Skylanders Trap Team Preview

Is this a trap?

At my hands-off showing of Skylanders Trap Team, a world of flying dinosaurs, candy-barfing piñatas, and tomato-shooting artichokes were presented to me in such a way that if there were only one copy of the game left, some kid and I might have to arm-wrestle for it. The majestic visuals of the lay of the land can be enchanting. With an even blend of smoothly crafted shapes and colors, it’s truly an attention-grabber.
 
The folks at Toys for Bob, developers of this fable-like creation, are back at it again. With the concept and plot sounding like something out of a Maurice Sendak story, Trap Team centers around the evil villains of Cloudcracker prison who have just broken out with the help from Kaos. After their break to freedom, each of them set out through Skylands to wreak havoc. It is now up to the original Skylanders and Trap Master Skylanders to seek out their foes and recapture them all (maybe they should get a little help from Ash, just saying).


 
There are plenty of villains to chase after, each having their unique set of powers. After defeating and capturing the enemy, you are then able to use them in your quest to finding the rest. Finding that right blend of fight styles will be up to you. A character like Jawbreaker, a heavy-fisted brute, is good for ground-and-pound attacks, where as characters like Chopper, a raptor/mini-T-rex toting a helicopter pack, are great for attacks from the sky. With over 40 characters, a shortage of firepower will not be the case.

Trapped villains can be swapped in and out by using a new portal, which has a built-in speaker of its own and when changed out, quipped comments can be heard. Once equipped with a certain partner, you can switch between the two with a press of a button, but there’s a timer for how long a villain can be used at a time. It is possible to switch as many times as you want, though, just by waiting for the bar to recharge. It’s all about being strategic and calculating with switches.

The cool thing about Skylanders Trap Team is that it’s kid-friendly. Even though there’s mild fighting and explosions, all sequences are kept light and sometimes even funny. With the incorporation of puzzles, critical, and spatial thinking, there’s an element of learning as well. Children and adults alike will be on the frontier of explorations with this one, in a battle of good and evil.
 
Skylanders Trap Team is still a work in progress, but we can expect an October 5 release date in North America on PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, Wii, and 3DS.