Atteeeen-shun! Right, you ‘orrible lot, the last in Microsoft’s Must Have Games selection is with us, and it’s a militaristic mini-game compendium called Toy Soldiers Boot Camp. Does it pass with flying colours, or do we have to give it a dishonourable discharge? Read our Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp review for Nokia Lumia 800 to find out.
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Real war may be hell, but simulated war is top fun. Ask any paintballer, movie goer or video gamer. It’s a peculiar obsession that usually starts in childhood, with epic battles taking place on your bedroom floor between action figures and assorted other toys/pets/kitchen utensils.
That’s the kind of war Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp seeks to replicate on your Nokia Lumia 800, with only limited success. You take control of a bunch of action figures through three mini-games culled from the full Toy Soldiers Xbox 360 game.
The first mini-game on the list is Cardboard Theater. Here you’re in command of miniature rocket launcher, with which you must take out a series of pop-up targets within a strict time limit. Some will pop up from the bottom of the screen and sit still while you aim and shoot, but others will fly on and off the screen without pausing, which leads to the interesting bit.
You aim your cannon by dragging on the screen with your right thumb, while a tap of the virtual button on the left will launch a rocket. Press and hold this button and you’ll be able to take control of the rocket, guiding it to those moving targets. You can also adjust the speed of these guided rockets by sliding the fire button up or down. It’s fun, in a limited way, with the main appeal coming from climbing the online leaderboard and meeting certain pre-set challenges.
Onto the next mini-game, Flyswatter. The premise here isn’t entirely dissimilar to Cardboard Theater, but this time you’re controlling an anti-aircraft machine gun emplacement. No fancy guidance necessary here, just spray and pray. Any hint of trickiness comes from the targets, which this time come in the form of successive swarms of house flies. Hit the tiny golden flies and you’ll snag a handy chain reaction, wiping out the surrounding insects. Ultimately, though, this one’s even more limited than the last one.
Finally we have the odd-one-out of the Toy Soldiers Package – Thread the Needle. Here you’re guiding a rocket down a tunnel, steering it between the gaps in a succession of spinning wheels. Along the way you can hit transparent stars to boost your score. It’s even shallower than the preceding two games, and its abstract tone is a little ill-fitting when you take the whole toy universe conceit into consideration.
We haven’t gone into too much detail on each mini-game – partly because we don’t want to bore you with a 1,000 word review, but mostly because there really isn’t much to write about. Toy Soldier: Boot Camp is a shallow game with little nuance or longevity. Leaderboard one-upmanship might bring you back a few times, but the games themselves won’t. They’re severely limited and really not all that much fun to play.
Maybe if the developer had included at least three times the number of mini-games we might have been able to give a cautious recommendation for Toy Soldiers as an effective time killer for the terminally bored, but with so many excellent alternatives on the Windows Phone Marketplace – many costing significantly less money than the £2.29 this costs – we really can’t. Toy Soldiers: Boot Camp – you are dismissed.