The new Skylanders: Spyro's Adventures game was released on Tuesday, and
frankly, it's awesome. Kids are going to love it, but I've got news for parents: you're going to enjoy it too.
It is a toy-based RPG - a very engaging videogame that uses plastic figures from outside the game as characters. Unlike any other game before, in Skylanders, the figures
aren't tie-ins; they are the key to playing and sharing the virtual world. When placed on the portal, a figure enters the game as a playable character. And better yet - you can take them with you to another
console, even if it's on a different platform! So your Skylander, with it's earned stats and upgrades, is stored on the figure and can be used on a friend's portal to play together or against one another without starting your character over.
The storyline works seamlessly with the figures and portals. You are a "Portal Master" who summons and controls various Skylanders. The portal itself is a plastic accessory that comes with the game. With it, you can control up to 32 characters, each of which has a unique look and special abilities. Spyro himself is a fire-breathing dragon, but each different figure/character has it's own abilities, strengths and weaknesses. Once your Skylander is on the portal, it enters the game
under your control. You are, of course, a hero. You'll quest and fight to save the world from an evil Portal Master named Kaos. Ultimately, you'll have to defeat him.
Gameplay is much like a traditional platform with tasks, puzzles and battles that lead to achievements, currency and experience. It is hard to do justice to the experience of entering the Skylanders world, too. It's yet another seamless integration of the physical figures, the
portal and the online world. The screen shimmers until you place a figure, which is quickly summoned into the game world and the portal's glow changes to reflect the elemental power of your current Skylander. During gameplay, you can switch characters on the portal quickly or add a
second character for a friend at any time.
The figures themselves are not just a novelty. They look fantastic: highly detailed and posed for action on a wide base. The brilliant paintjobs and energetic poses are great for display when not playing. And of course, they are actually storage devices for all of your in-game characters stats and upgrades. You can finish the game with just the 3 characters in your starter set, but it will be more challenging. Different areas are best tackled by Skylanders of different elemental alignments, so you'll be tempted to expand your arsenal of figures. There are 32 Skylanders figures in all, sold individually and in 3-packs.
All in all, for kids, the originality and engaging play will keep them enthralled for hours. And adults? Well you might find the Skyandersis an enjoyable way to relax on your own! Don't be fooled by the toys...this is a well-made, slick and engaging videogame!
Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure can be played on Mac, Microsoft Windows, Ninetendo 3Ds, PlayStation, Xbox 360, Wii, iPhone, iPad and Web.
PS: I wanted to give a little shout to my friends from IGN: wwetestdubshadow, thanks for asking a question. gameplayer1000, the avatar works :)