Toy Soldiers HD – Switch Review

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Released on Nintendo Switch NYE ’22, Toy Soldiers HD is an overhaul of the easily recognisable 2010 tower defense game by Signal Studios. Published by Accelerate Games, Toy Soldiers HD supports handheld, tabletop and TV mode.

Toy Soldiers HD – Construct your Defences Carefully

I was a big fan of Toy Soldiers: War Chest back in the Xbox 360 days however I haven’t had the pleasure of playing an HD version of Toy Soldiers so far or on the Nintendo Switch. Let’s get the band playing and move onto the battlefield!

image showing soldiers mounted around a machine gun.
The toy models can be inspected in close detail


There is something quite nostalgic when it comes to the Toy Soldiers franchise. Admittedly I have been so busy that there have been some old classics that I have simply forgotten to go back to.  As Toy Soldiers HD loads you are greeted by a haunting male voice accompanied by a piano singing “There’s a candle burning bright” playing through what sounds like an old radio. The menu that pops up is a simple one that gives you the option to start a single-player campaign, a multiplayer game either split-screen or online while there is also a help/settings section to guide you accordingly.

Selecting the campaign, set in the first world war, there are a number of difficulties to choose from, depending on how tactical you think you really are.

image showing a defence being constructed within a muddy warfield.
Deploying while I have time!

With the toy battlefield setup on a large table, the premise of Toy Soldiers HD is a simple one. Defend your toybox from the relentless waves of the enemy! Deploying your defensive structures such as machine guns, mortars and howitzers onto pre-allocated construction pads within your side of the region, you must think on your feet when choosing where to build. Each structure has its own pros and cons depending on who the enemy is. While watching over the battle is fun, the gameplay mechanic that has always been fun is to take over a station and start to manually fire at the enemy. With bonuses to be had for scoring kill combos that lead to the ability to unleash some devastating attacks, Toy Soldiers HD lets you get right into the thick of the action if you so desire. I particularly enjoyed trying to use the sniper tower!

image showing the view through a sniper gun at a toy soldier
Sniping is somewhat interesting!

With the enemy constantly hitting you with a mixture of troops, cavalry, armoured vehicles and planes, you must watch the health bars of the structures so that you can quickly carry out any on-the-fly repairs. With money earnt through the annihilation of your foes, you can decide if you wish to spend the money on new structures, upgrades or as mentioned, much-needed repairs.

image showing 2 gun turrets that have been unlocked at the end of a mission
As you advance through the campaign you unlock further defense stations to utilise.

While Toy Soldiers HD is challenging in a fun way, there were times when the controls did not feel too great. With clunkiness when moving the camera and operating items such as machine gun turrets to vision issues due to where the camera is on the ground, it is hard to exactly remember if this was how the original played. Although I eventually could win, there were times when I just seemed to be too slow being able to move or control placements.

image showing an enemy riding a horse towards a toybox, causing my health bar to decrease.
No! Don’t you dare get to my toy box!

Graphics & Audio

Toy Soldiers HD has had a graphics upgrade that makes the models and battlefield look fairly sharp however everything just looks so small on the screen, even on TV mode. I get that they are toys however should you attempt to play split-screen, everything, of course, gets even harder to see. Away from the battlefield the images such as static screens, unlocks and viewing the toy models work well. As previously mentioned, the camera did not seem to flow very well and line of sight sometimes gave you issues. For example, in the sniper screenshot, the enemy soldier is actually on a lower-lying piece of land, with the lower half of their body hidden from view by the mound. The graphics blend into one and end up looking a bit messy.

The war-time fanfare soundtrack is composed by Stan LePard, who has featured on games such as Crimson Skies and Hidden Agenda. There is a mixture of brass numbers as well as sea shanties that fits brilliantly with the genre.

When it comes to the sound effects the cries of the next wave running towards you become a constant reminder to man those placements. With any luck, they will be met by a familiar rat-a-tat-tat from your machine guns along with some booms as you rain down shells and mortars from above. All is clear if not slightly repetitive at times.

image showing a victory screen featuring a union jack and jubliant soldier along with the match stats
A jubliant win!


Toy Soldiers HD has 18 levels to play through via the campaign, along with 6 more from the included DLC. With the ability to challenge a friend online then the game does have some replayability. That said, this is a tower defence game and for me there is only so long I can play before it starts to feel a bit grindy. With the single-player campaign levels taking around 10 minutes, Toy Soldiers HD is one to pick up and put down in bursts.

Final Thoughts

Toy Soldiers HD gives players that nostalgic tower defense genre another run on modern devices, which is fantastic for those that crave a bit of the past. It is certainly not an easy game to play and lends a bit of challenge to the old grey matter, however, you know that feeling when you go back to an old game that you have fond memories of and it just doesn’t seem like all that anymore? I don’t know if it is an age thing or not but something just feels tired.

Toy Soldiers HD receives a Thumb Culture Silver Award.

Thumb Culture Silver Award

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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