Skylanders Trap Team brings toys and video games together in a whole new way
At E3, you can find a myriad of games and gadgets. You might see something that was released last year which has been revamped or a completely new item that may not even be available for purchase yet. Every now and again, you see the perfect marriage of a gizmo and game which makes you have hope that new innovations will still be able to surface in the gaming world.
The game Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure which came out in 2011, took over from the well-loved Spyro games. While it wasn’t what die-hard fans were hoping for, this brought a completely new element to consoles. Instead of having you as a separate entity from the game, you are known as the Portal Master, and have control over the portal, which is how Skylanders (the heroes of the game) enter and leave the world.
It allows you to integrate a physical object, which are figurines of Skylanders, into a virtual world. The amount of characters you own is the equivalent to the number of “lives” you have per level. It uses Near-Field-Communication to be able to determine what toy is on the “portal”, and each one can store information, such as the amount of gold or experience they earned. They later came out with Skylanders Giants (larger Skylanders), and then Skylanders Swap Force, which would allow you to change out the top and bottom halves of different Skylanders to access new ability combinations and areas in the game.
This year they unveiled a new game, called Skylanders Trap Team. This new game not only allows you the use of previous characters alongside new ones, but will give you “traps” in which you can capture and control enemies and/or bosses you face in the game. Not only do you get to use their abilities in-game, but the new portal has a speaker, so when you send the captured villain into the “Traptanium” crystal, you can hear dialogue from your prisoner. As the toys are capable of storing information, you could actually bring your trap with a villain inside to a friend’s house who owns the game, and use them there. It’s somewhat similar to having a genie in a bottle, but without the three wishes.
Skylanders is known to be a bit on the cheesy side, and while it is aimed at kids, it’s fun for adults too (Yes, I’m speaking from experience). There is a massive level of replayability as the more toys you have, the more there is to do. Beware, as the “gotta catch em all” aspect can and will kick in. The starter pack for this game will cost around $75, and it will be available for the WiiU, PS3, Xbox 360, 3DS, PS4, and Xbox One in early October. The starter will come with one Skylander, two traps, the portal, and the game, but each additional trap or Skylander will cost anywhere from $4-6.
More information available on Skylanders, available for pre-order on Amazon