Skylanders Trap Team
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 Trap Team is the latest in the popular action/adventure series that lets kids use real-world toys in a video game environment. Players fight a variety of comical enemies who have escaped captivity; once defeated, those villains can be captured and "trapped" in plastic crystals, becoming playable characters. There's frequent, but mild, cartoonish violence, but the biggest item of note is that the app is largely unplayable without purchasing a $75 "starter kit." Even after that, kids will be tempted to buy additional toys to enhance the game experience, which can cost hundreds of dollars.
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What's it about?
Players can choose to use either touch controls to move and battle enemies or use the standard console-like controller that's included in the starter pack, which must be purchased separately. As with the console game, players place physical Skylander toys on the portal (also included with the starter pack) to "warp" them into the game. In this installment, they're also able to "trap" defeated major villains in the game in a special toy crystal by placing that crystal in a slot on the portal. Enemies then become allies and can be swapped out with the current hero at any point to fight in their stead. Aside from the usual battles, the game also features several puzzles, including lock challenges to get through gates and a card strategy game called Skystones Smash.
Is it any good?
The Skylanders series has constantly raised the bar with each new installment in the series -- and SKYLANDERS TRAP TEAM certainly keeps up that trend. For the first time, the game is releasing on both consoles and mobile devices simultaneously. And rather than a watered-down version of the game, the mobile version is feature-complete and just as fun as what you'd play on your PlayStation 4 or Wii U. It does come at a price, though. You'll have to pay $75 for the starter kit (though the app will let you try out the game for free), and you'll need a lot of available space on your device. Though the initial download is an already hefty 1.29 GB, you'll need a full 6 GB of space if you want to download every level, Skylander, and villain into the device.
That's a big ask, but the experience you get in return (assuming you have the space to spare) is worth it. The core theme of Trap Team, capturing and converting enemies, is great fun -- and their wide variety of personalities adds significantly to the game. Boss battles, which are new to Skylanders, come with a significant reward: a new playable character. And the physical toy required to store them is much cheaper than a typical Skylanders toy. Beyond that, the game moves smoothly and is visually impressive. As with its predecessors, you need to approach the game realizing you're likely going to spend more on it than you would a normal game (but keep in mind also that kids play with the figurines outside of the video game world, adding to their value). If you're willing to accept that, you'll absolutely love this game.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
- Price: App is free - though you'll need to pay $70 to unlock the game
- Pricing structure: Free to try
- Release date: October 2, 2014
- Category: Action Games
- Topics: Adventures
- Size: 1290.00 MB
- Publisher: Activision Publishing, Inc.
- Version: 1.0.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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