At EGX this week there was one booth on the Nintendo stand with a constant crowd of kids. Unlike the other games on offer though, young players at the expo each contributed to a team effort to beat Skylanders Trap Team — a kind of communal “EGX Plays”.
A lot of the excitement was around this being the first full public outing of the new Skylanders game. Choosing the Wii U for this event perhaps marks the importance of the platform to Activision. In fact one of the big distinguishers between Skylanders and its big rival Disney Infinity is the former’s ongoing support for the original Wii.
Playing through the game on the Wii U was a chance to see how the system measured up both in terms of visuals and frame rates. It certainly looked impressive. If you had it side-by-side with the next-gen versions there may be some difference, but the Wii U edition really looked the business and attracted quite a crowd.
The challenge for players was only having the two Skylanders from the starter pack to play with — die twice and it was level over. However, with everyone using a common save file and levelling up the same characters, progress was soon much quicker.
As you can see from the videos below, each time we visited the game there were more levels unlocked, and more upgrades and power for both Snap Shot and Food Fight. With the help of everyone’s play time on the booth we uncovered a whole bunch of new villains (Hawkmongous, Threat Pack and Hood Sickle to name three) and saw levels for the first time (Time Town, Mystic Mill and Wilikin Workshop for instance). This simply wouldn't have been possible without the collaborative efforts.
With the game out this weekend in the US and the following week in the UK, the attention at EGX certainly bodes well for Activision’s part in this year’s “toys to life” battle for Christmas spending.
Here’s how things developed over the four days of the expo, thanks to the hive-like abilities of young Skylanders players: