Toy Defense Free is a tower defense Windows Phone game set during World War I where you have to protect your base camp from wave upon wave of enemy attacks.
The Windows Phone game has over seventy missions to tackle and four historical weapons that are upgradeable. Available for low-memory Windows Phones, Toy Defense Free can get a little intense with the pace of game play and an easy game to lose track of time with.
The main menu for Toy Defense has a clean appearance with options to access the game's settings, play the mission based game, jump into weekly online tournament, view your gaming achievements and share the game.
Game settings includes options to adjust the music/sound effects levels, log into your Twitter or Facebook accounts, contact support, view the credits and restart your gaming progress. Twitter and Facebook account permission will let you share your scores and participate in the online tournaments.
The seventy plus missions are spread across four theaters of war that includes a variety of winter, beach, desert and countryside environments. Levels are progressively unlocked but all four theaters of war are available from the get go.
Game play involves four defensive units that include:
- Flame Thrower
Each can be upgraded during game play and additional upgrades can be purchased using game stars (earned during game play) from the Upgrade Shop. The Upgrade Shop is accessible from the mission menu or when the game is paused.
Toy Defense's game screen will display your cash count and gaming lives in the upper left corner. In the top center is your attack wave count and the type of enemy involved in the current attack. In the upper right corner, you will find options to buy game cash with your lives, access the game's settings, fast-forward game play and a pause/play button.
Along the right side of the screen, you will find four feature buttons that will give you access to bonus items that include:
- Repairmen to automatically repair damaged towers
- Resurrection to revive destroyed towers
- Squashing to allow you to join in the action and squash enemies by tapping on them
- Protective barrage to defend your base with a blast wave
These bonus items can be purchased in the Upgrade Shop.
The defensive towers are available from the bottom right corner of the gaming screen. Each unit will cost a few bucks to put into play and with each mission, you begin game play with enough cash to get things started. As you destroy enemy units, you will earn a little cash to help you buy more defensive units, upgrade existing units or repair damaged units.
Units are placed in the typical tower defense game style with one exception. Just tap/hold on a unit type and drag it on to the battlefield. Where most tower defense games allow you a lot of discretion on the placement of your units, Tower Defense is a little more restrictive. You can only place the units on the shaded circles that populate the roadways/paths the enemy will take. At first, I wasn't thrilled with this restriction but it does add to the challenge of game play.
Game play can get rather intense and you will balance placing new units into play, upgrading existing units and repairing damaged units (just tap/hold on the unit for options). Unit placement varies and you'll need to remember to have a few units closer to your base camp to take care of any stragglers that survive the initial gauntlet.
Oh, you will not need to worry with the Anti-Aircraft guns until the third or fourth mission of each theater of war. You will see a plane icon appear on the wave count to give you fair warning.
At the end of each mission you will see your scoring summary that can be shared and earn gaming stars that can be used in the Upgrade Store.
One feature of tower defense games that I have never liked is at the end of each level you build up a hefty cash count or an inventory of some nice defense weapons only to lose it all when you transition to the next level. While this holds true with Toy Defense to some degree, the game does have one feature to help take a little sting out of losing all that money and weapons as you begin the next mission.
At the end of each mission you can save three units that will carry over to the next mission (you can buy a fourth slot with gaming stars). These units will be available during the next mission at half the cost and if they have been upgraded, the upgrades remain in place. It isn't perfect, but being able to carry over some units will help give you a fighting chance as the missions become more difficult.
Tower defense games aren't for everyone. Game time can be drawn out and for the most part you sit there and watch the game play out without much interaction. While it is easy to lose track of time with Toy Defense Free, the game has plenty of opportunities for interaction and pulls you into game play a little more than the typical tower defense game.
I am a little concerned that the cost of defensive units and money earned for each destroyed enemy unit isn't well balanced. Earning one dollar for every enemy killed will take you a while to earn to cover the twenty-dollar cost of an infantry unit. However, the attack waves are well populated, which makes up for the earning/cost imbalance.
Another nice aspect of Toy Defense Free is the amount of lives you are afforded (100). Your score is based on how many lives you have remaining at the end of a mission but you don't need to panic if a few enemy troops survive and reach the base camp. I don't know if I would risk using lives to build up the cash balance though.
All in all, Toy Defense Free is one of the more enjoyable tower defense games available in the Windows Phone Store. I liked the variety of scenery and the pace of the game. It is a fun time waster and at last check, Toy Defense is pulling down a 5 star rating in the Windows Phone Store, which we won't disagree with.
Let us know what you think of Toy Defense Free in the comments below and remember to rate the game in the Windows Phone Store. It is an easy way to send a little feedback to the developer.