Toy Commander is exactly what you would imagine it to be. You portray a commander of, you guessed it, toys. Everything from racecars to jets fall under your jurisdiction. Before you're through with it, this mission-based game will have you shooting pencil missiles at submarines, taking out miniature SAM sites, flying through rings, and even pushing eggs into a pot of boiling water.
The game takes place inside one house, which, like most houses, is broken up into rooms. Each room has several missions inside it. The first level is the kitchen, where you'll go through a quick training and a few other missions, in which you'll pilot tanks, trucks, and planes. After completing some of the missions in the kitchen, you can move on to the bedroom, and so on and so forth. Each room has a boss, but you'll only be able to face the boss if you can achieve the best times on most of the missions in the level. Some of the times are easy to beat, while others will have you pulling your hair out in frustration. Likewise, some of the levels are easy to complete, but some are just crazy. Most of the time, the difficulty doesn't really come from enemies - simply completing the tasks given is difficult enough. This is mostly caused by the game's ultra-loose control, which prevents you from ever feeling totally in control of your toys. The toylike physics of the game don't exactly help, either, though it is a nice touch. Sometimes you'll find your truck simply sliding off the side of a countertop. The game also lets you drive trucks up walls and onto ceilings. Since we're assuming that there's an invisible boy hanging on to the truck while it's performing these seemingly impossible feats, they don't really seem out of place, and they bring a little more depth to some of the game's puzzles.
Multiplayer lets two to four players go up against each other or team up in any way they see fit. The game's three multiplayer modes are deathmatch, capture the flag, and cat and mouse. The first two modes are fairly self-explanatory. Cat and mouse rewards you if you don't get hit too often, as it counts up points to the person that landed the last hit. The problem with multiplayer is that the repair items refill your health entirely, so several minutes of dogfighting can be wiped away without anyone ever having scored a point. Your only true opportunity to score a clean kill is when your opponent is out of fuel, which causes him to putter along very slowly. As he's making a run for the refueling item, come up behind him and unload.
Toy Commander does a nice job in the graphics department. The various rooms are large, and none of the items in them seem too terribly out of scale. I'm especially a big fan of the cat, which meows if you shoot it then gets up and walks away. The game's sound is similarly well done, with plenty of explosions and nice-sounding machine-gun fire. Finally, the soundtrack rounds out the package with several unobtrusive tracks that fit the subject matter quite well.
The game has an extremely frustrating learning curve, since you must get used to the control while dealing with missions that require an extremely delicate touch. Also, the game seems to flip-flop between missions that are too easy and missions that are too difficult - there's never any true middle ground. The result is a fair game that will easily frustrate you in both its single-player and multiplayer modes. It should make for an excellent rental, but most players won't remain interested for more than three days.