Trap Team is the fourth in Activision’s money spinning toy and game franchise, but it’s the first to feature the bad guys as playable characters. Is this enough to warrant another portal purchase?
Trying to distinguish itself from the previous games, Trap Team has an interesting concept to add to the toy-meets-game series. In addition to the new toys, which I’ll come to in a minute, it features traps (two of which are included in the Starter Set). These help you trap the bad Skylanders who have broken out of the infamous Cloudcracker prison, mainly due to one of those evil plans of Kaos, the main bad guy from the previous games. It opens up a far bigger feeling game world with enemies turned in to heroes via their own missions to redeem their previous crimes.
You’ll need to trap them first, though, and you’ll need the Trap Masters to do it. Yes, here come the new toys! Trap Masters all have a large weapon that glows in the game when they need to trap an enemy. You can trap with normal Skylanders too, but it’s a lot harder. Using these characters you trap the bad guys in special cages, again using a plastic toy of each element to trap them. With only 2 of these in the box, it’s another thing to collect. The new portal lets you store the trap tool in a sort of cage and even makes a cool noise when there are captures Skylanders inside.
There are new tiny characters to play as, too, building up yet more collectable toys for the game, and all previous Skylanders will work. The new smaller characters do feel like they are there just to bolster the collection, though, and don’t feel like they add anything new to the game. The issue with using your old Skylanders is that they can’t be upgraded beyond their previous abilities. It would have been nice to have extra abilities in the new game, but it would mean less chance for those playing to buy new toys and keep the money rolling in, too.
The Wii U version’s use of the touchscreen still makes it the best version for younger children and has the benefit of off-TV play, too. Aside from that it seems to be graphically in between the older generation and current generation consoles, which is fine for me. These are the only things marking it out from the other console versions, though.
A return to solid platform gaming, an additional card game and the use of Villains as playable characters with their own missions certainly makes Trap Team worth buying in addition to any previous Skylanders game you already might own and the portal is the nicest looking one yet. It might not be quite as unique as I was hoping for, but it’s certainly recommended if you enjoyed the previous games.