E3: Taking Flight with Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventures

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In a sea of imitations and copy cats, Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventures stood out when we hit the behind-closed-doors demo at E3. It’s also rare that we get excited about a game targeted at a younger audience. This one managed to make us ready to collect toys again.

Here’s the deal. There are a bunch of small plastic characters that function in a unique way. The game comes with the Portal of Power, which is a small platform. You put your character figurine on the portal and poof! He appears on the screen ready to play. When you want to switch out to someone else, simply take him off and put on someone new. The little guy will remember how many hit points he had left, what level he’s at, his achievements, what he has to work with and even what hat he’s wearing! (Hats give you bonuses. We saw an anvil hat and a fez. As any good “Doctor Who” fan knows, fez’s are cool.) Even better? The game is available for the Wii, the PS3 and Xbox 360, and the figures can be played on any system at any time. Nothing changes if you play on the Wii at your buddy’s house and then at your own on a PS3.

The game comes with three Skylanders, including Spyro, Trigger Happy and Gil Grunt. There are more than thirty characters to collect and play with. There is single player and co-op, which involves putting two characters on the Portal at the same time. We got to play both single player and co-op on the Wii version, which we were told is their main platform. Game play was pure fun and actually got me excited to go out and get characters to check out their individual abilities. The game retails for $69.99 with the portal and the three figures and the individual figures are $7.99 each. We were also told that the figures had been put through the ringer and were super sturdy. “They did everything short of putting them in the microwave,” they said.

We were also told that kids playing the game had commented on how, even after the game, they were thinking about the story. “It’s a real, interactive toy. You play the game, but when you’re done for the day, you can continue the story of this character with your friends, in other locations, etc.”

Yeah, we’re in love. Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventures will hit stores on September 27th, 2011.