Map Review of toysoldiers

by dunkelschwamm | September 11, 2022 | 5226 characters

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Toy Soldiers is an action walkthrough map wherein players take on the role of toy soldiers in a room which has been freshly conquered by enemy toy soldiers. We get the benefits of a rats map and the charm of playing as colorful plastic soldiers smashed together. How does it work?

Well, Toy Soldiers is one of the highest rated maps on Sven Co-op Map Database for good reason. The map is a perfect length, follows good practices of moving spawnpoints forward and keeping players stocked with quickly restocking ammo/HEV/health depots. The health and HEV wall generators seem to never run out. Pickups regenerate instantly. The balancing of the map doesn't even suffer for it- as a result of throwing tons of good equipment at the players at each new spawn area, the problem of leaving good weapons behind at previous checkpoints is alleviated a bit by having checkpoints which actually ensure the players are well equipped to move forward. Players skilled enough to have not died can carry a prized weapon like the crossbow forward with them.

One thing this map does extremely well is hold to a theme with its enemy variety while still keeping a genuine variety. Every battle is a situation approached completely uniquely, yet the only enemies are reskins of the human military enemies of Half-Life. There are mostly soldiers, a few hitmen, turrets, a tank, and an apache. There are, however, many variants of soldiers created through reskins and memorable placement and parameters- for example, grey soldiers with mostly shotguns in large crowds within open areas really characterized the wild west area, but the tan soldiers holed up in the barbie mansion (while being reskins of the same enemy) feel totally different and memorable for totally different reasons. A lot of this is how the enemies and their aesthetics are married to the environment that's painted around them in deceptively simple brushwork and theming, but also in how the specific qualities applied to these enemies interacts with the arenas they inhabit. There's a lot of gameplay cohesion, and it's the type of thing that when pulled off so masterfully makes one element of design hard to compliment without complimenting them all. I guess what I'm saying is that this map is composed of multiple action setpieces which marry every element of map design to create a rich and complex experience which really fulfills the potential of the concept.

Let's talk about variety of setpieces: this map includes sniper segments, an assault on a beachhead, a western shootout, a tank battle, a vertical descent from an attic down a ventilation shaft into a carboard fort in a bedroom, a massive assault on a Barbie mansion dollhouse, and a choo choo train. All of this is delivered with the charm of a rats map which constantly shows the scale of the massive otherwise-mundane room compared to the players. The scale of the map is constantly impressive for a Goldsrc map, and I think the deceptively simple brushwork is largely to thank for this. The map is created with a beautiful balance of evoking a massive environment and staying simple enough to compile without making that struggle apparent at any point. Really, overall, just everything you'd look for in AAA gamedev sensibilities, and it's just spoiling us to find these sensibilities in a free Sven Co-op map. I'm shocked to find that, looking around the map, it all makes general sense in a 3d space.

By the time you claim the flag at the end of the map, you'll be the hero of several tiny battles fought by several tiny soldiers. This feels like somebody went through the effort of creating an entire N64 Army Men game in a single map of Sven Co-op. If you're looking for a fun and charming action map to play with friends or to host on your server rotation, you cannot go wrong with Toy Soldiers.


  • Fantastic arsenal that quickly respawns to aide multiple players in staying equipped
  • Lots of variety between the many setpieces which make up this comprehensive map
  • Lots of subtle but memorable applications of military enemies which create some of the most fun fire fights in Sven Co-op
  • Incredible scenery creates a sensical 3d rats-like space of an attic, closet, and room while simultaneously conveying the unique environment facade of each battle
  • Good length and pacing
  • Very fun custom assets which create a very fun theme that I'm surprised hasn't been done more in Sven


  • The tank battle is reliant on an awkward brush entity type, which results in the battle itself being kind of awkward
  • First checkpoint radio seems to be broken???
  • Wish I could have kept the crossbow with me without staying alive and preserving my ammo.
  • Due to the open nature of the map I often found myself jumping around and getting areas I wasn't supposed to, which occasionally made navigation confusing especially when I find some clip masks and end up navigating invisible mazes to back back on track
Score: 9.4 / 10
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