Skylanders Spyro's Adventure Wii review Come on now, Activision. We're not stupid. Gimmick aside, Skylanders is indeed a strong action-adventure game with great co-op and an infectious personality. But it's the game's Portal Of Power accessory that is both its unique selling point and the worst thing about it.
Skylanders sees you play as Spyro The Dragon along with up to 31 other characters as they battle to save the world from evil Portal Master Kaos.
It's a top-down affair, as you wander through each stage attacking enemies, finding collectibles and levelling up with new abilities and special hats.
It comes with the aforementioned Portal Of Power, a small plastic pedestal that connects wirelessly to the Wii via a USB adaptor and glows as you play. It comes with three Skylanders figurines - when you place one on the portal, that character then appears in the game. Want to change characters? Simply take your Skylander off the portal and pop another one on.
It's a fun idea and one kids will love, especially since a character's abilities, unlockables and current level are saved in the toy itself and can then be used with other versions of the game.
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Where it all starts to get a bit sinister is just how many of these toys there are, and the way the game pesters you to buy more of them. There are 32 to collect and the game comes with three, each representing a different element. Many areas can only be accessed with Skylanders of that element - the water-based Gill Grunt can cross rivers and walk through water-only doors, but the tech-based Trigger Happy can't.
It's possible to play through the story with the three starter characters, but to see the other sizeable chunk of the game you need to buy at least another five figures - and to fully complete it you'll need to buy the other 28 figures, at a hefty price.
As good as Skylanders is, it ends up feeling a little cynical. It takes the character-swapping mechanic from the LEGO games and locks it so you have to pay extra money to use it fully, but dresses it up in a way that appeals to children. A fun game, but be prepared to fork out for much more than the game itself if you want the full experience.