Signal Studios’ Toy Soldiers games earned top-seller status on Xbox Live and later on PC. Because Microsoft published them, PlayStation fans never got the chance to experience this unique blend of third-person action and tower defense. But after Microsoft allowed Signal to buy the rights to the franchise, the door has opened for Toy Soldiers to appear on a PlayStation console for the first time.


Previous entries focused on World War I and a G.I. Joe-tinged U.S.versus Soviet campaign respectively. At launch, Toy Soldiers: War Chest includes four unique armies, each with their own campaign. The first two shown include returning hero Kaiser Wilhelm’s WWI-style army and the all new Lisa Frank meets My Little-Pony Star Power forces.

Our first demo features Kaiser’s army defending a village surrounded by pine trees and a river, which is all a miniature diorama inside a sophisticated study. Early waves from the Star Power forces include colorful pixies and teddy bears. We placed anti-infan-try turrets in a cemetery to thin their ranks. The player demoing the game took control of one of them to shoot the horde and earn bonus money and action points.

After scoring some resources, you can upgrade range, damage, and health of current units (which will be visually represented for the first time in the series). As new units approach, we invest in alternate weapons. Armored unicorns are weak to arc shots, flying Pegasus units and fairies fall to the flak cannon, and powerful rolling cat piggy banks go down much easier with the help of a drivable tank. The final boss wave is led by a flying cloud castle that drops paint bombs and spawns smaller floating rainbow castles.

The other map on display is a sunny back yard sandbox populated with giant flowers and mushrooms. This Star Power base is defended by bubble guns (the ammo pops on the ground for splash damage), a toy snail slingshot that launches golf balls, and a concentrated sunbeam constructed of several mirrors and a magnifying glass. Eventually, you can summon a Pegasus and soar over the landscape, attacking the forces below. As opposed to controllable hero Kaiser, who wields a traditional machine gun, rifle, and grenades, the spritely Starbright leaves a trail of sparkly destruction in her wake using a glitter hand cannon, heart grenades, and a devastating cupcake wand.

The two armies announced so far couldn’t be more different in both looks and play style. We’re hoping the other two bring just as much variety when War Chest launches next year.  »