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on March 30, 2016
We have found this game to be surprisingly fun. We like co-op games and the co-op is well done. The switching out of characters if you want is easy and smooth without confusing the game.
You CAN finish the whole game with the base starter set characters.
Yes, there are areas you cannot go or sometime there may be a puzzle to do something another character could just do, but it works. Some characters are more powerful in some areas or have things they can open other elements cannot. These never stop progress but they add extras.
the characters can be found all over the place for cheap and all older characters work in the newer games. All newer bases work with older games. Older bases cannot run the new game and I think new characters cannot go into older games but the characters and bases move forward from the original to the most current.

Note: my seller actually sent just the figures not the starter pack I wanted - check the specific seller listing carefully, do not order without looking. Amazon of course fixed it no problem but it was frustrating
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VINE VOICEon January 3, 2013
Santa got this for the two boys in our house. So far it's been a hit. Needless to say this is a boon for Activision because once you start playing you see why you need all the figurines. As you work through the chapters you lose characters (they need to "rest"). As the body count mounts up, you need replacement soldiers to complete the level, else you're done. So the more guys you buy, the more lives you get. Further, the levels will tell you what type of character does best in a given situation. So if an earth guy does better you're going to want earth guys on-hand. So now we probably need to get one of each type at least in order to move forward!

Very sneaky, Activision!

Aside from the clever marketing, one other criticism: the characters can't jump. Ever since Pitfall, your guy on screen can jump, but not here. But you do get 2 attack modes, and you can buy a third as well from the stores that somehow pop up.

As a grown-up I was able to play without reading the directions for a time, until I got to Skystones and my kid had to clue me in on how to win. Early on I was winning through pure dumb luck but down the road that doesn't cut it anymore (like life, amirite?).

The other minigame where you rotate a table to move a ball was fun and an ego-boost when it told me I achieved a perfect score. That made up for the Skystone incident...

Another really cool thing is that even if the Wii is in standby mode the portal stays lit. Also, when you put a giant on the portal it lights up too. I don't know if there are internal batteries or what.

Ok, here's the big downside I'm seeing so far. When playing two players the software gets confused easily. When placing a second character on the portal it will tell you you have too many guys on the portal, unless the player two pressed "A" on the controller. So just walking up and putting a new guy on the portal is a no-go. Also, we found somehow during this process that a player gets removed from the game. So when you do things right and add a second Skylander it still says you have too many players. And then when you think you've solved this, then you find (in the heat of battle no less) that the two players have swapped Skylanders somehow! We butchered a few Skylanders this way since we were cross-controlling the wrong guy. Now I caveat this with the "I didn't read the directions in the manual" excuse but we DID follow the on-screen directions and prompts which seen more than adequate, and this continues to be a problem occasionally. First time out of the box, player management was a HUGE problem but we're learning the ropes and life is good.

All in all, I can see why this franchise is successful, and we look forward to buying more games so we can use our small army of figurines. Given all the imagination Activision has placed in the ones we have so far, we can see lots of cool possibilities down the road!
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on April 13, 2013
Ok, I am the type of person that researches everything before I buy it and read every review, so I want to be helpful to parents like myself who are new to this whole Skylanders thing. First of all let me say that it is actually a pretty cute game and my 6 year old daughter is completely in love with it. That being said, let me answer some of the questions I had when I started looking into it.

Is it too violent for a young child? While there is a lot of sword play and shooting of lasers and things like that, there is no blood or gore. The bad guys (some of which may look a little creepy for some young children) just disappear when you defeat them leaving jewels in their place for you to collect. My daughter can be a little sensitive about that stuff sometimes but it never bothered her with this game. And one thing I like for kids is that when your character is defeated in a battle, it doesn't "die" or "lose a life" like in other games. It simply "needs to rest" and you can switch to a different character to continue playing.

Should I get Giants or Spyros adventure? Well, all of the figures work on the Giants game, but only the older ones work on the Spyro game. We were better off getting the Giants one so we wouldn't have to worry whether the figures will work with the game or not.

Should we get it for the Wii or for the 3ds? While the thought of being able to bring the game with her and not having to dominate the tv was nice, from what I have seen, the Wii game does more. I believe, though I could be wrong, that on the ds you can only play with two different characters per game where on the Wii, you can switch between any at any time.

Will it get expensive? Probably. The figures range in price and can add up because, of course, my daughter wants to collect them all. But it can be a good lesson in saving money. And by the way, of course, some figures are "rare" and hard to find, but patience pays off! Don't spend ridiculous amounts of money for one character on a website when, if you are lucky, you can get the same thing at a store for a lot less. The Ninjini character is selling here for more than $30, but we just happened to come across it at a popular toy store for $15. Hint: find out what day of the week the store gets its shipment in!

Is it good for girls as well as boys? Absolutely! It is not really very girly, but many of the characters are girls! It is kind of nice to have strong female characters in a video game who are not overly sexy and half naked. There is nothing inappropriate about the female characters at all.

Overall, we are very happy with this game! My daughter wants to play it a lot! She has already beaten the whole game but loves to go back and replay it and try to find all the things she missed. I do wish it was a little longer perhaps, but other than that, I have no problem with it. And my daughter loves to play with the figures as just plain toys when she isn't playing the video game. Nice for her to make up her own adventures!
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on February 13, 2018
Skylanders are pricey but so much fun with grade school children and after you defeat the game you can get half your money back on craigslist. Buying the characters with your child is half the fun such a fun game to play with your grade schooler with a different spin.
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on July 19, 2015
This is a great game for children and adults, kids can put these action figures and bring them to life in the game. I think that is cool! The only disappointment is that you only get 3 action figures, Cynder (undead), Tree Rex (Life) and Jet Vac (Air). In order to get full use of the game you need fire, water, tech, earth and magic for some parts of the game. It doesn't stop you from finishing the game, just you will not get to play those areas. It is a 2 player game, and it has story mode and battle mode. Battle mode is 2 player only, story mode is 1 or 2 players. All in all graphics are great, and story is great so far, since I haven't finished the game myself. I would recommend this game, it is fun and you want to keep playing.
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on December 31, 2013
This would have been a five star game if it was as long as the first Skylanders. As it is, there are way too few levels. Instead you have a lot of extra content like challenges, etc.

My six year old son beat this game in a week, with very little daily playtime.

The giants are a bit of a gimmick. In the game they are slow and ponderous and after the first few levels, the novelty wears off. My son was back to using his original skylanders to finish the game. The giants are expensive.

Overall, a good game. Well written with some clever comedy, but the length of the game and the giants gimmick keep me from giving it 5 starts.
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on April 20, 2013
My grandsons (ages 10, 8, and 4) have Spiro's Adventure, enjoy it, and so wanted the Giants as well. I researched to find the most competive price and discovered that this kit was less expensive than the portal owners kit. I thought it would be good to have a back-up portal. I was surprised that the portal with this kit was corded as the one that come with Spiro's Adventure was cordless. The kids love it! The four year old can name just about every character and its element. He completed level 5. The reason that I gave this item a "3" rating is that it comes with 3 characters, but only one is a giant: Tree Rex. It seems to me that the Giants Starter Kit should come with giants. This could have lead to conflict with my boys, but the older ones are mature enough that they let the youngest one have Tree Rex.
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on December 27, 2012
This product works as advertised right out of the box. So simple. The idea of the figures interaction is key for my sons and family. My 4 year old is already an expert (game is actually for 10+). PARENTS: The best thing is that the characters will get "tired" if you use them too much in game play which is brilliant!!! meaning that my son is forced to stop playing. As a Christian (follower of Christ), there are some characters that glorify the "undead" and majic but it is not as bad as I thought. I just won't buy specific characters. This is a great game for a dad and son to bond. Also, I recommend that you have a talk with the player about keeping the figures on "house arrest" so they do not lose them. ENJOY!!!
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on May 29, 2013
Unless you have the ring from the original game, then you don't really need this; however, the ring in this one has a USB connection, so you don't burn through batteries like there's no tomorrow. I liked that it came with skylanders and a backup port in case the original one burned out. I don't recommend getting both games the first and this one at the same time. My son tended to drop the first one like a hot rock moved on to this one in no time. On the up side, some of the GIant's figures can be used in the first game. Conversely all of the skylanders from the first game can be used on this one.
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on December 14, 2013
Well, in rating the game itself, I would say that it is fun for my boys (5 and 7) to play. However, I am not a huge fan of the marketing ploy by Activision to only allow certain parts of the game to be unlocked with certain character types. This is a boon for Activision, as they sell many of the add-on characters, but the $10-$12 per character sticker price is somewhat ridiculous.

That being said, the game is great for kids between 5-10 years old, after that, I think that most kids will have become interested in other gaming options. It is not too hard for kids to follow the plot line and different levels, which is great, because there are so many apps and games that require some help from mom and dad (and even then it might be too much to ask from either of them). This game was well developed, but be ready for your kids to start asking you to buy an increasing amount of add-on characters every time they go to the store...
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