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Skylanders Imaginators

Posted by GG Goblin On November - 1 - 2016

More toys, more Kaos.

Another year, another reason for young gamers and collectors to squeal with glee while those who hold the purse strings try desperately to hide their wallets behind the sofa. The toys to life genre gets another entry with the latest Skylanders game, offering yet another new gimmick to differentiate the game from all of those which came previously.


Skylanders Imaginators is this year’s entry, and series veterans will find it as no surprise that the inept Kaos has once again come up with a cunning plan to defeat the Skylanders. It will be down to the Portal Master, which is You, the player, to stop Kaos in his tracks through plentiful brawling, light platforming and simple puzzle solving with a range of different, outlandish characters that are all represented in the real world through their matching toys.

Except this time around, they are not. Much like Trap Team, in which players were able to capture enemies in special toy traps and then summon them into the game world through using those traps in the Portal of Power, there is a slight disconnect to Imaginators. Much of the joy of the Skylanders games comes from having a physical toy which then enters the game through placing it on a Portal of Power. The toy looks the same as the representation in the game. You can look at the toy and know what will appear in the game. Some of that magic was lost with the little plastic traps in Trap Team, simply because they didn’t represent whatever would be used in the game, and the same could be said for the new Creation Crystal in Imaginators.

This is the big gimmick for this entry in the Skylanders series, the ability to create your own Skylander. In the base pack, players will get a single Creation Crystal which, once placed on the Portal of Power, will allow the player to start creating a custom Skylander of their own. However, there is a disconnect in that the model will never actually look like whatever the player creates, which is understandable given the massive number of options available to the player. But it is a shame, and it is not the only disappointment to be found with Imaginators.


The developers are always quite clever with their creation of the Skylanders games. When it comes to content, they are always packed to bursting and players can have a great time with just the toys included with the base game. However, there are loads of areas in the games that are locked off to specific types of toys, usually based around their elemental type, and gaining access to these areas will involve purchasing more toys. It’s a great marketing ploy and really does take great self control to resist rushing out and buying all of the toys available.

Imaginators follows the same formula, this time including some lovely new Sensei figures that have their own areas to unlock. But it does feel like the developers have turned the monetization up a notch with the Creation Crystals. The single Creation Crystal that players get with the basic set is assigned to the fire element, so already players will have to buy more Crystals should they wish to build their own creations with other elements. But then, Imaginators introduces Battle Classes which can be assigned as they create characters. These classes, from Brawler and Bowslinger to Ninja and Quickshot, use different weapons and have different moves. They also lock to the Creation Crystal when first chosen, so to create a character for each of the ten different classes, players will have to go out and buy ten Creation Crystals. If you want one of each class for each elemental type, that’s a big chunk of change.

So, self restraint is required, or a hefty bank loan if players want to experience everything that Skylanders Imaginators has to offer. The Skylanders games always come with the warning of how expensive they can be, but Imaginators is above and beyond, there are even microtransactions to add insult to injury.


None of this matters, mind you, because Skylanders Imaginators is just so much fun. There is a really robust creation tool set in the game, allowing players to let their imagination run wild when creating their Imaginator. Through playing the game, rewards are plentiful which often come in the form of chests that contain all manner of different parts for their own creation, from armour sets and equipment of different levels of rarity, through to different catch phrases that will drive the player mad. Creating a character is an absolute joy, and collecting all of these different components is incredibly compelling.

Skylanders Imaginators is a bright and colourful game, with a high level of polish that will appeal to both young and old gamers. There really are so many different aspects to the game, making it suitable for all gamer ranges, although more accomplished gamers may find the level of challenge set a little low.

The brand new range of Skylander toys are great, especially the new Crash Bandicoot and Dr. Cortex figures that come with the Special Edition. However, all of the older Skylanders toys will still work with the game, even the traps from Trap Team as long as you use the right Portal of Power, so those with already massive collections will have plenty to do.


Skylanders Imaginators is a great game. The gameplay is highly enjoyable, while the new chance to create your own character, and collecting all of the different components in the game, is compelling. It is difficult to reconcile with the ways the game tries to get players to spend money, but at the end of the day it is down to the player to choose how much they want to spend. There is plenty of fun to be had in Skylanders Imaginators with just the base set, while collectors will get a buzz from the vast number of different toys they can indulge in. The game may not make massive strides from the previous games but, packed with charm and fun, Skylanders Imaginators is easy to recommend for young gamers, and will offer older gamers a good time too.




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