There's a Trap in the New Skylanders Game

Bring me to life.

The magic of Skylanders--at least for its young target audience--has always been in how it mixes the physical and the virtual. For a kid, it's exciting to have physical, quality figurines to play with in the real world, before taking virtual avatars of those same characters on adventures within a game. It's a recipe that has worked well with the previous Skylanders games, but for the next installment in the series, publisher Activision and developer Toys For Bob are adding a new element that, according to executive producer Jeff Poffenbarger, will help bring "life to toys."

And how will the new game--Skylanders Trap Team--bring life to inanimate objects? It will attempt to do it through the power of... speakers. Trap Team will come with a new physical portal (dubbed the Traptanium Portal) that has a built-in speaker that allows you to hear the voices of bosses you capture within the game. Once you've captured a boss, you can then use that boss as a fully playable character in your adventures, swapping between your Skylander and the boss at any time.

Portal Master Snap Shot astride the new Traptanium Portal.

Poffenbarger demonstrated this new mechanic to me during a recent interview about Skylanders Trap Team. Using one of the new Skylander types being introduced in the game--the Portal Masters--he fought a boss named the chompy mage. Once defeated, the captured mage was "teleported" to the Traptanium Portal, and his audio dialogue, which had been booming from the television, was now coming out through the portal's tiny speaker (Chompy Mage complained about the cramped new place he found himself in). It was an interesting effect, and for the most part was a neat gimmick that helped with the illusion that a virtual creature was now somehow contained within the real-world portal. Kids will most likely love it.

A water elemental Trap.

Skylanders games, of course, are all about the companion toys, so there will be a new toy type that you'll need to buy to be able to capture in-game bosses. These new toys are called traps, and they need to be inserted into the portal to capture a defeated boss. Traps have elemental alignments, and you'll only be able to capture a boss using the appropriate elemental trap.

Skylanders Trap Team's starter pack will come with two traps (as well as one of the new Portal Masters, the new portal, and a regular-size Skylander), and Poffenbarger says you'll be able to complete the game with just the starter pack toys. Thankfully, Poffenbarger says an individual trap can hold multiple bosses, and as was the case with the earlier games, all previous toys will again be compatible for use with the new portal.

But if the experience of previous Skylanders games are anything to go by, relying on just the starter pack toys will mean there’ll be areas and missions you simply won’t be able to access. And with only two traps, you’ll only be able to get a fraction of the bosses that’s available in Trap Team. If you’re a huge Skylanders fan or a parent of one, then this hobby just became a little more expensive thanks to the addition of this new toy type.

Skylanders Trap Team will be released on October 5, 2014 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and 3DS.

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Discussion

22 comments
frogmenes
frogmenes

The figures refered to as portal masters are actually called trap masters, portal masters are the players not a figure. Just watch the trailer and you will see what I mean.

benleslie5
benleslie5 moderator

There should totally be an Admiral Ackbar toy for this- "IT'S A TRAP"

tts42572
tts42572

I'm tired of buying my son a new skylander game, portal and collection of skylanders every damn year.  Why can't they just come out with a game with a new adventure...and maybe add an online component....that uses all the existing Skylanders and portal...and leave it at that.


I miss the old days when you could just unlock characters in games to play with...like the Lego games for example.  With Skylanders, you have to physically buy them for $15 each...


I've had enough of this game...pure money grabbers.

Yomigaeru
Yomigaeru

They're playing a dangerous game now. Not only is this the fourth game in a row (that costs more than your standard new release), but it's the second year in a row that they're making everyone buy a new starter pack to play the new game. And considering it was said in one of the FGTV interviews that they started on Trap Team around the time Giants was released, they could have made a futureproof portal for Swap Force that would work with this game.


Fortunately for them, the game is aimed at small children, which means that parents are the ones that will primarily be footing the bill. And how can you explain to small children that they're favorite game is made by a company taking advantage of their naivete?

oskuuu
oskuuu

a VERY misleading headline :D

TrueProphecy22
TrueProphecy22

I would have loved to have had a game like this when I was a kid. 

hystavito
hystavito

Sorry but until the portal can also bring virtual avatars into the physical world, I'm not buying.


Hey it's not totally unreasonable, affordable 3D printer tech is getting better every day, or maybe every year, ah forget it :).

Tiwill44
Tiwill44

Of course. The whole game is a trap.

BamaGoatt
BamaGoatt

Sounds nice but I am probably done with skylanders I enjoy playing swap force but not into collecting so trapping bosses doesn't appeal to me.

krystyla
krystyla

Japanese traps? Because those are lolis that are actually dudes.

deadpen
deadpen

Wow, GS actually did an article about a game and they did it without trying to start a flame war. 

mgmorden
mgmorden

@tts42572  You don't have to shell out that much.  Wait until the thing has been out for a while and goes on sale.  I don't think I've paid more than $40 for any of the starter packs for my nieces.  I generally buy them older clearanced figures for $5-8 each (and certainly nowhere near all of them - just enough to have fun with), and no matter how old they are they work in the new games.


Teach them to bargain hunt and maintain reasonable expectations and that's an actual skill that will help them as they get older.

Poodlejumper
Poodlejumper

@tts42572  Try using the word "no" and teaching them how to spot a money sucking waste of time.


Mine likes Broken Age.  Cost me $25.  ONCE.

amigaice
amigaice

@Yomigaeru  I am with you. I am getting sick of buying new Portals. I like the the figures because my kids can save $10 and get something new for there game. It's fun watching them actually play with the toys too. But forcing new portals every year is getting old.

Zepthire95
Zepthire95

@Yomigaeru Completely agree. I started with Giants which I picked up for £25 and I think it's a really fun game but theres no way I am going to buy more of them if they keep insisting on getting a new starter pack for each game rather than using the same one like the first 2 did.

Yomigaeru
Yomigaeru

@oskuuu Right? Where's my yummy yummy futa, Gamespot?!


...ahem. Perhaps I've said too much.

golemoy
golemoy

@TrueProphecy22 It's better to have it as an adult. You have your own money and can buy all the figures you want, without having to beg your parents.

golemoy
golemoy

@BamaGoatt Skylanders is ALL about collecting stuff, both real and virutal. So this franchise isn't for you.

freedom01
freedom01 moderator

@krystyla  not lolis, any women, but they are guys, so it can be a guy that had plastic surgery to make himself look like a women.

BamaGoatt
BamaGoatt

@golemoy @BamaGoatt  I don't consider the figurines as collecting because I plan to give them to my niece for her son someday. Also collecting the virtual stuff isn't what I meant or at least the gems and stuff. I have friends that are collectors though and just don't get it, but they don't get how I can abandon virtual trophies and trade games in like I do lol.