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Review: Skylanders Swap Force

Review: Skylanders Swap Force

Skylanders Swap Force

It’s time for the third installment of the Skylander franchise with Skylanders Swap Force. With it comes a new story, new levels, and new toys to be collected and used. Not to mention that these new toys also have a new mechanic both in the real world and in the game world. That being the ability to trade half of one toy with another and mix and match their powers and look. This is my first foray into the Skylanders franchise so let’s see how well it went and if it is worth your time and money to invest in the franchise at this point in the game.

The Story

Kaos, the main villain who should just really be Invader Zim, is up to his evil plans again. This time he is aimed at turning one of the eternal elements evil so when they perform their magical ritual the whole world will be turned evil. Flynn, a sky captain and friend to the Skylanders, who is a full bowl of awesome, has taken upon the mission to ensure that doesn’t happen with the help of all the Skylanders and the mythical Swap Force. Then hilarity ensues.


The biggest thing that drove me crazy with Skylanders Swap Force is the fact that unless you are willing to drop a small fortune on the toys if you want to have the full experience. This is awesome for the publisher, design studio, and manufacturers but is very limiting to anyone who has to buy it all. Yes all the previous toys purchased do work, but seeing as there are now locations you can’t even enter unless you have the correct combination of Swap Force toys you will need to buy the new 16 toys to fully experience everything Skylanders Swap Force has to offer. There is a lot to do with the basic toys that come in the Starter version of the game but I felt left out quite a bit as I kept coming across locations and bonuses I couldn’t get due to my limited collection.

The next and final thing that drove me crazy in Skylanders Swap Force was the fact that I managed to find so many locations where I literally fell through the floor of the levels. I swear it happened to me about 20 times during my play through of the game. There were mechanics built in that corrected the issues so there was no need to restart the game, but this was the same mechanic if you happened to miss judge a jump and fell off the platform. I shouldn’t have had to rely on that to happen in the first place though. I get that I may miss a jump no and then, but when I am hacking and slashing in the mix of enemies on a large slab of land with no break I shouldn’t magically fall through and have to re-spawn.


Just as with any game that I love I have to start with the story. It wasn’t too intensive or complicated, due to the true target audience of a younger generation, but it had me letting loose a few laughs and I think there was a giggle too. Think about the humor that is in any decent children’s animated film and you should have a good idea of the level here in Skylanders Swap Force. It’s witty and good for pretty much any age. This was something I was originally worried about as my initial thought of the franchise was very childish and my tastes, well, not so much. Either way, it’s fun for both small and big kids who love video games.

Next on the docket would have to be the core gameplay and platforming. I was quickly taken back to the days of Super Mario 64 or Banjo & Kazooie. This is something I have been missing lately in the mix of action 3rd person or 1st person titles that have been all the rage for quite some times. I forgot how much fun these kinds of games could be and am very thankful that Skylanders Swap Force brought that love back into my life. I only wish that I could have been able to explore and try every aspect of the game’s world and side missions. Down the line as I obtain more of the toys I will have more game to play and enjoy though.


I’ll be honest, Skylanders Swap Force or the Skylanders franchise is a money sink but in the long run I feel it is well worth it. If you don’t have the funds to pick up the game and a few extra toys for the game, no matter the edition, I would say hold off until you can. The Starter version of Skylanders Swap Force does have enough to get through the core of the game but I can guarantee you will feel a bit left out as you will miss power ups and treasure chest because you don’t have specific toys or elements associated to those toys. If you do plan to collect the toys though, then this is a must have as the Swap Force addition to the franchise is an amazing new feature.

Skylanders Swap Force was developed by Vicarious Visions and published by Activision for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, WiiU and 3DS on October 13th, 2013. A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes.

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