Skylanders Trap Team lets you capture and reform villains in your team

The developers of Toys For Bob are back in the saddle with Skylanders Trap Team, the next entry in their blockbuster toy and video game franchise. This time the hook is all about capturing baddies and enslaving brainwashing reform them to work for you. Same overall formula where you use old and new Skylanders, but now you have help from all the baddies.

This means a new portal of power, as well as a whole new set of toys specially designed to capture baddies.

Skylanders Trap Team (3DS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 [previewed], Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One)
Developer: Toys for Bob (latest generation) / Beenox (current generation, 3DS)
Editor: Activision
Released: Oct 5, 2014
MSRP: $ 74.99 (game, portal, figure, two traps)

History sees Invader Zim Chaos tries to take over the Skylands… again. This time, however, he’ll enlist a group of villains trapped in a prison made of Traptanium, the hardest material known to the Skylanders. The Chaos Plan works, in a way – he’s able to free the bad guys, but they all escape instead of joining him.

Enter the Trap Masters, the main draw of Trap team. These Skylanders are bigger than the normal main characters, but not as big as the Giants. Trap Masters are good at all things Traptanium, and all of their weapons are made from the substance, shown as transparent crystals in the game and the toys themselves.

There will be around 50 new Skylanders, made up of a mix of these Trap Masters, new main characters, and fan favorite Skylanders. And of course all the previous ones Skylanders, giants, and Permutation force the heroes will work in Trap team. Now here’s the surprise, there will also be over 40 playable villains that you will need to physically capture, so to speak.

“The biggest thing we’ve done is this idea of ​​constantly innovating,” executive producer Jeff Poffenbarger told Destructoid. “Bringing toys to life was the first big initial innovation. We can certainly continue to do so, but for us, we asked ourselves, “What is it that would even go further?” We know we can bring toys to life… but we also wanted to find out how to reverse that magic. So you can bring toys to life, but how do we bring toys to life? “

All escaped villains can be converted into your team. Face them, defeat them, and then capture them in a special new crystal toy. So yes, a bit like Pokemon. Once an enemy has been defeated, players are invited to insert a special crystal into the new version of the Portal of Power. This is actually a really cool effect, as the sound of the TV is released into the portal itself (and vice versa) as they are sucked in and out of the adventure. Villains will also give you commentary, help, and advice from the portal when not in use.

One of the first big bosses is called Chompy Mage (in the main image), a crazy old man who fights with a puppet in his hand (much like the ventriloquist of the Batman series.) He can summon tiny tiny monsters, and later in the battle, he will transform into this huge, nervous monster.

After joining your team, any power sets he used on you are now yours. While some villains are powerful in this way, some will have more passive abilities. An example shown was a mini troll boss who can use a gun to freeze opponents. He can’t really do any damage, just freeze enemies. Those who play alone can actually switch hot between a Skylander and a villain by pressing the button to take advantage of this ability. Or let’s say a parent can take on the role of the ice troll to allow their child to be more of the main star of the game. Traditional co-op with multiple Skylanders is also still in the game.

So a cool concept, but this is where it gets a little silly. You can only save one villain in a trap toy at a time. I have no problem with that. You can at least store the villains in a new hub location so that you can swap villains the way you want in a crystal. The silly part is that Trap toys are all element-based. So you can only store an ice-based villain inside an ice trap toy, for example.

My main concern is that it becomes more expensive than ever for the fans. I just hope the Trap Hero toys will include their respective Trap toy as well. Plus these things are tiny compared to the smaller ones Skylander figure, and could potentially get lost very easily. Collectors are warned: there will also be several variations of the Trap toys themselves.

That said, you don’t need to capture the bad guys just like you don’t need all of the elemental types of Skylanders to beat the games. So what if you don’t want – or just can’t – capture a villain after you defeat them? Toys for Bob is still figuring this out, asking kids and adults of all ages to try the game out to find the best fit for everyone.

Otherwise, players can expect similar approaches for minigames, competitive multiplayer, cross-platform saves, and the return of the jump mechanic from previous games. The visuals are as beautiful as ever, especially on the current generation of hardware. You know how you’ve always wished the CG footage in a game was what you were actually playing? It is Trap team, essentially. The stunning visuals also extend to the toys themselves, appearing more detailed than ever.

So here is, Skylanders Trap Team. If you are a fan of the series, you already know that you will choose this one. I wanted to make some special mentions of other playable characters before you left. There’s Chopper, a new central hero who is a tiny little T-rex with a helicopter rotor on his back. It can fly through the air and shoot swarms of missiles as if it came straight out of Robotech. Then there is a duo team of evil trolls who control a chainsaw tank. Just let this visual enter your head. SPOILERS Chaos itself is also playable.