Gaming: Skylanders: Trap Team

Has it really been 3 years since Skylanders hit our consoles?

How time flies eh? And despite fierce competition from the likes of Disney and Nintendo the franchise still goes from strength to strength.

For all you people out there who have no idea what Skylanders is about (mainly people without kids) it is a “toys to life” style of game, which means the characters used in the game are actual collectable models that are placed on a plinth and appear in the game, a great money spinner for the developers and a continuous money pit for parents who have to buy the additional characters.

Skylanders: Trap Team is the latest outing for the franchise and to be honest at first glance it doesn`t offer anything new, yet delve deeper and you will see that there are a number of innovations that raise the bar even further, and is an important step forward.

First of all you will notice that the new portal is a little more complex than the previous versions and has a built in mic and speaker and a slot for trap crystals a new addition, enabling the player to trap enemies within them (of course these are purchased separately) and you can actually hear them talking through the portal which is a novel touch.

Two new Trap master figures are included in the starter pack and the first thing that is apparent is the translucent traptanium weaponry which the player can use to access certain parts of the game.

The story itself follows on from the last game and the core characters return to do battle with the Evil Kaos who is still smarting from the last beating hatches a cunning plan and frees the world’s most dangerous criminals from Cloudcracker prison. As you can probably guess the object of the game is to track down and capture these bad guys.

Now this is where the new trap crystals come in once you have defeated your enemy you can trap him by inserting the crystal into the portal and thus giving you the option to play as that character in the game, it’s a simple selection process you press the left trigger and you can swap between your chosen good or bad guy.

There is the usual amount of collectables and upgrades available (not for the villains though) and of course certain areas aren`t accessible unless you have a specific character (this is where the bank of mum and dad come in) extra characters are around the £6 mark and there are triple packs available for £15, so parents beware this is a game that keeps on taking!

Gameplay is the same as the previous Skylanders games and the colourful levels and beautiful graphics really bring this game to life, controls are simple and you have plenty of other characters guiding you as you go.

I put Skylanders: Trap Team in the hands of my two nephews (aged 8 and 10) and they loved it, this game is aimed at younger players and is full of cartoon like violence that parents need not worry about, and it’s all good clean fun.

Another addition is the arena modes which are perfect for two players so if you want to mix it up with the kids you can.

Summary

Skylanders: Trap Team is basically not that much different than the last game really yet it is a good quality game and is visually better and more interesting than its nearest rival Disney Infinity 2.0, especially on the next gen consoles (this version was on 360) this will be a winner amongst younger gamers this Christmas and it’s good to see that Activision have not just churned out another game just to make money, they have actually moved forward with some interesting and new innovations.

Skylanders: Trap Team

Developers: Toys for Bob

Publishers: Activision

Android

Fire OS

iOS

Nintendo 3DS

PS3/4

Wii/WiiU

Xbox 360/ONE

Genre: RPG/Action adventure

Release Date: 10th October 2014

Gameplay: 5/5

Graphics: 5/5

Story: 4/5

Overall: 5/5