A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Skylanders Cloud Patrol is the iOS cousin of the popular Skylanders console games. Essentially a shooting gallery, the game tasks players with knocking down taunting trolls using a variety of weapons, but it's done in cartoonish fashion. Parents should be aware that kids are already buying Skylander figurines as fast as retailers can stock them -- and that demand is only likely to increase as more kids play the app. Players can share high scores via the Game Center social network, but participation is optional.
What's it about?
Players play as their favorite Skylander, taking out trolls that have escaped imprisonment. To \"recapture\" them, they'll shoot them out of the sky, primarily using a projectile weapon (which isn't a gun as much as a bowling ball launcher). You can touch them one at a time or slide your finger across the screen for combo shots. Should you touch a mine as you shoot at the trolls, the game is over. Through power-ups, players can unlock and level up bonus weapons, such as swords, falling anvils, and more.
Is it any good?
While there's absolutely no story or level progression, that doesn't stop Skylanders Cloud Patrol from being an incredibly entertaining diversion. It's an iOS title that successfully captures that "one more turn" play style that is the hallmark of so many great games. And Activision deserves credit for allowing players to "unlock" Skylanders they already own by entering a code.
Where the game falls short of best of class is it doesn't matter which Skylander you have in the gunner's seat, the game is the same. There's absolutely no difference in play style or technique. On the upside, though, since this is geared toward kids, the fact that in-app purchases are not put front and center is commendable. And this is an app where you'll definitely get your money's worth.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.