Skylanders fans haven’t been feeling confident about the series lately. Activision announced last year that there would be no Skylanders 7 release, the first year a new Skylanders game hadn’t released since the series began in 2011. We’ve been given no new updates on the future of the once stalwart kid-friendly franchise.
For now fans can revel in the sales of older games and figures. Whether you’re a newcomer to the toys-to-life series or a reminiscing veteran, we’ve compared all six primary Skylanders games and ranked them from weakest to strongest.
Last year Disney abruptly announced they were ending Disney Infinity after three years. Earlier this year Activision gave the foreboding announcement that they would not release a new Skylanders game this year– for the first time in six years. This week Warner Bros. confirmed that they’re ceasing development on LEGO Dimensions (though online support will remain).
At this point there are more discontinued (or on hiatus) toys-to-life games than ongoing. In the span of a year we went from most major game publishers wanting a piece of the surging toys-to-life pie, to suddenly being left with a grim outlook for the future of the genre.
The dust has begun to settle from the big Nintendo Switch Presentation. We now know the big main talking points. The price ($299), the date (March 3), and the launch titles (not much). There wasn’t anything very shocking, and the conference did a good job focusing on new games. But right now I’m not seeing a very good incentive to purchase a Nintendo Switch at launch, especially if you already own a Wii U.
At launch the Nintendo Switch will have five titles: 1-2 Switch, Skylanders, Just Dance, Zelda, and Bomberman. Skylanders released last year. 1-2 Switch and Just Dance are motion-control mini-games. Bomberman is a top-down party game. Only Zelda represents what we would call a core game – a true system seller.
What makes a successful brand or franchise aimed at kids? Often the first piece of media that entices children or young teens is a movie, television show, or toy line. From there companies can expand with multiple forms of media and merchandising – including video games.
Video games have reached an odd era when it comes to kid-friendly brands. In the 90s and early 2000s, a major video game tie-in was pretty much guaranteed, and many of these games were extremely well-produced and successful. But gradually the games declined in quality and were rushed out the door as games became much more advanced. Many major toy and kid-focused companies all but abandoned gaming – until mobile.
My top ten favorite games of the year, presented in ascending order each day leading into the holidays. Look for my full Top Ten list with categories and awards on December 24!
#9 Skylanders Imaginators
I’ve been playing Skylanders games since the 3rd one back in 2013. I’ve really enjoyed the series’ simple 3rd person action gameplay and huge variety of powers and play styles with dozens of figures.
Previously I would grab the Skylanders games on sale months after release and clean up on deals and BOGO offers. But with Skylanders Imaginators, the sixth in the series, I was ready to jump in at launch. Now it’s the first Skylanders game to make my Game of the Year list.
More than anything else, this was the game my daughter was finally old enough to really enjoy. Any game that can have us play together, and be a legitimately fun game to play, garners high praise from me. Continue reading “My Top Ten Games of 2016: #9”
With a sixth game in as many years, the Skylanders crew has had to create an astonishing amount of new toy figures. While each Skylanders game has its own unique gimmicks, playing with new and old figures is still the main draw of each entry.
Skylanders: Imaginators features one of the most enjoyable new twists in being able to create your own customizable Skylander. Yet the new Sensei and Villain figures shouldn’t be ignored; they are some of the best figures we’ve seen yet.
Skylanders introduces a new gimmick with each new generation, and this sixth game finally lets you build your own Skylander. Not only is this gimmick fun and rewarding, but the gameplay and character designs represent the best of what Skylanders can offer.
Series villain Kaos is up to no good once again. He’s trying to create an army of doomlanders using the same new Build Your Own mechanics that are added to Imaginators. The plot is familiar and forgettable. But the real treat is getting to see actual Skylanders on screen for the first time.
First generation Skylanders such as Spyro, Stealth Elf, and Jet-Vac take center stage for the first time, fully voiced and acting out fun scenes. This coincides with the upcoming Skylanders Academy Netflix show. It establishes the Skylanders with actual personalities outside of their battle cries.
Using your original Skylanders around those scenes can be a bit silly. But most likely you’ll want to use the new figures, and particularly the new Imaginator Crystals.