I had heard Skylanders mentioned a lot but wasn’t quite sure what the game entailed, so I was really interested to try this out with Mr Z. He usually enjoys playing games on the X-Box so I hoped he would like Skylanders but in fact he loves it even more than I thought, and I’ve been really impressed with the game.
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We were sent the Skylanders Swap-Force starter pack to try out (for Xbox 360) and this is plenty to make a really good start with the game. The pack includes:
- Skylanders Swap Force game
- Skylanders Swap Force Portal of Power
- Three Skylanders Swap Force characters
- Three Skylanders Swap Force trading cards
- Three sticker sheets with secret codes
- Character Collector poster
This set is currently available for £19.99 and I think this represents amazing value. I actually thought it would be easily twice as much as that!
The storyline of Skylanders involves saving the world of Skyland from Kaos by completing mission throughout the game. The premise of the story is that these Skylanders had been blasted apart in an epic battle and now have the ability to swap powers with each other, in a mix and match kind of way. Many of the swap force figures can separate out into top and bottom so that you can swap with other characters and create your own combination. The tops and bottoms connect to each other with magnets. This is such a fun idea and makes the game more interactive for children as they are using the physical character toys as well as playing in the virtual world on the Xbox. The more characters you have, the more combinations you could make, up to a total of 256 possibilities!
There are three characters included in the starter pack. Two of which have swapping capabilities so you don’t need to buy anything else to get started with swapping and playing the game, but if you want to expand then you can buy more characters. Mr Z will be getting some extras as his birthday is coming up and he has asked for this after enjoying the game. I think he would love to collect them all!
The characters sit on the “portal of power” and you change which character you’re playing as simply by lifting the skylander off the portal of power and replacing with another one. It could not be any easier, which is definitely a good point as there’s no way children can get frustrated with it and they won’t need to ask for help.
This is Washbuckle on the portal of power. Each character has different strengths so as you approach a different part of the game, it will hint to you that a Skylander with certain skills will be best suited for that type of terrain and you can quickly swap over. Washbuckle works well in the watery terrains as you may have guessed.
The game includes 17 chapters, with lots of different things to unlock. Mr Z is nowhere near completing the game yet, it will take him a fair amount of time which is a good thing as it means he will get a lot of play out of it.
It seems like just the right level of game play for him, at almost 6 years old (his birthday is next week!) so I think the recommended age of 6-7 years is spot on. It’s not too difficult that he would require help, but not too easy or babyish at all and I can see Skylanders keeping his interest and enthusiasm for quite some time. I’m sure we will now be looking out for new Skylander games being released and getting more to add to our collection.
Even the boys’ dad was impressed with the Skylanders game. He loves to play Xbox and playstation games himself, but he thought that a children’s game like this wouldn’t be too good. As soon as he saw the game in action and the portal with all the skylanders able to swap he had to take it all back, and thought it was really great!
We would definitely recommend the Skylanders Swap Force starter pack. Mr Z has become a real Skylanders fan already and I think its a great product.
We played on Xbox 360. The set is also available for Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, and Xbox One