Michael Leparc On October 27, 2015 at 10:38 am

Skylanders SuperChargers logoSkylanders is back this year and with another hook this time after the successful Trap Team gimmick introduced a year ago. With an increasingly crowded market of NFC toys and their associated games (see Disney Infinity, Lego Dimensions, and Amiibos), is Superchargers enough to maintain Activision’s foothold in the marketplace?

Superchargers refers to the new vehicle component of the game. That is to say, in order to play the game you now not only need a Skylander, but a vehicle along with it on your new portal. The starter pack includes one along with a couple Skylanders fortunately. The “supercharge” comes to play when you match a Skylander and vehicle of the same element, which adds a buff to each, both in appearance and stats.

And why do you need a vehicle? To play in the new missions sprinkled throughout each level, which mostly consist of fast blazing tracks with lots of jumps as well as more open areas where you can explore and battle enemies. There’s also Mario Kart type races you can participate in as well as other challenges to level up your Portal Master rank, though those are mostly found in the Skylander Academy hub, not the levels themselves. The other nice thing about this new gameplay model is that sections are no longer locked off by a variety of different Skylander or Trap Master elements. Instead they are cordoned off by vehicle type (land, air, or sea), which makes it a lot easier and cheaper to buy all the physical DLC, err.. toys needed to unlock the full game.

Anyhow, these portions of the game are quite well executed and could probably stand on their own as a separate game if there were more of them, but instead they add on to what is already a solid Skylanders experience. Actually I would say the level design is improved over Trap Team with plenty of homages to other games and genres out there, though the story isn’t as interesting (Kaos creates a doomsday machine to swallow the Skylands whole, and you can pretty much guess where it goes from there). Besides the straight up button mashing platformer gameplay of the majority of the game, there’s also a lot more things to unlock and level up including parts for your vehicle as well as your Skylanders. The Skystones card game returns to the console after only being a 3DS feature in Trap Team, and you can unlock more by using trap crystals from last year’s game. There’s also local and online co-op (when it comes to the vehicle portions one person controls the driving and the other the shooting).

Graphically the game continues to stand out, not resting its laurels on placating its younger audience with bright colors and cartoony characters, it’s pretty drop dead gorgeous at times and hints at pretty high production values. The voice acting is fantastic and delivers all of its humor on point. You can tell Vicarious Visions put a lot of love into this with all the details and execution, regardless of your opinion on this genre of game.

I reviewed the Xbox One version of the game, so I can’t say if the graphics hold up in the Wii U version or not, but if you have the Nintendo console, then keep in mind there’s also exclusive Skylanders and vehicles for that version including Donkey Kong and Bowser, so if that’s something that’ll sway you then look into it. Skylanders may no longer be the only game in town when it comes to the “toys coming to life” genre, but it’s still learning new tricks and pushing the envelope, which is great to see.


The vehicle sections are great and the main levels themselves are improved. So much more to do


A very pretty game with lots of variety in the visuals.


The voice acting continues to be excellent and the music matches up well.


Skylanders doing what it does best. It’s really a game only the most cynical wouldn’t enjoy, and kids should love it!

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