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Insert Credit: “Toy Soldiers: Cold War”

Insert Credit: “Toy Soldiers: Cold War”  (photo)

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Insert Credit endeavors to suss out where you should be allotting your video game allowance, sifting out a single title from many and crowning it as The One Game You Need to Get This Week. Don’t consider these reviews, gentle reader. Rather, think of Insert Credit as a mix of hands-on time, informed opinion and intuition.

For the week of August 16, 2011, you should insert credit into: “Toy Soldiers: Cold War.”

War’s often absurd. Bizarre coincidences can result in saving a man’s life and equally outré twists of fate can make armies fall where victory was assured. A dark humor often reveals itself once history looks back at a battle’s bloodshed and time’s passing makes it easier to laugh with the soldiers who survived to live another day.

It helps if the soldiers are plastic.

“Toy Soldiers: Cold War” gets that. But, the game’s also funny because it gives you a spray can of pesticide to use on enemy troops, right alongside a true-to-life anti-aircraft gun. Yeah, its goofy take on tower defense owes much to the sweaty death throes of the Cold War. The last feverish shakes of the decades-long tension between the U.S.A. and the U.S.S.R. gave us pop culture gold like “First Blood,” the rest of Sylvester Stallone’s “Rambo” movies and the rebirth of “G.I. Joe” action figure brand.

“TS:CW” makes you an armchair general of an army of “Joe”-like action toys. You’ll use military weapons in a series of conflicts, where your success is contingent on careful planning and nimble battlefield response. You’ll get to deploy all manner of big guns–anti-tank missile batteries, machine gun turrets, mortars–in toy form against miniature waves of Soviet action figures and vehicles. Better yet, you get to take over those units and blast tanks and planes to smithereens yourself.

On top of that, extra-special action figures, vehicles and weapons can be used, too. Anyone under 30 will get a flash of déjà vu when the “Rambo”-like commando storms into the fray. His hoarse battlecries will remind you of Stallone during the 1980s and you’ll also flashback to just how powerful a hold the bazooka had on the teenage imagination in those years, too.

Since it’s a hybrid of tower-defense games and third-person action, you’ll never be able to win a battle on the strength of a Commando alone. Power-ups like the beefcake soldier are timed, for one. In addition, it’s the placement and resource management that will ultimately win the day. Reacting to the waves of soldiers and/or vehicles effectively lets you put the right weapons in the right places, or swap them out, if needed. Online multiplayer lets you pit your strategic skills against other humans, too.

Tongue firmly in cheek, “Toy Soldiers: Cold War” pays like a high-speed, up-close-and-personal game of “Risk.” And because the massacre’s only happening to molded plastic, you don’t need to feel bad about sending any mother’s sons off to die.

Does “Toy Soldiers: Cold War” sound like your kind of game? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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