OWTK Gaming

1st Impressions of Skylanders SWAP Force

How many hats are left to collect? Did we get all the legendary treasures? How about the soul gems?

The surprises at the end of Skylanders games was nearly always an unpleasant one for us after completing each level. We’d always miss something!

In Skylanders SWAP Force, which we played for the first time for about 45 minutes last night, your progress is on the screen throughout so you know where you are on the hats and the treasures and whatnot. That’s a huge plus.

Jumping. This is new and pretty terrific once you stop instinctively pressing the A button on the Wii to shoot/attack as in the past because that will only have your character leaping across the screen like a ballerina. A is now jump and the trigger on the Wii remote is attack. Makes sense, but it’ll take you a few moments to alter your Skylanders muscle memory. Of course other consoles are probably tweaked too, exactly how is something you’ll soon discover for yourself.

The girls. Yeah, we LOVE the girl Skylanders. Stealth Elf, for example, is pretty much my main squeeze thanks to her being a total bad ass, super fast, sneaky, and fierce. SWAP Force adds to the female population with Star Strike, Smolderdash and Roller Brawl, each of whom are fantastic to play with in the new game. I don’t see any SWAP Force swappable ladies though, which sucks.

The SWAP Force crew and the mixed-elemental zones. There are special areas where only Skylanders of multiple elements can enter, which not only encourages you to swap it up, but also to make sure you’ve got SWAP Force Skylanders from every element. Clever. Very clever, Activision!

Mini Games. Spyro’s Adventure had puzzles. Giants, skystones. SWAP Force has mini games that in the first level alone had us flying through rings in the sky and crawling upward with Wash Buckler’s tentacles while avoiding rolling obstacles. After successfully completing these tasks, you are award achievement prizes that can be used in the new “home base” area of Woodburrow.

Adventure Packs. My biggest complaint about GIANTS was the lack of extra levels in the 3-packs. It was all about additional Battle Zones which we don’t do at all. In the original game, there were a few extra levels to play even after you finished off Kaos, including the Empire of Ice area which was amazing! This is back in SWAP Force, with the Tower of Time Adventure Pack.

The subtle improvements, the new characters, and the fun games have already made Skylanders SWAP Force a huge hit in our house. The Mouse, who hasn’t really talked about Skylanders for months, was begging to play some more tonight.

*OWTK received a copy of SWAP Force + a couple of extra figures for review consideration. The opinions expressed above are honest and unbiased, as always.

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