Skylanders Trap Team (Video Game Review)

Skylanders Trap Team is the newest release for the highly popular toy and video game series from developer Toys for Bob and Publisher Activision. The fourth entry to the franchise introduces a new game mechanic that once again changes how Portal Masters will explore the Skylands. In Skylanders: Swap Force Kaos destroyed the Cloudcracker Prison and freed all sorts of baddies that now roam around the Skylands. The Portal Master (player) must use an all new Portal of Power and traps built from the powerful traptanium element to capture the villains and bring peace back to the world of the Skylanders.

Each release in the Skylanders series has produced a brand new game mechanic that introduces a new type of character and way to play the game. In Skylanders Trap Team, players will have access to special traps that can be used to capture defeated enemies that are turned into fully playable characters upon their capture. Each trap is based around one of the game's eight elemental categories, and each can house up to 40 different villains at a time. The game also includes the all new Villain Vault that can house trapped villains inside the game to make more room for villains in the player's traps.

Trapped villains can be summoned in battle just like any other character. Some of the villains have powerful abilities that can make them even better than the actual Skylanders characters. The main drawback with using villains is a timer that countdowns to the full depletion of a villain's energy. The villain will need to be placed back in the trap when the timer runs out, and the villain will regain energy over time to be used again. One neat feature allows Portal Masters to summon a villain, use the villain's special power and immediately switch to a Skylanders character while still having the villain's ability active for the new character. Villains also get special missions to access within the game for special rewards. It's also worth mentioning that the trapped villains will yell through the built-in speaker of the all new Traptanium Portal to add a bit of humor to the game heard outside of the in-game audio.

There are a host of other new features included in Skylanders Trap Team in addition to the new traps and playable villains. Players will want to head to the Skylanders Academy between missions to rest, meet new characters, gain information about what to do next in the game and maybe even find an important secret hidden within the grounds of the school. The school also introduces players to new Battle Arenas, where players can battle enemies in special areas full of traps and hazards meant to offer some of the toughest training available at the academy. Portal Masters can also enlist in music classes at the Skylanders Academy with each Skylanders character performing a different musical number with The Skaletones band.

Skylanders Trap Team brings back a mini-game introduced in Skylanders Giants known as Skylanders Skystones. Skylanders Skystones Smash is the new game and pits the player against a rival in a collectible card game. The player controls a team of heroes and battles against a second player in control of a group of bad guys. The new card game is much more fast-paced and exciting than its previous iteration, and even though it likely won't attract any Magic: The Gathering or Hearthstone fans to come play Skylanders Trap Team, it is a good way to add more collectibles to the game while giving a fun distraction away from the main game.

Another brand new game mode for Skylanders Trap Team is the Kaos Doom Challenge. The mode is similar to horde modes seen in many other games with players facing off with endless waves of enemies in an effort to survive for as long as possible. The Kaos Doom Challenge does reward players with some nice prizes for surviving many waves of enemies, so it's a good way to rack up on some rare items and maybe even find some loot not available anywhere else in the game.

There are plenty of collectibles included in Skylanders Trap Team to give the game even more replay value. One such item are the troll radios that can be found scattered around the Skylands. The radios can be pretty annoying at times, as trolls are apt to be, but seeking out and destroying the radios can give players some extra cash and some special rewards. Hats return in Skylanders Trap Team to give players a fun way to customize their Skylanders, but Skylanders Trap Team also introduces trinkets to add even more flair to these already colorful characters. It's also worth noting that both hats and trinkets can be equipped to villains to produce some pretty hilarious results as well.

Most players will want to pick up the Skylanders Trap Team starter pack with the release of the new game. The all new Traptanium Portal is required in order to use traps and the newest Skylanders Trap Team figures, but the starter pack also comes with some other perks. One of our favorite new characters named Food Fight is included in the starter pack. This little guy is mean and green and blasts his opponents away with a variety of tomato based attacks. Snap Shot also comes in the packs and is one of the best new Trap Master characters that can be used to capture villains within the game. The starter pack also includes two elemental traps, stickers, trading cards, a character poster and a trap collection tray that is perfect for holding all eight of the new traps introduced in Skylanders Trap Team.

Skylanders Trap Team
introduces over 30 brand new characters and over 50 new figures total. The additional figures include 16 Trap Master characters. Some of our favorite in the set include the Undead warrior known as the Krypt King, who can get in a bash with the best of them with a large sword capable of dealing devastating amounts of damage, and Wildfire, whose powerful flame based attacks will have enemies cooling off inside of a trap in no time. One often overlooked feature in Skylanders Trap Team is the introduction of the all new Minis characters. These tiny characters were introduced in the very first Skylanders video game, but the characters get their own figures and are fully playable in the game for the first time ever in Skylanders Trap Team. The figures come two characters to a pack and includes our favorite Spry, the miniature Spyro the Dragon character, and Mini Jini.

The presentation featured in Skylanders Trap Team is once again top notch for its genre. Part of what makes the Skylanders series so special and be definitively more enjoyable than series like Disney Infinity are the excellent characters, diverse worlds and amazing gameplay. The majority of the new characters are fun to play the game with, and some even change the way the game is played with a wide range of attack options and controls. Some of our favorite characters ever introduced in the series are included in the new game, and each figure reflects well in the game as seen from the high quality figures outside of the game. Captain Flynn returns to take players on an exciting and hilarious journey through the Skylands, and the world looks better than ever while playing the next generation game on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

The Skylanders series just seems to be getting better and better with the launch of Skylanders Trap Team. The new title introduces all new playable characters with the Trap Masters, Minis and playable villains. Players will have tons of character options to explore the new game with, and there are several new mini-games that add a whole lot more excitement to the game including the Kaos Doom Challenge and Skylanders Skystones Smash. Skylanders Trap Team is a fun game for all age groups, and it should once again be one of the most popular video game purchases this holiday season. Skylanders Trap Team proves that being bad is too fun to resist. Look for Skylanders Trap Team on your favorite console today!

Skylanders Trap Team is now available from all major retailers and can be purchased for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo 3DS. Skylanders Trap Team is rated E by the ESRB for Cartoon Violence & Comic Mischief. For more information on the game, check out the official Skylanders Trap Team website.

Game Features:
  • Local Multiplayer 1-2
  • Trap and Play as Villains
  • Explore the Skylanders Academy
  • Over 50 New Figures
  • Trophy/Achievement Support

Game Information:
Developer: Toys For Bob
Publisher: Activision
Platforms: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One (reviewed), Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U, Nintendo Wii & Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: October 5, 2014

Score: 10 out of 10
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