If Skylanders: Swap Force (or rather, the entire series of Skylanders) came out when I was seven and obsessed with Pokemon and Digimon… Well, I’d be obsessed with Skylanders, too. It manages to tap into every aspect of what makes games so addictive and hides it beneath pay to play walls. Genius. But somehow, I’m not mad at them for it. I think it’s such a rich and unique experience that I’m willing to forgive having to buy different Skylanders to completely finish a level at 100 percent. Besides, you’re able to complete the entire game with just the starting Skylanders that come with the starter pack. It’s just that surrounding, optional areas to explore sometimes require a Skylander of an element that won’t come in that pack.
But let’s speak about the obvious demographic here: 50 year olds. No, wait, that’s not right. Children. Would the child in your life that’s already a Skylanders fan love this game? A resounding yes. Would the child in your life that has no idea what Skylanders is love this game? Again, definitely. It taps into that imagination and wonder that gets lost somewhere along the way for so many of us, while also making the child feel in control of the entire game. Plus, it’s just friggin’ cool that the fourth wall is broken by the figures that come with the game letting you opt to switch them out whenever you want using the portal.
And the figures are awesome themselves. They’re so well designed that even I’m impressed by them, and I don’t particularly care for figurines or collecting. Anyone that does, though, won’t be disappointed by how aesthetically pleasing these Skylanders are.
For the gameplay, you’re going through an adventure in a colorful world and platforming, brawling, and jumping out of the way of attacks. Despite all the different enemies, they’re all pretty similar in their moves and Skylanders: Swap Force is incredibly easy. I played through on the Hard difficulty and even though I’m aware it’s meant for children, I still wonder if maybe it’s too easy for even their demographic? I mean, the puzzles have the answers practically spelled out for you with arrows. Perhaps this is more commentary on the state of video games’ difficulty today, but I’m digressing.
There’s so much to collect that even besides the random hats that grant your Skylanders different attribute boosts, or the various attacks and upgrades you can buy, or even the stars that are awarded to you after completely finishing a level/ time attack/ arena battle (The stars boost YOUR level, by the way. Yes, even Portal Masters have levels)… You also have the real life aspect of collecting the different Skylanders to open more of the game. The starter pack comes with a poster of all the new Skylanders for you to keep track with stickers which one you own. It’s crazy to me, and utterly genius. That’s why I can’t be mad about having to buy different figures: They’re cool, it’s optional, and the amount of things that the game packs in for you to do will keep you busy for quite a while.
Skylanders: Swap Force continues to bring all the addictive collecting, fun story/ characters, and solid gameplay that’s to be expected from the series. In fact, if not for the easy difficulty and repetitive moves to choose from, I’d say this game would even be perfect for adults, too. But as it is, the kids in your life would absolutely adore it.
[+Art style is wonderful] [+Story is cute] [+Figures are awesome] [+Tons to collect] [+Leveling system] [+Minigames and side missions like the arena to do] [-Becomes quite the button masher] [-I think it’s too easy for even children]