The Skylanders SWAP Force title is an immersive one, blending together elements of the pocket monsters genre with hints of RPGs, party games, and platformers. Taken together, the game is something that players young and old will be able to appreciate. The graphics are cartoony but they are fulfilling – players will feel as if they are in this otherworldly land as they are exploring the world, taking on a variety of different activities, and creating interesting combinations of the variety of different Skylanders. I feel that the difficulty curve stepping into the game for the first time is such that the younger set will be able to quickly succeed, while possessing enough twists and turns to provide a challenge for those that are more familiar with the franchise and its previous titles.
Upgrade pods in the middle of the level replace the purchasing of buffs; I feel that this makes the title more organic rather than a carrot and stick endeavor. The inclusion of the jump option into the title provides substantial legs to the release, as does the catchy dialogue. Wry, smart, and entertaining, the storyline and sheer amount of variability makes Skylanders SWAP Force into a game with substantial replay potential. For those players that are completists, a set of “Heroic Challenges” ratchet up the difficulty considerably. Rather than becoming rote, these levels blend the perfect amount of hair-pulling and exhilaration.
Skylanders SWAP Force also comes in editions for the Wii, WiiU, Xbox 360, and 3DS. The title can be purchased at a variety of video game and department stores, for around $75. Purchase early, because this title will be flying off of shelves as we get closer to the holiday season.