Yesterday I picked up the Xbox 360 version Skylanders SWAP Force for my seven-year-old. He had the previous version of Skylanders for his 3DS, and the nice thing about the series is that you can take the firgures into the next game. So, while the new version only came with two “SWAP Force” figures, he had enough to provide a lot of variety right off the bat.
As the name implies, the “SWAP Force” figures can switch their tops and bottoms with other figures, which grants new abilities to the figures. The more figures you have, the more combinations you can unlock. You can see how Activision takes the collectability of the game to another level, which is quite clever (and devious) on their part.
At the end of the day though, I think Skylanders captures the feel of games like Golden Axe, the side-scrolling arcade beat-em-ups. The added element of the figures leveling up and gaining new abilities adds a great element as well, and the ability to switch figures on the fly keeps the game fresh even when the gameplay is repetitive.
If you’ve got a young gamer in the house, the Skylanders series can be a fun co-op experience.