With any game franchise you’re going to want your game play to get bigger, better, brighter, and more fun with each go around. Skylanders Trap Team – Tablet edition delivers all that and more, and after giving it a good run though using my iPad and the Skylanders Trap Team Tablet Starter Pack, I’d say this is the most engaging Skylanders game yet.
Skylanders Trap Team is published by Activision
Release date: October 5, 2014
Rated: E 10+
Genre: Role playing, action adventure
Tablet version available for iOS and Android. Note: This game won’t work on the iPad Mini unless you have the retina display version
When you first set up the tablet version, you’ll have to download the Skylanders Trap Team app from iTunes or Google Play. It’s a free app, and you can play with it without the portal, but you’ll miss out on a lot of fun interaction if you don’t use the characters to play.
The Skylanders Trap Team Starter Pack Tablet comes with:
- 1 Traptanium Portal
- 2 Skylanders figures
- 2 Traptanium crystals, one water and one life trap
- Characters sticker sheets with secret codes you can enter online
- Trading Cards
- 1 cool character poster
To pair the portal with your tablet, just tap on Bluetooth. The remote control for the game is located underneath the portal so you can store it there when not playing.
Once your portal is paired, you’re ready to get into the game.
We enter the story right when Kaos, the evil overlord, has blown up the walls in Cloudcracker Prison. This is the location where all of the Skylander villains are trapped, and now that the walls have come down and they’re free, it’s up to you and your favourite Skylander characters or ‘Trapmasters’ to track them down and capture them.
How are you going to do that? With Traptanium of course. This magical material can harness evil characters and get them on your good side, so they’ll fight along side of the Trapmasters instead of against them. The Starter Pack comes with Snap Shot, a Trapmaster water element, and Food Fight, a playable Skylander mini character.
What impressed me right off the bat with Skylanders Trap Team is how great the game play is. I’ve played the Wii U version of every other Skylander game so I knew what to expect, and even though you’re running via Bluetooth, there was no discernable lag time in game play. The graphics were sharp, the audio coming through the iPad speakers was crisp and clear, and I didn’t miss playing it on the big screen at all.
This isn’t a hard game to play, but it’s definitely entertaining. When you play in story mode, you run around with the purpose of unlocking new areas and defeating the Skylander villains. Although the starter pack comes with two character and two traps, you won’t be able to unlock all the areas and complete the story without more of the Skylander figures and traps. When you do manage to capture a villain with a Traptanium crystal, you can complete a villains quest and you’ll be given a new item or open up a new area of the game.
In order to capture the villain though, you’ll have to use a Traptanium crystal that’s the same element as the villain you’re trying to get, and only one villain can be stored in each crystal. As you get further into the game, you can opt to exchange the villains at the villain vault.
There are mini-games within the game, and if you win at the mini-game you can unlock different things. There’s also an on-the-go mode, where you can play without the portal.
And if you’re wondering if you can use all of the Skylander characters you’ve accumulated from past games, the answer is yes. Eye Brawl has always been one of my favourite characters from the Skylander franchise. I had searched high and low for him a few years ago when my son just had to have him, so we had to take him for a spin in Skylanders Trap Team. Another cool feature in the tablet edition is how you can rename your Skylander character to whatever you’d like. Just go into settings and rename.
When you first start playing the game, make sure you listen up – you’ll hear a cast of character voices you’ll instantly recognize. Patrick Warburton, aka David Puddy to millions of Seinfeld fans, is Flynn in Skylanders Trap Team. Although I didn’t play with all the characters, I’m looking forward to listening in to Bobcat Goldthwait as Pop Fizz.
The obvious benefit of having Skylanders Trap Team on the tablet is that you’re not tethered to the TV. You can take the game along on trips or just as a distraction for long waits. The portal and game controller are small enough to fit in a bag or backpack, so it’s very portable. And if you’d like to play with it on your TV and you have an iPad and Apple TV, you can use mirroring to play on the big screen.
One of my only criticisms is that the game controller feels a bit too lightweight. It’s made of plastic, so I was a bit worried it would drop on the floor and fracture, but so far so good. This is also a game you’ll get through in approximately 10 hours, and although you can replay it again to look for more hidden objects, the story mode is pretty easy to get through so that makes it less likely you’ll replay it over and over again. There are other modes though, like Kaos Doom Challenge, and they will keep you hooked long after you’ve completed the story.
Skylanders Trap Team – Tablet edition is definitely one to put under the tree this year. Check out Skylanders Trap Team, the Traptanium Crystals, and the Skylander cast of characters available right now on Bestbuy.ca.
Gameplay: 5 / 5
Graphics: 5 / 5
Sound: 5 / 5
Controls: 4 / 5
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4 / 5
Overall Rating: 4 / 5 (92%)