Skylanders has been a dirty little secret of mine that I have kept from the public. Generally, Skylanders games are designed for children but I couldn’t help enjoying the story, humor and collecting those cool little Skylanders figurines. For me, Skylanders: Trap Team was a step down from other Skylanders games but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, for the most part.
The game hasn’t changed much since the original Skylanders. Long time players will recognize familiar faces along with new ones introduced. The writing and cut scenes still have the Pixar feel but the gameplay has fallen off a bit. Skylanders could be a game that was enjoyed by players of all ages but sadly the gameplay has become too child friendly, tedious, and slow, that it now borderlines on unenjoyable. Skylanders was never a technically hard or challenging game but usually the amazing writing and story helped carry the gameplay. With Trap Team, the weight of carrying the story has slowed this game down.
The biggest physical difference in this version of Skylanders is the new portal and the addition of Traps. For the first time the Skylanders portal of power has received a huge overhaul. It has moved away from the bland design into a more aesthetically pleasing look with a clear bottom, LED lights, and a built-in speaker. This built-in speaker is used for the newly introduced Traps. A big part of Skylanders: Trap team is the ability to capture particular enemies with these Traps. In turn, they join your team on the adventure. Like the Skylanders figures, traps correspond with a particular element. This gives the player another object to purchase and collect. Once captured, these characters can communicate from their trap to the player through the built-in speaker on the Portal of Power. The game also plays with sound transfer as the character voice moves from the portal to the TV while a trapped character is being summoned into action. Trapped characters will also communicate with the outside world, while still in the trap.
The story for Skylanders: Trap Team takes place pretty soon after Skylanders: Swap Force. Not to give too much away from what is probably the best part of the game; our evil friend Kaos releases the worst villains ever, by blowing up Cloudcracker Prison. The best part of the story is told through high quality animated cut scenes that will leave anyone with a soul giggling along with the entertaining banter between characters.
Another major plus for this game is replay value. Besides the necessity to purchase additional characters to unlock all parts of a level, Skylanders: Trap Team has really revamped the hidden items inventory. Skylanders has always had a level of collectibles but Trap Team has added a lot more interesting collectibles. Also, the addition of new mini-games add some extra meat to this game.
Toy’s for Bob has done a nice job creating another entertaining and money demanding game. Skylanders: Trap Team does very little to change the formula from the three previous titles, and why would they? As long as the story appeases all ages and a marketing push to collect them all, Skylanders will be popular for many years to come. I may not enjoy the gameplay, in fact, I may hate it a little, but I’m not the main focus of the Skylanders series. If you’re a big fan of the Skylanders series, there is no reason to stay away from this game.
PN Review: Skylanders: Trap Team (Wi U)