The 3DS eShop, as well as DSiWare before it, has had its fair share of tower defence titles. After all, it's a relatively simple kind of game to create. Toy Defence is the latest release in the sub-genre, and as you'd expect it's quite similar to the games it's taking after.
As you might glean from the title and screenshots, this particular tower defence game has a toy soldier theme. That's pretty much the only difference from other similar games, because in terms of gameplay it's pretty much by the book!
The game is divided into three chapters, each with 24 missions which you'll have to work through in order. After selecting a mission you'll be presented with a map featuring a long, twisty road leading to your army's headquarters. Alongside this road are a multitude of empty circles - by spending money, you can buy units which can then be placed on these spots.
After you've setup your initial defence you can begin the mission. Enemies will then start coming in via the roads, wave by wave, and slowly begin marching towards your base. As they draw nearer your units will automatically begin firing upon them, slowly depleting their life until they're defeated, which will reward you with some more coins, which can then be used to buy more units. And so the cycle continues, until all enemy units have been destroyed.
Naturally, some enemies will also fight back instead of mindlessly wandering onward, so you will eventually find your units being attacked as well - you can spend a small handful of coins to repair damaged units, but naturally this will eat into your resources for creating additional units. You'll also quickly be able to spend additional money on placed units to upgrade them, granting huge stat increases and making them that much more useful.
Once you've cleared a mission you'll be rewarded with stars, which can be used to upgrade your units and their abilities. Of course, you'll want to do this as much as possible, as the missions waste no time getting more and more difficult - units with default stats simply won't cut it for long.
Curiously, the game offers you the option of exchanging your 3DS Play Coins for more stars, making it one of very few eShop titles to make use of this feature. It's quite easy to get by without the extra boost, but if you want to avoid grinding for stars later on it could come in handy.
As you work your way through the missions you'll be introduced to more and more new unit types, both on your side as well as the enemy's. Each unit typically excels at fighting a specific enemy, so in each mission you'll have to carefully think about which units to create with the limited money you have, and react accordingly if a new unit enters the battlefield.
Toy Defence doesn't really try anything special, and it's a pretty standard tower defence game until the very end. There is a little replay value however, as not only does the game keep track of your performance on each mission (encouraging you to try again and improve your score), but there are also some achievements for meeting specific requirements while in a mission. Nothing super fancy, but at least there's something to keep you going.
There's not really much to write home about when it comes to the presentation. The music and graphics are both acceptable and get the job done, they're just not very memorable.
Toy Defence is, in simple terms, yet another tower defence game. It doesn't try anything fancy to reinvent the genre, it simply sticks to what has been proven to work and rolls with it. There's a decent amount of content here for the relatively low price, so if you're just itching for another tower defence game you can't really go wrong with this one - just don't expect anything mindblowing.