Friday, December 11, 2015

Skylanders is a SUPERCHARGED video game that will delight the kids in your life


** A Geek Daddy received the featured products free to review & to giveaway **

My kids recently played SKYLANDERS for the first time and I can honestly say it wouldn't be an understatement to say they were thrilled by the experience.  It became obvious while watching them play why this video game franchise from Activision is so popular with children.  It pioneered the toys-to-life category of video games with the debut of Skylander's Spyro's Adventure in 2011 that combined physical toys with virtual reality play and has been a hit ever since. While my kids found the physical Skylanders toys that are meant to be collected and used within the game interesting, it was the actual digital game play they really loved about the experience.

What was nice about this game for my 6 year old twins is that it really is designed to be playable by children. Often times video games are designed for teens and adults as the primary consumers, but the Skylanders franchise has been designed with children in mind and our family really appreciated that.  Too often when playing video games on our Playstation 4 my kids are whining that it is too hard and constantly hand their controllers over to me asking for help.  It was refreshingly nice that my kids found the Skylanders game fun and challenging yet didn't ask for my help once during the couple of hours spent playing the game.

Another trouble spot we often have with video games is that they often involve a lot of on-screen text which doesn't work out too well when your kids are beginning and early level readers.  Skylanders has all of the script and instructions verbally relayed to players so they don't have to read anything to enjoy the game's story and understand how to play through it.  It is like being immersed within a cartoon when playing Skylanders as the game's adventure segments are full of colorful animations and there are lots of video segments portraying parts of its story sprinkled throughout its levels.  If you have older players where reading isn't as much of an issue this aspect may become tiresome to them so there is also an option to turn the feature off and have the story told utilizing text instead of via audio in the game play as well. I have to say though it was very nice not to have my kids ask me to be reading script and instructions to them throughout the entire time they are playing the game.

We played the brand new Skylanders: SuperChargers version of the game for Playstation 4 that was just recently released.  The game is well suited for all ages young to old to play during a Family Game Night.  There is some simulated violence as your characters battle it out with the "bad guys" to accomplish their adventures, missions and quests so as a parent you'll need to determine at what age you are prepared to allow your child to play a game like this but I can say there are no horrific, obscene, or otherwise mature mattered scenes to be worried about.  It is probably well suited for children 5 year old and up and I had absolutely no problem letting my 6 year old son and daughter play the game. They have tons of fun playing it too!

My kids really liked the odd and zany characters that you play as, battle against and interact with in the Skylanders world.  The game developers have really done a nice job of painting a bright and vibrant fantasy land for children to play in. Activision also added fun side games like Skystones Deck.  Players can acquire Skystone cards with unique abilities in the main game than play against one another using their deck of cards  to defeat their opponent in this mini-game.   While Skylanders SuperChargers does require the purchase of a Starter Pack, parents will be pleased to know that this new additions to the video game franchise is forward compatible with all 300+ unique toys from all previous games – Skylanders SWAP Force, Skylanders Giants, Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure and Skylanders Trap Team. Activision understands the financial investment parents have made in collecting Skylander figurines and has made it so that families can continue to play with their favorite characters from previous alterations of the game in its newest editions.  We picked up a few older characters from previous Skylanders editions that were on sale at a local discount store that my kids thought were cool looking and the figures worked great with the SuperChargers platform.

The newest addition to SuperChargers that really enhances its entertainment value from previous Skylander games is that in addition to collecting toy-to-life figurines you can now also get vehicles as well that can be used in playing the game or can be raced against other players or A.I. in stand alone races.  We've played a few different racing video games over the last few years where my kids, and even myself, spend more time out of control and crashing than actually racing because the vehicles just aren't easy to steer.  I was somewhat expecting this same issue with Skylanders SuperChargers but was pleasantly surprised to find these vehicles handled remarkably well and our whole family did really well in this aspect of the game.  We have had a lot of fun racing these Skylander SuperCharger racers and yes I'll admit it my son and daughter have beat me on the race track a few times.

In racing mode you can select to compete with aircraft 

sea vessels

or land vehicles so that you can embark on adventures and race in a variety of sky, sea, and land settings.

The Starter Pack comes with a toy-to-life portal, two character figurines, a land vehicle, and the video game.  It is available for Playstation 3 & 4, Xbox 360 and One, and Nintendo's Wii U video game consoles. You can find it at most major retailers including Amazon, Best Buy and Toys R Us.  To access all of the game play options and race all of the courses, an additional aircraft toy and/or water vessel will need to be purchased which are sold separately from the Starter Pack.  It is possible to play the main game and race the land courses just with the vehicle provided in the Starter Pack though.

What else is new with Skylanders SuperChargers?

+   Activison has improved the graphics and features in Single-player Adventure Mode;
+  Added online and local co-operative Adventure Mode so you can play with a friend who may be in another room or city using their own video game console;
+  Play against a friend offline with 2-player head-to-head racing in split screen;
+  Racing options that includes time trials and lap races;
+   Character voice overs from celebraties like Josh Duhamel, Brittany Snow, Neal McDonough and others. 

Skylanders SuperChargers gers A Geek Daddy nod of approval for being an entertaining game which is very suitable for children ages 5 to 10 to enjoy that parents can feel comfortable letting their kids play.  Plus SuperChargers gets bonus points because A Geek Daddy and his kids were able to actually race these vehicles through wonderfully animated interactive courses without constantly crashing. 

Thanks to our friends at Activision, A Geek Daddy received one Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Kit to play with ourselves and one to give away.  For your chance to win a Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Kit for a Playstation 4 gaming console complete one or both of the following entries by Friday, December 18, 2015 before 11:59 pm EST.  Must be a US resident over 18 years old to win.

UPDATE: Congrats to Aaron from Clinton Twp, MI who won the Skylanders SuperChargers Starter Pack Giveaway.


Follow @Geekdad248 on Twitter. E-mail thegeekdaddy [at] yahoo [dot] com your name, mailing address, and twitter handle. Must be following our account on Twitter at the time winner is selected to be eligible to win. Email subject line should be SUPERCHARGERS


Visit our Facebook page , LIKE the contest post, and leave a COMMENT telling us which racing mode you'd prefer: Sea, Land or Air.

 All valid entries will be assigned a number in the order they are received and one number will be  selected to determine the winner using  E-mails will only be used to contact the winner and deleted following the selection of a winner.

DISCLAIMER:  A Geek Daddy Blog will be responsible for selecting the winner of this contest and delivery of the prize. A Geek Daddy will guarantee arranging shipping by UPS but they will be responsible for delivery.  By participating in this contest you waive any liability towards A Geek Daddy Blog or its publisher that may arise from your involvement with this promotion. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.  No P.O. Boxes are allowed as mailing addresses. Prize will only be shipped within the United States A Geek Daddy Blog did not receive any financial compensation but did receive complimentary products to review for the blog and the prize that is being awarded to one of our readers for this contest.  A Geek Daddy Blog is hosting this contest as a benefit to our readers. Any opinions in this post are my own.

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