A couple of weeks ago we were sent the starter pack of Skylander Giants to review and try as a family as part of a family gaming challenge. As it’s PEGI 7 and not a kinect game I have been reluctant to introduce the Littlins to it. Instead Dadonthebrink has had many evenings playing with it. He says it’s a lovely game with level of gentle violence and he has also been frustrated by not being able to tackle some of the levels for the lack of the right figures. A write up of our experience will follow in some time.
The other day, speaking to Andy Robertson who runs Family Gamer TV and writes about games and families, he suggested he write some hints and tips for me and share some news about Skylanders. (This is not a sponsored post. I have worked with Andy’s site earlier for spreading information on gaming safety for kids, a matter close to my heart, and a giveaway, and find his site genuinely informative about gaming, hence I welcomed his guest post.)
The Skylanders series is about to enter its third year with Swap Force. This adds new interchangeable figures and was announced this month in New York.
If you’ve not already seen the game, Skylanders novelty stems from the use of toy figures to access in-game characters. The game also saves progress in the game back to the toy via a USB Portal peripheral. Sounds technical, but essentially means that it saves automatically and lets children take their toy figures to friend’s houses and use them there – with all the progress they made at home.
This is all well and good, but there is a price. The figures are quite expensive (around £10) and if you get into collecting them all Skylanders could cost a lot. The thing to do here is to focus on just those characters you really need, rather than expanding your collection too much.
Also note that you can finish the game with just the figures in the Swap Force Starter Pack.
As you can see in this video, the biggest tension this year is that you can no longer use your Portal peripheral from with Skylanders Giants or Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure. This means that anyone who wants to move to this next series will need to buy a new Starter Pack. This will include the new Portal, the game disc, one Series 3 figure and two Swap Force characters.
It will be interesting to discover how much these Starter Packs costs, particularly with Activision coming under some pressure from Disney Infinity, a similar toymeets-videogame offering from Disney. It is this competition that is likely to drive this genre into more cost effective territory, and in our book no bad thing.
For families there is plenty to enjoy here, both the toy collecting and real world play along with the video-game side of things. Sticking to a few favourite figures is key, as mentioned above, as you can complete the whole game with just the starter pack.
Swaping figures with friends is also another good way to keep the price down and get better value from the game.
Are you and your family Skylander fans? What age did you let your children play it?
Andy has offered a chance to win a new Skylander Giant- Scarlett Ninjini
… just pop over to the Rafflecopter page