The toys-to-life genre needs a shake-up. We’ve winnowed out Disney’s half-hearted effort, but that still leaves us with Lego Dimensions, Nintendo Amiibos, and Skylanders which are still burning through sets and revisions each year. What can you do if you’re a publisher of these gewgaw based videogames but keep cranking them out and hoping the fad lasts another year? Activision’s Skylanders Imaginators may have found the answer. Buying a toy to unlock new game content is so last year. Spend money to create your own toy to unlock new game content instead!
Kaos has discovered the ancient power of Mind Magic and is using it to create an unstoppable army of Doomlanders! Eon is calling upon all Portal Masters and Skylands’ greatest mystic warriors, the Senseis to stop Kaos and his minions. Now, you must use the power of your imagination to create your own Skylanders to battle in the ultimate adventure alongside the almighty Senseis to save Skylands.
Don’t feel bad if you don’t understand that. It’s just word salad. All you need to know is that Skylanders Imaginators allows you to create your own Skylander hero out of character creation options like voice, powers, body types, heads, costumes, etc., then teaching that figure a skillset via 31 “Sensei” heroes for $14.99 each and locking the newly created hero into a crystal for $9.99 each. Then, if you’re feeling particularly rich, you can spend another $49.99 and use a separate mobile app to have a real figure 3D printed and shipped to you. It’s like printing money, except you’re paying someone else. Skylanders Imaginators hits store shelves on October 16th.
Bear with me for a bit, because this is going to get ugly. I have some serious reservations about Skylanders: Swap Force. Serious enough that I think they belong at the beginning of any conversation about this game, or “game”, or business model for selling figures. In fact, my reservations have at times coalesced into loathing. But, like many important reservations, they aren’t the full story. And they’re far from the last word.
So, after the jump, let me tell you why you might want to steer clear of Skylanders. Continue reading →
Surely the Skylanders series has burnt up the creative momentum it accumulated when Toys for Bob started the series two years ago. This third iteration must be resting on its laurels, appealing to the age 6 and up captive audience by now. Right? Right?
After the jump, Skylander aficionado and parent Rob Harvey is on the case Continue reading →
While the review of Skylanders Swap Force is underway, let’s look at some of the early battle arenas, based on an evening’s play among adults and some adult beverages. These arenas might be more accurately described by their nickname: Skylanders’ horde mode.
After the jump, Skylanders has a horde mode? Continue reading →
(Contributor Rob Harvey visited Vicarious Visions to take a look at their upcoming Skylanders release, Swap Force. This is his report.)
Quarter to Three’s official Skylander trio of Mommy, Kiddo, and Rob sat awaiting our meal in the local Dairy Queen. Kiddo knew I had a secret. He had been bombarding me with breathless guesses for what my watch informed me was an hour, but what my ears insisted was longer than it takes for a planet to form.
Rob: “Guy, I have to take a trip for the next few days. I will be out of town–”
His smile evaporated and his head bowed as tears started to form. I knew I had seconds to act before SWAT styled troopers with “CPS” velcro identifiers on their backs repelled down from the ceiling to confiscate the ice cream and declare me unfit for parenting. Probably in that order. Those Blizzard’s are tasty.
Rob: “But Kiddo, Activision has asked if I want to fly out to New York to see Skylanders Swap Force.”
Tears froze pre-formed and his head snapped up with eyes so large you would think Santa Claus was sitting in the booth behind me. Then, he started to vibrate. Not jump or wiggle, but vibrate, as if the molecular bonds of his excited seven-year-old body were doing what normally required miles of atom smashers.
Kiddo: “Skky-yyy-lannd-der-der-sss SSuss-saah-wapp-force!?!?!?” Some other incoherent and excited syllables continued to shake out of the vibrating testament of how advertising still works.
But, after the jump, how will Skylanders Swap Force look to the molecularly stable adult? Continue reading →
Skylanders: Swap Force is out in two weeks and I just got back from a press event at developer Vicarious Visions’ studio. Here are a few key things that you might want to know.
After the jump, Skylanders cut in half? Continue reading →