Skylanders SWAP Force review

The Skylanders are back, this time with the ability to mix and match – and Kaos are yet again causing trouble in his attempt to make the world as evil as possible – and take it over. Unveil the story about the fight between good and bad, and cherish the detailed figurines with upgrades and levelling.

Swap Force is the third installment to the Skylanders series, and while this game is just more of what we loved in the two previous games, this one feels fresh. The fact that you can use your other figurines with the game is a nice touch, even hats and upgrades are saved and used in Swap Force.

There’s trouble once again in Skylands, this time in Cloudbreak Islands. As the player you have to lead the army of Skylanders to the battle. Kaos has obtained some crystals that with the right technology can make creatures evil, and as we all know from the previous games in the series, Kaos ain’t that creative, so he called this device the evilizer. We get to meet his mother as well.

Welcome to the treehouse

At the start of the game you need to reach a small town called Woodbury, where you’ll meet a number of quirky and sweet characters that needs the Skylanders help. This is your homebase. It’s about that time where the mythical volcano gives all the magic back to the Skylands in a big eruption. It was during one of these eruptions that ripped apart a group of Skylanders, and the volcano granted them a new power – the ability to mix and match torsos and legs. Swap Force was made.

The gameplay consists mostly of what we already know – switch figurines on the portal to another skylander and skylanders are unplayable for the rest of the level if the health deplenishes to zero. Work your way through linear levels and beat all the minions you meet by the use of your skylanders weapons and skills – don’t forget to upgrade! The main new thing here is the ability to mix one skylanders torso with another skylanders legs. The figurines is as always a work of art, the attention to detail, and the figurines doesn’t feel fragile, on the contrary. The Swap figurines has magnets in the bottom of the torso, and in the top of the legs – making it easy to assemble the figurines correctly and it keeps it in place. No locks or furrows that can be damaged.

Anyway, there’s not much to say about the gameplay, especially if you’ve been playing the earlier games in the series – it’s the same things you do, with new enemies. They way a new enemy is being presented in this game is actually quite fitting, as it will zoom into the creature, it will do some kind of pose, and you’ll informed of it’s name. Some of these will do something funny, like dropping their weapon. Now you work your way through the floods of enemies and the occasional boss that tries to get rid of you – and enjoy all the small funny quirky jokes and names you’ll meet.

Limited access

As you get around, you’ll met different gates – some will work just as the ones from Spyro’s Adventure, the first skylanders game, and only open up for a skylander who fits the element on the gate. Other gates has two elements, which means you have to mix two different skylanders from the Swap Force to fit the gates requirements. There’s traces of Skylander Giants as well, as there’s these big chests, which you can not open unless you use a Giant.

While I’m not a fan of limiting a game and making some stuff inaccessible for the player, and almost forcing players to spend money on figurines, it is actually not that bad – not when reminding myself that behind these gates there might be a hat or some treasure that will help upgrade my skylander, and maybe a few enemies for boosting a little bit of XP, the area is rarely big. Only a few minutes of gameplay, and is definitely not needed for the full game experience.

Skylanders Swap Force is the best games in the series so far, and the most bright and colourful one at that. There’s just enough new content and ideas to justify a new installment instead of DLCs. The new skylanders have strong personalities, are cute, and each and every one has a sleeve of great ideas to defeat the enemy. The RPG elements (like upgrading) works like a charm, and you feel progress. All ages apply, and you can play co-op too!

Hit; The new idea of mix and matching two skylanders, even the figurines is fantastic, and works perfectly.

Miss; Gameplay could have been more innovative, but since fans of the earlier games in the series like the gameplay, there’s no need to change or try to repair something that ain’t broken.

Need; Maybe a new fresh top boss instead of Kaos could have been a nice change, but Kaos is still fun to defeat.

Written by

Getting sucked into games by Super Mario as a kid, gaming got on hold during her teens. Lured into gaming with the 7th generation by GTA IV, and a few years later intrigued by reviewing games, and now she's running gamingirl since 2009.

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