell landing spots by drawing them on the battlefield, something that is so easy that you don’t realize how difficult the game is until it smacks you in the face several levels in.
It’s a lot of fun to try out different formations against the same enemy position, as you learn a little bit more about your units and their effectiveness each time. If a certain number of your melee unit can be used to take out a handful of ranged characters for instance, there’s no reason to send a larger group and lose more men than you need to.
Drawing a full army’s formation and sending them charging into a fortress is a lot of fun, but it doesn’t make for the best strategy. The game provides you with a lot of tools, you just have to be aware of how to use them. Some of the spells can hurt your team, and you have to figure this out on your own, learning next time not to fire so close to your allies.
The wide range of spells that the player can use is awesome and provides options for the different objectives that players will take on. There’s a wall for defensive objectives and exploding flaming vases for any group of enemies that you can funnel into one location. While the options aren’t limitless, players are sure to find plenty of tools to take on the never-ending waves of enemies.
The Final Word
Toy Tactics is a pretty fun arcade strategy game that does what it needs to do well without much fancy dressing. The creativity in designing formations and freedom are the best parts of the game and there’s plenty in there to enjoy. While it can get repetitive the longer you play, the challenges in Toy Tactics are likely to be something that resonates with a lot of longtime strategy players.
Try Hard Guides was provided with a PC review copy of this game. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website! Toy Tactics is coming soon to Steam.