If there’s one thing I learnt about my recent trip to San Francisco with Skylanders, it’s how little I know (or knew) about gaming, and how wrong I’ve been about the little I did know. For starters, I thought kids’ games were full of violence and bangs, pows and strikes, but it took me playing the game, seeing my five-year-old playing good versus evil, and meeting the makers of the Skylanders Trap Tream, to educate me on how much games can offer, aside from fun.
To put you in the picture, Trap Team is the fourth game in the Skylanders series (among the top 20 highest-selling video game franchises), Trap Team has physical trap toys on a portal, where kids need to trap baddie Kaos and the evil Doom Raiders who have escaped from a Skylands holding area.
Once trapped, players can return the villain to Skylands as a playable character. This cool new play pattern gives kids the option to switch between playing as a Skylanders hero or a villain at any time, creating a “tag team” gameplay for one player or more.
Here are the things I love most about Skylanders Trap Team:
– Trap Team has an ESRB (a rating given to all video games) of 10, which means it has comic violence and language. Trap Team is recommended for ages seven and up. All toys have been stringently tested for safety for kids aged three and up.
– Trap Team is available for tablets too, so you don’t need a gaming device to play it. You simply buy the tablet version, and you’ll get the portal and remote, which you can plug into a tablet. Even though it’s a tablet version, nothing is lost, and everything like the visuals and functions remain the same.
– It’s a game that not only holds interest because it’s fun and engaging, but because you can keep adding to the game by buying the character toys. While this might be seen as an expensive exercise, it could be seen as “rewards”, gifts or something that can be saved towards with pocket money.
– This is not just a kids’ game! Adults love it too, and not only when they’re playing it with their kids. There are some quirky characters and scenarios that parents might appreciate more than kids, plus it’s fun, pure fun.
– The game was made for kids by parents of the kids who play Skylanders. With their own kids in mind, they made something enjoyable without the violence, that they could play as families too.
– Swapping out characters is easy and quick, so that there’s minimal delay when switching.
– If you have past Skylanders characters, you can use them with Trap Team.
– The characters are sensational. From their quirks to their animations, these guys are utterly playable and wantable. Having met some of the animators, illustrators and creators of the characters, who explained the origins and processes behind them, I only appreciate the Skylanders more (we even met Alex Ness, a Skylanders writer and the “voice” of Chompy Mage, Broccoli Man, Drobit, Drobot, Double Trouble, Lightning Rod).
Skylanders is launching in South Africa on November 17. The game comes as a starter pack, which includes the Traptanium Portal, which allows kids to bring toys to life by teleporting real-world toys directly into the game for them to control. The pack includes two Skylanders Crystal Guardian figurines, two crystal traps, two character sticker sheets, two collectible trading cards, and a collector’s poster.
While prices vary among retailers, the Skylanders Starter Pack is around R1000, and character packs around R200.
Skylanders Trap Team is available on various new’ish tablets and gaming consoles.
To see more about what the game’s about, have a look at this: