Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Skylanders SuperChargers

Skylanders SuperChargers

Spring 2016 Video Games
Ages: All Ages
Publisher: Activision, Inc.
Price: $74.99

Skylanders: SuperChargers is the latest version of the wildly successful "toys-to-life" franchise that combines toy figures with video game console play. After installing the game with one of the starter sets, players can purchase additional figures to unlock additional parts of the Skylanders world. How you feel about buying more figures for more game play may determine how you and your family like the game. Some may find it frustrating to be required to buy more items to visit the entire world of Skylanders. If the past is any indication, there are plenty of players who don't mind at all. Kids love to collect things, and this franchise plays expertly into that urge.

This iteration of the games offers new features in addition to what made the previous versions so successful. As in the earlier editions, characters in the game move in a colorful and exciting environment, collecting rewards and equipment, overcoming obstacles, and defeating bad guys, all as part of the effort to free captives and defeat the plots of Kaos and save Skylands. The action is non-stop, but never violent or threatening in a way that would upset youngsters or parents. Achievements and levels are challenging but accessible.

For the first time, SuperChargers adds vehicles to the Skylanders universe, making it a driving game as well as a character-based adventure. About half of the activity in the game involves the combination of a character with a vehicle. The vehicles are in three categories: land, sea, and sky. The characters matched with each vehicle play with Supercharged power, greater than non-matched characters.

In addition, there is co-operative play, so additional characters can help with the quest. Online play is also possible with this version of Skylanders. Importantly, figures from all previous versions of the game are compatible with the new edition. Finally, there is an online playing card-style challenge based on a mini-game within Skylands. There is a lot for kids to explore, so if they do like the game world, there is plenty more.

Our family includes some older siblings who play games I'd rather our youngest did not, so Skylanders is a welcome and refreshing addition to the carefully curated family game library. The Skylanders world is a rich and exciting one for younger gamers, with multiple ways to play. There's lots of play value for the money, with a slight deduction for requirement of additional purchases.

Sam Hillers   ©2016 Parents' Choice
Sam Hillers is a former investment analyst turned teacher of English and history. In addition to his academic pursuits, he loves blues and soul music, racehorses, hot sauce, Asian markets, craft beer, YA fiction, and well-made toys. Whenever possible, he shares these passions with his three boys: Bo, Redding, and Mason.

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Activision, Inc.

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