Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure
Pop Into the Most Unique Adventure Game of the Year with Skylanders
What It Is
Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure is the latest video game starring everyone’s favorite fire-breathing, purple dragon, Spyro. This time around Spyro is joined by a gaggle of monster buddies in an all-new story-based adventure. Players will take on the roles of Spyro and his buddies, who are collectively known as the Skylanders, as they set out to rid a floating realm of an evil entity called Kaos.
The game is a blast to play, but what’s unique is how you choose your playable character, i.e. Spyro or one of the other Skylanders. Rather than selecting a character from a game menu, you choose a real-world collectible figure and place it on a wireless peripheral (known as the Portal of Power) that instantly makes the figure appear in the game as a digital character. While playing the game, you will encounter obstacles that require you to switch characters, which is done by placing a different figure on the portal. All of your character’s achievements in the game, including leveling up, acquiring items, etc., are saved and stored in the collectible figure and stay with that figure when it is removed from the portal.
Why It’s Fun
I hate to say this, because it sounds so ridiculous, but there is something almost magical about the way in which the figures appear in the game when placed on the Portal of Power. The portal lights up with a color that reflects the character figure’s elemental power. For example, if you place a water element figure on the portal it turns blue. You can switch characters at any point in the game by removing the figure from the portal and placing a different one in its place.
If one person is playing the game alone, a second player can join in at any moment simply by placing a second figure on the portal. Alternately, player 2 can leave the game whenever they want by removing his or her figure.
As noted above, the figures also act as storage devices for the game and allow you to take your figures along with the character’s achievements to someone else’s house and join in their game regardless of what game system they are playing Skylanders on. For example, if you have a Wii with Skylanders in your house and your friend has an Xbox 360, all of your figures will work in each other’s games.
Who’s Going To Love It
Everyone, regardless of age or whether they play video games or not, is going to want to check out the figures and see how they enter the game when placed on the portal. As for the game itself, the main story mode is perfect for young gamers ages 6 and up. The on-screen text is spoken out loud so kids don’t have to read, but they can if they want. The content is appropriate for this age group as well with the violence being simple cartoon-style blasting of enemies who disappear when defeated — no blood or dead bodies left behind.
Older gamers (Teens and adults) will probably find the game play very easy, but there are puzzle elements and hidden objects within each level that add a bit of challenge to the game and should make it appeal to the older gamers. In addition to searching out and finding hidden objects, there are also bonus points awarded for successfully completing objectives within specified time periods, which also adds a higher level of difficulty.
What To Be Aware Of
The Skylanders starter pack includes three figures. Ultimately, there will be more than 30 figures available, which will be sold in individual packs.
My only complaint of Skylanders is that you can’t skip past or speed up the conversations with the in-game characters. Whenever you encounter a character in the game you have to wait for that character to give you their speech before you can move on.
There are areas within the game that require specific elemental powers to reach. The three starter pack figures represent three of the eight elements so players can return to the game whenever they buy a new figure.
In addition to the main mode, there is also a battle mode where two players can play each other in a battle arena. As in the main mode, players choose their fighters using the figures and portal and can switch figures during the battle.
5 out of 5
It has to be fun or it wouldn’t be on Time to Play. But some games are more fun than others so here’s our scale: 1 is fun, 2 is a lot of fun, 3 is great, 4 is awesome and 5 is out-of-this-world!
Video Game Information
Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure
Rated: Everyone 10+
System: PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS and PC
Players: 1 - 2
SRP: $69.99 for the Starter Pack that includes Game, Portal of Power and three figures
Launch Date: October 16, 2011
Date of Review: October 19, 2011