Kids games aren’t generally of much interest for hardcore gamers, and for geeks in general.
Then there was Skylanders. The idea came to the game designer watching his daughter playing with action figures totally out of context, and thinking that in-game characters are never played that way. And decided to correct that fact of gaming life. The whole concept behind Skylander is that the in-game character is a toy, that you need that toy to play it in the game ( trough a portal ) and that the character data is saved on the toy.
Makes for mandatory line of products. Fans of Spyro instantly got some nicely done figures. In later versions, those characters even light up! The giants sequel had some interesting – and rather big – characters that would fit nicely in gamers display cases…
The cool factor – besides display possibilities – is that the toy is compatible with any system with the appropriate game portal – so one single character can evolve from 3DS to Wii to PS3 instantly. Even online trough some USB compatible portals! The back side is that anyone has to purchases said toys to actually play the games. Disney apparently saw some money-making potential in that idea, and they are releasing their own version of the same concept: portal-enabled storage-device toys. Their line of product bears the name Disney: Infinity.
Fans of Toy Story, Monsters or Pirates of the Caribbeans rejoice, collectible figures are on the way, and they can be used to play videogames! The fact the player choose his characters means one could play any combination, essentially mixing the various Disney universes. In addition to the characters, Disney introduce power discs that can be used to enhance the characters. This way, players have more flexibility. Like adding Wreck-it-ralph health to the smaller Stitch.
Too bad Disney’s incarnation of collectibles memory figurines won’t include light-up bling like the recent Skylanders, rigged properly they would make killer display pieces. Think about a Wreck-It-Ralph in lighted-up Hero’s Duty armor! Perhaps in some upcoming expansion…
The game is rated ESRB E10+ and is still in pre-order, planned for release on August 18th on Wii, WiiU, 3DS, Windows, PS3 & XB360.