Although my kids have been exposed to gaming from the moment they were born (my husband and I are both gamers), Skylanders: Trap Team is the first game that my eldest son has taken a real shine to.
Not only does he enjoy watching me play, but in fact I’m very rarely allowed to play unless he finds a level too difficult and asks me to help him. Even better than that, I’ve seen a real improvement in his fine motor coordination since he started playing. When he started he was barely able to jump and go forward at the same time, and about a week later he’s doing timed jumps onto moving platforms, solving puzzles and beating all but the most difficult villains without my help. Granted he is playing on easy but still. He is only (almost) 4.
“It’s a game I really enjoy playing with him and which we can play together without me getting bored…”
What really gets me is the fact that it’s a game I really enjoy playing with him and which we can play together without me getting bored. His birthday is this coming weekend (see? almost 4) and I’ve gone out and bought him a variety of other Skylanders figurines and extra traps because he’s just that into it. So much so that when he’s not playing the video game, he’s LARPing at being a Skylander and fighting ‘the bad guys’. I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that all the figurines are backwards compatible which is amazing because although the Trap Team figurines are specialised in terms of accessing different areas, the fact that you can still use all your old Skylanders figurines in this game is a huge bonus. It basically ensures my son will be playing the next Skylanders game. And the next. And the next – adding to his collection as he goes. Which after this weekend is likely to be fairly decent.
“The best kind of game is one you can play and enjoy with other people”
So how is this a review and not just an anecdotal story about my son? Well I guess it both is and it isn’t. The best kind of game is one you can play and enjoy with other people. With Skylanders: Trap Team I can play with my son while still enjoying the game myself. I don’t need to be aware of the violence and scariness and we can spend quality time together doing something we both enjoy.
I am also forced to admit that I’m not quite sure how, but somehow I have never played a Skylanders game. Terrible I know. I’m also not entirely sure how it happened, but I must say that I am an instant convert. Not only is the Story Campaign a decent length (which sadly is a rarity in many games these days), but the story is amusing and engaging, if not incredibly complex, and the villains have funny names like “Pain Yatta”.
I will admit to being slightly annoyed by unskippable cutscenes, especially when you’re forced to listen to the same speech from your allies over and over (and a pre-schooler has a tendency to press the same buttons again and again when prompted). Luckily this annoyance is overshadowed by how much fun the game is. Visually Skylanders: Trap Team is fairly run of the mill when it comes to cartoony looking family friendly games, but there are so many things right with it that the graphics could be a hell of a lot worse and I would still be playing it.
Great family friendly game
Figurines are backwards compatible
Decent campaign length and replayability
Graphics look good but nothing special
Buying figurines could end up being an expensive exercise.
If you’re looking for a good, fun game to play with your kids, or if you’re into collecting figurines then this is a good investment as it’s going to give you a fair amount of mileage in terms of Challenges and Story Mode.