Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Game Review

Playing with toy soldiers may not be such a big thing with kids nowadays, but I certainly remember many a childhood afternoon consumed with the imaginative joy of miniature green and tan warfare. Those were the days when a sandbox could be a vast Sahara and a tumbled bedspread became a pitted mountainside—ripe for artillery placement, tank deployments and soldier formations pulled from the depths of a heaping cardboard box full of plastic possibilities.

Signal Studios' toy-centric strategy games are built on that very sense of toy-box charm and imagination. The original Toy Soldiers video game came out in 2010 as a downloadable arcade game for the Xbox 360. While placing toy-sized armaments on a scaled-down battlefield, players managed dining table and bedroom floor reenactments of actual World War I battles between the Allies and the Germans. Toy Soldiers: Cold War, also downloadable, focuses on imaginary conflicts between the U.S. and a 1980s-era Soviet powerhouse. And that means F-14s, helicopter gunships and nuclear strikes are added to the battling mix.

Through 11 missions that last 20 to 30 minutes each, the goal is simple: Keep the marauding enemy out of your toy box. Under the glare of overarching desk lamps or the shadow of a school book or two, the Soviets send in wave after wave of toy infantry, tanks, choppers, ATVs and MiGs. The dioramas and the attack formations are always different. And it's the player's responsibility to set up an opposing force and keep them at bay.

War Is … Polystyrene
The first order of business is the defensive gun placements. Predetermined locations come in two varieties: small build points that can accommodate machine guns, mortars, flamethrowers, antitank guns and the like; and large points where you can set up heavy artillery and antiaircraft guns. And that's where the strategy and battlefield management comes in.

You start off with only a limited amount of money to build with. So constructing a couple of machine gun nests to take out the swarming hoards of ground troops may very well tap out your initial bankroll. But once the tanks come rolling in, those machine guns are almost useless. So you'll be tempted to splurge on a big artillery gun—which means you're dead in the water when the bombers swarm overhead.

It's not an impossible situation, however. With a little mix-and-match experimentation you start to get the hang of what works best against which onslaught. And each destroyed enemy unit pays out a few defense-building dollars. So managing your bankroll, planning properly for the next wave and replacing or upgrading your defenses becomes the ongoing strategy. Players can also choose to personally man any of the armaments (which can make a big difference in the heat of battle) or jump into the driver's seat of a battery-powered tank or plane that might be waiting on your side of the battle line for short deployments.

On top of those constant demands for judicious marshalling, this Toy Soldiers sequel also offers a few new bonuses: If you manage to string together a combo of at least 40 manually aimed obliterations or take down an enemy with a red star icon above it, you gain access to a randomly selected "barrage" ability. These barrages are powerful but short-lived abilities you can hold at the ready, then use when you most need them. The special attacks range from a called-in bombing run, high-powered artillery fire and even a nuclear strike that can clear enemies in a hurry. One of the quirkier barrage possibilities is a Rambo-like doll who takes to the field with a bazooka over his shoulder, a machine gun in his hand and a cigar clenched firmly in his vinyl teeth.

A Mess-less Melee
That may sound deadly and gruesome on paper. But onscreen, the Toy Soldiers formula keeps things completely blood- and guts-free. Vehicles on the field or in the air simply turn red as they take damaging fire and eventually shatter into their plastic bits. Fired-upon troop formations stop charging, stiffen out like the plastic infantryman that they are, then fall over and disappear.

Beyond that, content-wise, it just a matter of enduring "I love the smell of plastic in the morning"-type dialogue.

Toy Soldiers: Cold War may not surpass my memories of those imaginative sandbox conflicts from days gone by (and it'll certainly never replace them), but it did make me grin as I thought my way through a few more plastic battles. And the picking-up afterwards was a whole lot easier. I always hated that part.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!