Monday, September 21, 2015

What You Should Know About Skylanders Before Buying The Game

My son is 4 and for the past year he got sucked into the world of Skylanders like many boys his age.  He learned about them through Evan Tube and has been hooked ever since.

What are Skylanders?  If you've somehow never heard of these things, they are a series of neat little characters who fight bad guys, that's the gist of it.  Each character has a magical element: Fire, Water, Earth, Light, Air, Undead, Tech, and Magic.

Up until about two months ago, my son was perfectly content just accumulating the different figurines but we are a gaming family so who was I kidding, I knew that at some point we would get the game.  Oh gods, what have we done?

So yes, there is a game and we got it for our Xbox One.  The game comes with a neat portal that you plug into your Xbox, the game (of course), and a few different characters to start out with.  You'd think you'd be set with just that but you'd be so very, very wrong.

And so I begin the Things I Wish I Knew About Skylanders Before

1.  It is a money pit.  Be prepared to spend a pretty penny.

2.  This could have been included in number one but hey, I enjoy making lists.  Here are things you are going to spend money on that you had no idea you'd need to:
  • Trap Masters.  These are Skylander characters on steroids.  You can usually tell they're Trap Masters because they have spiffy weapons or accessories that are clear-ish which is supposed to be Traptanium, a special substance that you'll learn about through the story line.  Throughout game play you will come across special portals that only a Trap Master of that portal's element can go through to get extra treasure and areas.  There will also be clusters of traptanium that only a Trap Master can crush to access a reward
  • Traps.  These things look like tiny crystals and they're what you'll need to trap the bad guys once you defeat them.  And you can't just buy one, oh no, no, no.  Each bad guy also has an element and you'll need to have a trap with that element in order to trap them.  Want another kicker?  Certain traps like the Light, Dark, and special Kaos trap are very rare and expensive!  We've had this game for about two months now and have beat the game but we still don't have the Light or Dark crystals.  Do yourself a favor and buy the three packs of the crystals because they end up being cheaper that way, wish I'd known that gem in the beginning.
3.  Just when you think the game is over, it's not.  Once you defeat Kaos, the geniuses behind Skylanders (really, they are geniuses for coming up with all of this) carry on the story by adding extra areas and story line that you can only access through "magical items."  We went all over the Academy trying to find a character who sold magical items but magical items, like the traps and skylanders, are small plastic objects you have to go to the store or online to buy.  You place them on the portal and are able to access fun extra content.

4.  You will have to battle your child with the strength of Thor to get them to stop playing this game.  And the moment you wake up, there your bundle of joy will be, begging you to play the game.  You need to set limits which can be tough.  Please don't give me any flack about this, I already feel enough shame on my own, okay?

5.  You will be astonished by the freakish rate at which your child will become an expert at playing this game.

6.  Despite it being very expensive and addictive, it is fun to do as a family.  The game has a 2-player mode so you can play with your child.

7.  The story line is great and you can expect a ton of delightful giggles coming from your kiddo.

8.  Your child will tell EVERYONE about their Skylander adventures everything.  Does my grandma want to hear about all of the crystals?  I'll tell her!  Does my teacher want to know about my favorite Skylander?  Sure!  Does this complete stranger standing next to us at the crosswalk want to know what game I want to play right now?  Yaaaasss!

So there, you have been warned and my heart goes out to you, fellow parent of a Skylander fanatic.

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