I woke up this morning super excited and headed over to Toys R Us. I was mentally preparing myself for lines wrapped around the building and was ready to knock over obnoxious 9-year-olds and stroller pushing mothers that stood in the way of me and my new obsession. When I got there, I was shocked to see no lines (were they already inside?!) and no small children. The second they opened the doors I ran inside and there it was in all its glory… Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure! What is it? Skylanders is a product that combines my love of toys and my love of video games.
The main concept of the game is to collect various figures and through the use of a portal devise, transport them into your video game. Not only can you play with these characters in the game, but when you remove the figure, it keeps track of all of the character’s information. And if you want to go play at a friends house (even if they have it for a different video game system), it’s as simple as taking your figures along with you, and placing them on your friend’s portal. From there, you can play cooperatively or battle head to head. Man, this is the kind of stuff I wish we had when I was a kid!
I got home with the Xbox 360 starter pack, along with a few additional characters and adventure packs, and dove right in. I hit the starter pack first, which included the game, the portal of power, and three figures. The first thing I noticed was the great quality and detail of the figures. After that, I tore into my additional characters and adventure packs, which provide additional game locations and specialty items. (I got a pirate location and a spooky crypt adventure pack). After fawning over the figures, i popped the game in and started it up. The game prompted me to summon one of my Skylanders. I picked an awesome looking tree man named “Stump Smash”, and placed him reverently on the portal, and was amazed as he was instantly summoned into my game. I was having a blast. It kind of plays like a Gauntlet style action RPG. Your character has two different attacks. I moved my little tree man around and as I approached a small stream of water that i couldn’t cross, I wondered if I had someone else who I might be able to use in this situation. So I removed my figure from the portal and replaced it with a small spear gun wielding fish man by the name of Gill Grunt. My tree man was de-summoned and in his place appeared my new Skylander. I walked him towards the water and, to my delight, he swam across.
I played on for a bit, discovering many secrets, some that could only be accessed by characters of certain elements, along with discovering various treasures like hats that boost your stats and additional abilities for different characters. The graphics are really great. The story and characters are quite charming. I’m looking forward to exploring it further and collecting more figures to bring into my adventure.
It may not be the kind of game for everybody, but to those that have young kids, or who are still young at heart, you’ll find a lot of fun and magic in Skylanders.
Note: Skylanders is available for PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, and 3DS.