Disney Infinity

Common Sense Media says

Creative Disney adventure lets kids build own games.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The Toy Box mode allows kids to explore their imaginations by constructing all sorts of environments, character designs, and even simple games. However, the promotion of creativity is counteracted by strong veins of consumerism -- kids who enjoy the game will want to purchase additional play sets featuring the Disney characters they love -- and a surprising level of cartoonish violence.

Positive role models

Of the dozens of characters kids can play as, most are recognizable heroes, such as Mr. Incredible and Sulley the blue furry monster. However, there are also a few antiheroes, like the pirate Captain Jack Sparrow, and some antagonists, such as Randal the invisible monster. Regardless of the character the player chooses, objectives tend to remain the same. They'll help friends, get into fights with bad guys, and occasionally conduct a little mischief, such as toilet papering a rival school's campus.

Ease of play

There's no losing in the play set adventures. Fail a task or get taken down by an enemy and your hero will instantly reconstitute him or herself so you can try again, usually without losing any progress. However, the fighting, racing, and platforming challenges in the Toy Box mode -- where there are time limits and finite lives -- can be a lot tougher. Earning a basic bronze medal is generally a snap, and most players should be able to grab silver medals with a little practice. Gold medals, however, can be devilishly difficult to obtain.

Violence

Much of the action centers around battling famous Disney enemies, from the robots of The Incredibles to the zombie swashbucklers of Pirates of the Caribbean to the evil cowboys of The Lone Ranger. Players use a wide variety of weapons, including a sword, a six-shooter, tomahawks, and lasers. Shot and thrown weapons can be aimed using a first-person shooting mechanic. The characters are also capable of various ramming and punching attacks. All characters are presented as toys, so they don't die when defeated but instead break into parts and disappear. It's highly cartoonish, and without blood or gore. 

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

This game is a tie-in to multiple popular Disney franchises and characters, including Monsters University, The Incredibles, Pirates of the Caribbean, and more. Kids are encouraged to purchase hundreds of dollars in additional toys and software to expand the experience. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Moderate privacy and safety concerns. Kids can create and share online the Toy Boxes (worlds) they create, adding brief text descriptions to them. They can also play online with up to three others, but only with known friends. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know Disney Infinity is an action adventure game that uses real toy figurines to introduce characters into the game. Inspired by Activision's toy-based Skylanders games, the $74.99 base game -- which includes a stand on which players set figurines to transport characters into the game, plus three figurines -- can be augmented with additional real-world toys that start at $12.99 per figurine. Beyond the cost, kids will engage in cartoon-like violence with weapons including swords and guns. There's no blood or gore (the toy-like characters simply break apart and disappear), but there is a first-person aiming mechanic. All of this said, the game's Toy Box mode is a great outlet for creativity, allowing players to express themselves through the creation of worlds and games of their own design.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Hobbies

  • building
  • collecting

Skills

Creativity

  • making new creations
  • producing new content
  • imagination

Collaboration

  • teamwork
  • cooperation
  • meeting challenges together

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • using and applying technology

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

The cute design and simplicity of play set adventures will draw kids in, but the overwhelming, somewhat confusing nature of the Toy Box mode could prove off-putting for some players.

Learning Approach

Toy Box mode encourages kids to experiment, create, and share. Kids will learn through trial and error. Observation, analysis, and tenacity will lead them to imagine and build bigger and better creations. 

Support

The manual contains scant instructions. Some in-game tutorials exists, but players are largely left to figure things out on their own. The Disney Infinity website offers some basic tips.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Hobbies

  • building
  • collecting

Skills

Creativity

  • making new creations
  • producing new content
  • imagination

Collaboration

  • teamwork
  • cooperation
  • meeting challenges together

Tech Skills

  • digital creation
  • using and applying technology

Kids can learn about game design and practice their creativity and cooperation in this sprawling adventure with a build-your-own-world component. The Toy Box mode allows players to drag and drop landscape and architectural elements to create their own worlds that they can share and explore with friends. It also gives them the ability to use simple logic and action triggers to create their own games -- like a basic soccer match. It takes a while to really figure things out, but Disney Infinity's Toy Box mode could be a great way for kids to express their creativity.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chad Sapieha

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Inspired by Activision's Skylanders, DISNEY INFINITY offers players the ability to play as dozens of beloved Disney characters -- so long as they own the corresponding toy figure. The starter pack comes with three figurines -- Mr. Incredible, Captain Jack Sparrow, and the always lovable monster Sulley. It also comes with three \"play sets,\" open-world narrative adventures based on the characters' corresponding films. These sets let players run around completing scores of quick little missions. Other characters (purchased separately for $12.99 or in add-on play sets for $34.99) can be used in play sets only if they appeared in the movie, so you won't see Captain Jack swaggering around the Monsters University campus.

Beyond the play sets there's a mode called Toy Box in which players can take on quick one-off challenges (races, arena battles, etc.) and visit an evolving amphitheater to admire the characters they've collected. But the meat of the Toy Box mode comes in creating worlds of your own design. Kids start with 250 toys and gradually unlock hundreds more -- balls, lights, buildings, hills, trees, textures -- that they can place as they like in their own Toy Boxes, developing worlds and even simple games that can then be shared with others.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

There's so much going on that it will take a while for most players to begin feeling really comfortable with everything at their disposal. Indeed, there's a good chance many kids will simply ignore most of the Toy Box offerings altogether (at least initially) and just work through the play set adventures, which are much easier to digest. However, for those interested in all the Toy Box mode has to offer, there are Mastery Adventures, which serve as basic tutorials. Discovering how to use the game- and world-altering command elements and logic blocks in the Toy Box editor can take some time. But for kids willing to stick with it, there are some powerful game creation tools at their disposal. And it is super fun to have all the Disney characters meet in one big sandbox.

However, it's impossible to ignore the cost of it all. Purchasing everything available at launch will cost more than $250. And a second wave of toys is coming shortly thereafter. From the Hall of Heroes, where you see not just the characters you have, but also those you don't, to chests that can be opened only by specific characters, everything in the game seems designed to make the player want to buy more. Even in the starter pack, you can't play any of the three included play sets in cooperative mode until you purchase a second character for each corresponding film. Disney Infinity is often fun and undeniably huge. The programmable toys in the Toy Box are brilliant. But it's also a somewhat chaotic and heavy into convincing families to buy more.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in games. In highly cartoonish kids' games is there a meaningful difference between stomping a fantastical foe and using a gun and first-person targeting to shoot a human-like enemy? 

  • Families can also discuss consumerism. When companies release groups of linked products that don't cost much individually, it's often with the intent to encourage people to gradually buy them all before they realize how much money they're spending in total. What are some ways in which you might exercise self-control in these situations? 

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
Price:$74.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Disney Interactive
Release date:August 18, 2013
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Cars and trucks, Princesses and fairies, Superheroes
ESRB rating:E10+ for Cartoon Violence (Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360)

This review of Disney Infinity was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old August 24, 2013
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Matthew's Disney Infinity Game Review

I think this game is for kids 6 and up, it lets them play as they favorite Disney characters and you can basically do whatever you want, you can be in monsters university or in the incredibles and i hear there will be a lot more characters coming soon :) i'm 10 and love this game on the wii!
Parent Written byBostonWriter September 15, 2013
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

A great game for the entire family (including Mom & Dad!)

As is true of most families, each child has a very different personality: my 13yo is a cerebral and bookish self-described geek, my 10yo is very athletic and has only a passing interest in video games, and my 5yo is quite active and has a remarkably short attention span. (In other words, he's a normal 5yo kid.) It's tough to find family games appealing to the whole crew, but Disney Infinity delivers on all fronts. If your kids already play Skylanders, then you're familiar with the basic mechanics of the figure/game interaction. Place a figure on the base, that character transports into the video game world, and the child assumes the role of that character. This is great for younger players, as it's fun to place different characters in the game and see how they interact with the environment. Some of the game mechanics - particularly for the mission-based elements - can be frustrating for younger players, so the ability to change mid-game helps to hold the tantrums at bay. Another great feature for keeping younger ones engaged is the multiplayer mode. When a player completes a mission, all players enjoy the spoils of victory. While my 5yo runs around exploring environments and goofing around, the older kids are completing the core mission elements. When a mission is completed, confetti canons fire and all the characters celebrate, so even little players feel like they've played a roll in getting the job done. A very nice feature for family game time. The game also delivers a wonderful single-player experience. The diversity of missions is great - not too easy, not too tough - and the open world setting encourages (and rewards) exploration, so even my first-person-shooter / Minecraft addicted teenager enjoys playing. Speaking of Minecraft... the 'Toy Box' mode is what makes the game really shine. The ability to build, play in, and share the worlds you create is exceptional. The world-building mode is definitely better suited for bigger kids, but it creates a rich experience that really does let kids (okay... and parents) have fun letting their imagination go wild. From building platformer-type games (think Donkey Kong with Disney characters) to race tracks that are mash-ups of different Disney environments, there's not a lot you can't do in the Infinity world. You can also download and play worlds created by Disney, which gives the game a bit if an evergreen nature, as you can always grab new games and keep the experiences fresh... all at no additional cost. (Note: you do need an Internet connection for this feature.) Inspired, out-of-the box thinking in the best tradition of Disney. Really well done. We bought the WiiU edition starter kit and have since purchase several figures, as well as the 'Cars' world game pack. All figures are of reasonably high quality and make great little collector pieces in their own right. Disney also did a great job of 'normalizing' styles from several different properties. Jack Sparrow (from a live-action film), Mr. Incredible (from a Pixar animated film), and in-game cameos by Mickey (traditional animation icon), all look like they're from the same family, yet nothing is lost in translation. Very clear that Disney invested time in delivering a quality experience across both physical and digital aspects of the game. All-in-all, I very highly recommend this game. Although I haven't played on all consoles, I'm sure they're great. The WiiU version makes little use of the extra screen, but there's a nice feature where the game can be played entirely on the WiiU controller... a very nice feature when Dad wants to watch sports while one of the kids game away. Getting going with the system can be a bit pricey: $79 for the starter kit which comes with the portal, the game disc, and three figures. Given that there are three distinct game worlds - Monsters U, Incredibles, and Pirates - plus the Toy Box mode, it really is quite a good value. Additional figures can be had for roughly $10 each (Toys'R'Us recently had a 'buy two for $20' deal) if you catch a sale. Additional playsets are in the $30-$40 range, but typically come with two new figures plus a whole new game world. Again, a great value given that most new video games fall in the $40 - $60 range. I love gifts like this, particularly around the holidays, as they make a nice one-two punch for parents: Mom & Dad can give the starter set as a main gift, and relatives can give additional figures at a low cost. The kids are happy and no one breaks the bank. The list of disappointing kid-friendly games is long, as games modeled after animated properties are typically mediocre at best. Disney Infinity, however, breaks from that pack with gusto and delivers an entertaining and innovative experience that should have a long shelf life. Highly recommended.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old September 19, 2013
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

MEGA-MEGA-MEGA-MEGA COOL!!!

I saw the trailer of it. IT WAS MIND-BLOWING AWESOME!!! I'm getting this game. The starter pack and "The Lone Ranger" figures. Although the violence seemed to be a little disturbing to the youngest of kids ages 18 months, BUT NOT FOR FOUR-YEAR-OLDS. This is the game that you can create your own worlds in "Toy Box" mode. Or you can play as the characters in "Play Set" mode. MIND-BLOWING AWESOME INDEED!!
What other families should know
Great role models

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