I’m not sure any family of 5-10 year olds has managed to avoid the phenomena that is Skylanders. Three years ago, Activision brought merchandising to life by creating a game with real action figures that you could pop on a portal and see them appear as playable characters on the screen. The technology to parents is simply magic, to kids it is just the way it is and now simply expected as the norm.
We have had further iterations form the original Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure: Skylanders Giants and also Skylanders Swap Force developed the characters further. Swap Force let you swap the tops and bottoms to create some great variations of the little critters for use in the game.
Activision created a way of turning a £40 game purchase into an ongoing investment in game play characters. Disney quickly followed suit with their Infinity game, using characters from their films but Activision invented the genre and look set to continue the innovation this year.
So what next? Well Activision has announced that in October 2014, Skylanders Trap Team™ will reverse the magic of bringing toys to life by letting players capture villains and play as them using Traps that bring life to toys with the new Traptanium Portal.
In practice this means that as well as putting characters on the portal and have them appear in the game, players can also catch and trap other characters and bring them out of the game and into the Traptanium Portal. The characters then chatter away to the gamer and can be stored in crystals that connect to the Portal for use in the game as well. get ready everyone sounds like an investment in another Portal, will it be worth it?
At Gamewagon we are big proponents of social video gaming and Activision has announced that this new play pattern also gives players the option to switch between playing as a Skylander hero or a villain at any time, creating fun and unique “tag team” gameplay. In addition, fans can even take their Traps and their Skylanders characters to their friends’ houses for fun, co-operative adventures across all console game systems. We like the sound of that and look forward to seeing it in action.