Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure, sneaky advance peek!

Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure sort of crept up on me. I was holding a cold beer in one hand and a moaning childs plate of sausage rolls in the other as I struggled with a small child underfoot at the VIP tent at Lollibop.

The portal of power

My eyes alighted on the Wii set up in the corner with an unfamiliar game playing on it with some seemingly random action figures sitting around. Activision are a lot cleverer than that though and Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure isn’t just another 3D adventure game with cool characters, it has a real twist. Rather than coming up with likeable characters and then merchandising them like, for example, Roxio have done with Angry Birds, the action figures are integral to the game.

The player controls one of 32 characters, each with a different element, like fire, water and so on that allow different traits to be employed, so for example a water element character would be better for a water based level where a fire character might have problems. So far so normal then but here’s the twist: you change character by putting a different action figure on the “Portal of Power”, a dais that plugs into your console or PC. 
This is a first in several ways; the action figures genuinely interact with the game you’re playing and can be swapped whilst you’re playing to bring different characters into play. The figures also very cleverly store data about what the character has done. This data is platform agnostic, so if you’re son is playing the game on his Wii and takes his figures round to his Xbox 360 owning friends house, he can pop his figure on the Portal of Power and use his character on a different console!

It’s brilliant for developing imagination and roleplaying with kids since the figures are an integral part of the game, rather than being licensed add ons. After a quick play with a few of the figures, I thought they were sturdy enough to withstand the vigour’s of little boys, which is just as well given the data carrying capacity of the toys.

The game itself looked very pretty on the Wii, so I can imagine the more powerful consoles and PC version must look very good. The actual mechanics of the gameplay involve navigating your character round a colourful series of magical worlds where they must complete tasks and defeat monsters. It’s multiplayer too, so all you have to do is plonk another figure on the Portal of Power and you can join in with your friends in battling the baddies.

A special note must be made of the music too, on further investigation I found out the scores by Hans Zimmer, the famous composer who does film soundtracks like Megamind and Kung Fu Panda. Mr Zimmers involvement, and the fact the story was written by a couple of chaps who worked on Toy Story really underlines the love and care Activision have lavished on this title; it just oozes polish.

Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure is due for release in mid October. The RRP is to be confirmed but for your money you’ll get the game, the Portal of Power and three characters, with the other 29 action figures to be collectable. You wont need all the figures to complete the game but certain characters will unlock cool extras.

You can view the trailer for the game below!