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Toy Preview: Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure

**Be sure to scroll to the bottom for photos from last night’s Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure launch party in New York City with Amar’e Stoudemire of the New York Knicks**

I admit it.  I’m easily impressed. Especially in the area of technological advancement and its related gadgetry, I can quickly turn into a drooling caveman in wide-eyed awe of modern capabilities.  Me see fire.  Me smile.

The latest product to drop my jaw is Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure. This revolutionary new video game fuses the once disparate worlds of physical toys, interactive online worlds, and video gaming like no other.

A handsome tree stump portal is the lifeline of the game.  The character figurines, when placed on this Portal of Power, literally shoot into the game and onto the screen in a beam of sci-fi light.  When pulled off the stump the figures teleport out of the game the same way.  Watching this happen IS. AWESOME.  Call me a simpleton but I could waste hours placing and removing the game pieces on and off the portal!  It doesn’t take much, people.

The achievements, levels, battles, and all other gameplay details are stored in the figures (these toys have brains!) and – now here’s the most amazing part – the Skylanders and their stored data can be taken to friends houses and inserted into their Skylander Spyro’s Adventure game using their portal REGARDLESS of gaming platform!  Yes, your character which was played on, say, your Wii can travel to your buddy’s Xbox, then to your cousin’s 3DS, and finally onto a computer for the online version of Spyro’s Adventure.  A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure can be played by 1 or 2 players – you get to call yourself Portal Masters! – and includes special mini-games and puzzles within; extra fun and adventure to enjoy while battling the bad dude KAOS and his evil minions.  Each Skylander has unique abilities and characteristics (individual strength, agility, luck ratings) and have access to special in-game features (Gill Grunt, a fish, for example can go after activities and prizes in the water while his land-loving friends cannot).  The adventure is story-driven and was penned by Academy Award-nominated Toy Story feature film writers Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow.  Impressive.

Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure is sold as a starter pack which includes the game, the portal and 3 figures.  There are 32 characters in all with more roll outs expected in 2012.  Additional pieces are roughly $8 each with some 3-pack bundles available for $20 to save a little bit of coin.  The existence of so many different characters means that there’s almost endless amounts of gameplay to be had, because each character can do and achieve different things.  Each character also has two paths within the game so you can get to the end with a single Skylander, delete the data, then start over for an alternate experience.  All this means that it’ll be a loooong time before your child gets bored of Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure making the initial investment a worthwhile one.

*OWTK attended the NYC launch party for Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure and played the game on Xbox and 3DS.  The opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased.

Scenes from the Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure Launch Party @ Guastavino’s in New York City, 10/14/2011.

(Photos by Bryan Sargent Photography, except the one press image above & below)

Listen to Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg and Amar’e Stoudemire of the NY Knicks address the kids at the Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure Launch Party:

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