Pixar's Toy Story films were brilliant at showing how kids could use a limited toolset - a ragtag bunch of toys - to construct a variety of thrilling scenarios, from western shoot-outs to epic sci-fi adventures.
Toy Rush attempts to apply the same thrilling toy logic to the tower defence genre, but the results betray a disappointing lack of that vital playtime ingredient: imagination.Kid's stuff
Toy Rush actually combines tower defence with tower offence, with the emphasis firmly on taking the fight to your opponent - whether AI or real.
Presented with a twisting path through various toy box defences - with bottle rockets and gum ball launchers replacing anti-air guns and artillery - you must lay down the correct order of invaders in order to burst past these defences and take out the base at the end.
Right from the start, this element feels somewhat restrictive and shallow. Your tactics are limited to shuffling the order in which your soldiers attack, with the ultimate successful tactic being to throw enough units at the problem.
Sure, certain units will work better against certain turrets, and the clever use of secondary units that boost fire or disable key defences adds a little to the mix, as does your powerful recharging super toy. But Toy Rush simply doesn't feel sufficiently tactically involving.Lucky shot
That becomes even more apparent when you consider the unit recruitment system, which is effectively a crude roll of the dice. You purchase packs of random cards, each containing a spread of units.
There are different tiers you can purchase within using the game's two currencies, but the precise make-up of your army is never really up to you. It means that you'll want to enter fights with a good stock of units, which in turn tends to encourage the reckless tank rush approach described above.
Defensive work is even more underwhelming. As well as spending cash on your offence, you also need to build up your own defences.
This feeds into the multiplayer element, where other players can be pitted against your own base in a bid to pinch some handy cards and experience points.
There's some joy to be had in constructing your base, but the mixture of rudimentary tower defence tactics (create a winding path with choke-points and crossfire opportunities) and the need to keep ploughing in the premium bottle cap currency robs it of much of its lasting appeal.
Toy Rush gives you a bright box full of colourful toys to play with, but robs you of the means to truly spread out and use your imagination.