Toys Vs Nightmares: It’s A Bit Like PvZ

If you can't have a Wall-Nut in a game, a man made of LEGO is the next best thing.

More than a bit in fact. Quite a lot, but “Quite a lot” wouldn’t fit in the headline. So here’s the deal with Toys Vs Nightmares: It’s mechanically heavily inspired by Popcap’s wonderful gardening tower defence, Plants Vs Zombies, but instead of using flowers and vegetables to fight off hordes of the undead, you command an army of children’s toys against all sorts of nightmarish monsters. It doesn’t quite match the level of polish that you get from Popcap’s games, but the art is really nice, and it’s certainly got better presentation than most free webgames. There’s even a simple game to play whilst the main game is loading: I’m only sorry I couldn’t include a game for you to play whilst reading this post.

The difficulty seems to be a bit steeper than PvZ, perhaps it’s designed with veterans of the games that inspired it in mind. Play it on NewGrounds here.


  1. Eynonz says:

    Ahhhhhh clicking the books is giving me major RSI.

    • portchd says:

      did anyone else read PvZ as Protoss Vs Zerg?

    • Nallen says:

      Sure did Portchd.

    • vitalyb says:

      That was creepy!

    • Wulf says:

      That joke is getting a bit long in the tooth since it’s popped up like, what, three times today? It’s sort of like a comedian on a stage, repeating a joke over and over, followed by “Eh? EH?!” and hoping someone will laugh.

      There’s a cough.

      Then an awkward silence.

    • MD says:

      Thanks, humour police. :<

      (In this case I don't think it was even a joke, just an observation.)

  2. Eclipse says:

    I know the team who developed the game, too bad they’re all huge assholes without any sense of moral and never paid us our last job.
    They’re good at copycatting other games tho.

    • Lohoris says:

      I know you.

      You neglected doing the job you had already been paid for, and I had to work 28 hours in a single weekend to do that myself.

      Thanks very much.

    • Ridnarhtim says:

      You! You’re the guy who absolutely had to do everything himself, even though I offered to help five times, and you didn’t even thank me for the coffee I brought you out of boredom.

    • John Walker says:

      Boys – take your stinky laundry elsewhere.

    • terry says:

      I see you there Walker, you didn’t do the thing when you said you’d do the thing and then Dexter had to do it :(

    • Berzee says:

      Terry! Long time no see. NOT LONG ENOUGH. Don’t think I forgot about things so easily. I would have been an Assistant Vice Manager if it wasn’t for your devious machinations. I also distinctly remember you eating my birthday cake, and my name isn’t even Terry so I really don’t see how there could be a confusion.

    • Berzee says:

      “28 hours in a single weekend”

      Mathematically unlikely.

    • Sarkhan Lol says:

      Ah, Berzee. *steeples fingers* Such a delight. It’s been some years since our last meeting, when you SHATTERED the Oblivion Stone, rupturing my carefully-woven spells at the precise moment of the Thirteenth Black Conjunction, sending me PLUMMETING from the precipice of Mount Dread and into the SEARING FIRES OF THE RIVER OF PERPETUAL LACERATION.

      You probably weren’t expecting to see me again.

    • Ian says:

      *swivels around in chair*

      So, we meet again Mr Bond.

    • pipman3000 says:

      What a shame.

    • Teddy Leach says:


    • mbp says:

      This comment and the response to it intrigue me even more than the game. Are we getting a rare glimpse into the murky underworld passions of indie game development or is the whole thing a teaser for some alternate reality game leading smarter folks than I to unlock via a tortuous series of deductions DLC for T v N?

    • Eclipse says:

      This is too hilarious :) RPS commenters are the best kind of commenters around.
      @Lohoris I hope you don’t get buttraped like a lot of guys before you, but in the end you probably will or you’re already working way below the minimum wage.

      About small software houses: don’t call them indie, because a lot of them have a sort of corporate bullshit mentality on par to the big ones. “indie” means your whole team is creatively free of constraint and not doing it for the money

    • TsunamiWombat says:

      SO, WE FINALLY MEET AGAIN FOR THE FIRST AND LAST TIME. Don’t think i’ve forgotten what you did to my Dragon, and Bill from HR! You know the company had to pay for that! How did you even FIT a chair in there?

      Anyway, i’m going to travel to the future and murder all your children now so I can become Supreme Emperor, Ta Ta.

    • Shodex says:

      Wombat, I know you. You’re that plumber, the one that climbed up all my ladders and scaffolding to take my girlfriend! Do you have any idea how many barrels you cost me?

    • vitalyb says:

      Uh… The cake… Is not enough.. The ratio of commenters to cake is too high… I don’t think that…

    • Unaco says:

      Shodex… You have six fingers letters in your name?

      Hello. My name is Unacosamedarisa. You killed my father. Prepare to die.

    • deanimate says:

      meow meow meow :)

  3. arioch says:

    Starcraft has ruined me… I saw PvZ and immediately thought you were writing about Protoss vs Zerg…

  4. terry says:

    This looks super uninspired.

    • Ridnarhtim says:

      It’s nothing compared to my upcoming game, Furniture Vs Spiders. It’s like a tower defense game, where different types of spider approach from the right, and you have to use your chairs, tables, cupboards, bookshelves etc. to stop them from reaching your bedroom.

  5. Lohoris says:

    Whoa, I really didn’t expect to end up on RPS!
    Thank you!

    @Eynonz: yeah, many users complained about that — many others liked that though. We’ll consider what to do about that in the next game or porting.

  6. Craig Stern says:

    RPS is better than this.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      Better than what, exactly?

    • Sarkhan Lol says:

      Better than this terrible game.

      I mean I haven’t actually played it, I’m just defaulting to negative because I’m an edgy loner who plays by his own rules.

    • Berzee says:

      @Sarkhan: +5 respect, and a plaque that reads “Edgiest Loner of the month.”

    • Ian says:

      I’ll bet Sarkhan is/has been partnered with somebody who is just THREE DAYS AWAY FROM RETIREMENT.

    • Craig Stern says:

      RPS has so much good writing and analysis, and exposes so many interesting games, that I just personally find it a little disappointing to see articles that essentially consist of “this game is a clone of another game we liked.” I’m sure they must get enough emails from developers who are trying to do something legitimately new that they don’t need to resort to this. That’s all I’m saying.

    • Eclipse says:

      agreed, btw Craig, am I wrong or I saw you started doing another turn based strategy game? How is that shaping up?

    • Craig Stern says:

      Hi eclipse! Yes, that’s true. I don’t want to hijack the comments thread (that would be rude of me), but if you’re curious, there’s a thread about that game here: link to

    • Unaco says:


      Of course RPS get loads of emails from people. Unfortunately they’re all about that persons new Iphone game, or videos of animals recreating Golden-era Nintendo soundtracks and theme tunes.

  7. Mobyduck says:

    Apparently, plagiarism is O.K. as long as people like the game?

    • Sarkhan Lol says:

      There is actually a considerable amount of precedent in gaming for exactly this, but I don’t at all disagree with where you’re coming from.

  8. JFS says:

    Wasn’t Popcap bought by EA? I’m sure one or two lawyers over there are already feeling bored, now that Slitherine gave in and changed Battlefield Academy’s name.

  9. Gundrea says:

    You can’t patent gameplay. For this to be infringement it’d have to be copying either code or assets. It’s clearly doing neither.

    • JFS says:

      Names. You forgot names and words. After all, it uses the word “versus” in its title!

  10. Teddy Leach says:

    That linked to shoes. I AM DISAPPOINTED, SPAMBOT.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    YOU! I remember you. You’re the one who ate the last chocolate hobnob when you were supposed to be working! I had to write an arena shooter in Pascal from scratch in three hours just to cover your damn ass.

    EDIT: Gah, Teddy beat me to it.

  12. wiper says:

    It’s funny, seeing that screenshot reminded me of a game I’d completely forgotten back, from back in…

    *does a quick search*

    …1996. Gearheads, a two-player wind-up-toy strategy game. Sort of a more dynamic tower defence game, in that it was a game about dealing with enemies walking along pre-determined routes, only you were countering them with the same type of units, working out where they’d intersect based on their own patterns, and working out what units could effectively counter others. It actually worked really well, a charming little game. I wonder if it plays well with modern PCs?

    • Eclipse says:

      I’ve played Gearheads a lot :) what a fun game it was. I think it was a windows 95 game, so no luck with dosbox. But you can always try to run it in windows 95 compatibility mode

    • lasikbear says:

      I remember Gearheads, if I recall you got to choose a set of toys from the full line up so there was some additional strategy in selecting a proper team composition. Played it a lot with my brother, but I don’t think we were very strategic about it.

  13. Freud says:

    Weird that the concept of plants vs zombies always seemed so natural to me while toys vs nightmares comes across as very odd.

  14. RogB says:

    i have NEVER understood why people with the capability to make an actual game would choose to take someone elses work and lazily rebrand it. Utterly baffling. why not actually create something useful yourself?

    • Maldomel says:

      It is not because they have the tech and knowledge to make a game that they also get what it takes to create something original. That’s why we get so much remakes, reboots, and gameplay-copying game all the time. Sadly.

    • Eclipse says:

      well, it’s because their team suck basically. And when a software house clone someone else idea it’s just because they want to do some quick bucks, and they think the faster way is to copycat something successful

  15. Zogtee says:

    I honestly don’t think shit like this deserves to be on RPS.

    I am disappoint.

  16. princec says:

    It’s like covers in music. But just like covers they tend to be a bit lame unless you brand them in your own style or identity, give them a twist, use an entirely inappropriate musical genre, etc. I bet it’s pretty good and slick but also I can’t quite see the point of why, when I’ve got PvZ.