Skylanders Spyro's Adventure (3DS)



Fun, fast platformer lets you bring toy figures to life.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

There's a good deal of fighting in the game, but it's all in the name of saving the world and rescuing innocents. Teamwork is also accentuated, since your Skylanders will always work in duos.

Positive role models

The Skylanders are noble heroes -- even if some of them are a bit trigger-happy (though the character who is actually named Trigger Happy doesn't come included with this version). They take on the responsibility of rescuing kidnapped shamans and saving the world. However, this game doesn't have many girl characters: only 3 out of 32 Skylanders.

Ease of play

The controls work rather well and the difficulty level, which starts pretty low, gets progressively tougher as you go. The earliest levels work very nicely as a tutorial to get you used to the mechanics of the gameplay.

Violence & scariness

There's a lot of cartoony fantasy violence in the game, and how that violence is depicted depends on the characters you use. Of the three characters who come prepackaged with the 3DS version, one breathes fire, one wields a flaming sword, and another uses knives and ninja moves. Some other characters you can buy to use in the game even use guns, but those guns shoot lasers or coins rather than bullets. Enemies groan when hit and disappear when defeated. There is no blood.

Not applicable

The 3DS starter pack comes with three Skylander figurines, which means you can use those three characters in the game. In order to use more characters, you need to purchase more figurine packs. You will also need to do this if you want access to every area of the game, since certain areas can only be accessed by characters of certain elements -- and the starter pack only gives you access to three of the eight elemental types. You can also use any of your characters to connect to the Skylanders Universe, a multiplayer online game.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Skylanders Spyro's Adventures (3DS) is a completely different game from the console version of Skylanders. It has a different storyline, a different style of gameplay, and even a different trio of characters to start with. There's still quite a bit of fighting -- including the use of many weapons -- though all of it is relatively cartoonish. The main gimmick with Skylanders is that kids place small toy figures onto an electronic "portal" device (included) and those characters get beamed -- via wireless infrared connection -- onto the 3DS and into the game. Parents need to know that there is a discrepancy between the targeted age of the toy figurines (the starter pack says age "6+") and the age appropriateness of the video game packaged with those toys which is for age 10 (ESRB rating of E10+). The starter pack comes with three figures, but the game encourages and entices players to purchase additional figurines. Any of the figures/characters can also be used in a connected online multiplayer game, Skylanders Universe, as well as in other versions of Skylanders Spyro's Adventure (including console versions). That web game offers a monitored environment and only limited, pre-selected chat between players. Also, take note that, as with all 3DS games, Nintendo recommends that children under 7 only play the game in 2D, as the 3D effect could damage developing eyesight. Parents can turn off the ability to play in 3D by using the device's parental controls.

Kids say

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What's it about?

SKYLANDERS SPYRO'S ADVENTURE (3DS) is set in the fantasyland of Skylands. This game focuses on an area of Skylands called the Radiant Aisles, where the peaceful seekers cultivate a magical substance known as radiance. An evil tyrant names Hektore comes along to kidnap the seekers and steal all the radiance to make a powerful magic item for himself. You control any of 32 different heroes, dashing through long course-like levels, jumping across tons of floating islands, collecting bottles of \"radiance,\" and fighting bad guys before a timer runs out and Hektore himself appears to zap you. You can bring two Skylanders at a time into any level and switch back and forth between them, tag-team style.

Is it any good?


Skylanders Spyro's Adventures (3DS) offers players a well-constructed world full of creatively challenging race-against-time obstacle courses. Each level is a load of fun to play the first time through, but also provides great replay value with a slew of bonus objectives (collect five teddy bears, destroy 10 orange crystals, etc.) to reach on each level. Plus there are plenty of hidden areas to discover (and access only if you have the right kind of Skylander characters, of course) and secret treasures to find. Also, this is a game that takes full advantage of the 3D technology -- the effects are super cool. It's also great to note that you can take your characters from this 3DS version into completely unrelated console versions (like PS3 or Xbox 360) and they'll still retain all of their earned experience and powers. It serves as a great expansion of the Skylanders world for console game owners, but also as a wonderful handheld game in its own right.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the idea of buying characters to use in a video game. Does this feel like a fun innovation that allows you to customize your experience? Or do you look at it as a way for game publishers to simply make more money?

  • The 3DS version comes prepackaged with one of Skylanders' few female characters (there are only 3 out of the full selection of 32 Skylanders). Does this imbalance make the game less appealing to girls? Are boys willing to play with the female characters? Should the lineup be more evenly split between genders?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo 3DS
Available online?Not available online
Release date:October 16, 2011
ESRB rating:E10+ for Cartoon Violence

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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent Written bynickk1 July 29, 2015

Skylanders: Boring Adventure

Skylanders single handedly killed Spyro, shoving him in with tons of other boring characters and forcing you to buy toys to play as them. The first game is relatively harmless, but It does nothing new and spawned countless terrible sequels.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism


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