This year’s edition of Activision’s hit franchise is changing up the formula just enough to add some fresh ideas while retaining the identity that has made it so successful in the past with the brand new Skylanders: Trap Team.
Fans of the previous entries in the series will feel right at home with Skylanders: Trap Team, which is looking to add enough interesting and new ideas to keep them engaged with both the new and old Skylanders characters. As was the case before, all previously released Skylanders will be compatible with the newest entry and it’s Portal peripheral. Additionally, there will be bonus content available in the game tailored just for the previous characters in the series, such as the Skylanders: Giants and Skylanders: Swapforce.
Adding to the roster of Skylanders this time around is the newest concept of being able to trap your enemies and have them fight for you. Skylanders: Trap Team is the first entry in the series to allow the players to play as the Villains of the universe, a highly requested feature for the franchise that boasts a heavy roster of interesting characters, both good and evil. Captured foes can be encased in your physical Traps that will interact with the Portal in the same way your Skylanders would.
Each Trap has an Element assigned to it, as do the foes you will be facing and in order to capture one after defeating it, you will need room in the same Elemental trap, such as fire matching fire. Each Trap can hold one enemy and upon capturing a new one, it will give you the choice to replace the current one you have imprisoned. The player can then temporarily summon the captured foe and use them for a limited amount of time in battle, giving them a heavy advantage.
Skylanders: Trap Team will be featuring a few more puzzles in the game than the previous entries. The franchise is primarily aimed at a younger audience and as such, the difficulty seems to be in line with who the game is being made for. The puzzles are pretty straight forward but still engage the player’s mind to give them a little more substance than the previous entries have provided. Activision genuinely seems like they are trying to grow with their audience and innovate in areas of the game instead of following an easy paint-by-numbers formula.
On the final and arguably biggest note of innovation, Skylanders: Trap Team is set to feature the most female characters of any of the titles. When speaking to my host at the Booth, I was assured that Activision is focused on making sure they are including the increasingly growing and very welcomed audience of female gamers. I wasn’t given an exact number but was told that since Skylanders are individually released throughout the year, Activision can stay on top of the interest and demand that their audience is asking for.
And finally, the Skylanders: Trap Team Dark Edition was announced at SDCC 2014 and will feature extra Trap accessories, extra playable characters and a host of collectors goodies like posters, stickers and trading cards. The biggest draw to the Dark Edition is the inclusion of the Ultimate Kaos Trap, which allows players to capture the Skylanders’ series main villain Kaos and use him for their own.