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Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure game review

A few days ago, there was a giant launch event for Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure here in New York City. New York Knicks superstar Amar’e Stoudemire was the guest of honor. Amar’e does tons of work with kids and he even played finished Super Mario Bros. as a kid. So I listened when he sat down and told me, “This game is cool because it’s both a toy and a game. If your friend has a 3DS and you have an Xbox (360) you can still play it together.”

Activision for 3DS, Xbox 360, PC, PS3, Wii. Rated E10+ for Cartoon Violence.

Gameplay: 8.7
Graphics: 8.8
Sound: 8.5
Replay Value: 8.8
Overall Score: 8.8

Pros: A deep world, action figures store your powers, action figures work on other consoles.

Cons: No online play, a few camera angle issues, dialog can be corny.

Combining a toy with a game is a good idea that might put new life into the Spyro series. That’s why I gave it a Boys’ Life E3 award back in June. But now that it’s out, is Skylanders all it’s cracked up to be?

Let’s find out. When you start with the console version of Skylanders, you’ll get a couple of movies telling you about this magical land that floats high in the air. You’re introduced to Master Eon, the wise old Skylander with a British accent who looks after The Core, the power source for this bright and happy country. Well, it used to be bright and happy.

When a hooded evil creep called Kaos brought his dark cloud over the land, Spyro and his gang tried to fight off his minions. And they did well. So Kaos went to Plan C and blew up The Core. Now, it’s up to you to restore calm to this peaceable kingdom.


The story can be exciting and funny, full of tornadoes and weird monsters like Chompers. But it’s corny, too. Some of the things the characters say are just too dorky. And they sometime repeat themselves, yammering on about how you’re going to save them constantly.

Still, there’s so much to the story and game, you block this out as you play and level up. Skylanders isn’t really a platformer. It’s an action adventure with some role playing game elements. So as you get more powerful, you’ll get some kooky things, too, like a pot that’s a hat. And your weapons will get stronger, too.

If you’re really into exploring, the game will take a longer time to complete. So the replay value is high. But as you search the nooks and crannies, the camera angles sometimes block your vision. This doesn’t happen as you move through the main story. Mainly, it happens when you get obsessive and go hunting for hidden treasure chests and goodies that aren’t easily seen.


But the big bell and whistle for Skylanders is that the game comes with three action figures. Each one has some intricate features. For instance, the three-inch Dark Spyro has red eyes with black pupils, white fangs and silver horns and wings.

Each of them has special abilities. For instance, the blue, fish-like Gill Grunt shoots water and can go into special areas like rushing waterfalls that are forbidden to those without water powers.

Also included is a Portal of Power that lights up. Plug it into the console. Boot up the game. Put your action figure on the platform. With a magical whoosh and some bright colors onscreen, Spyro is in your game. Over 30 other action figures can work with the game, too, if you choose to collect them all. It’s pretty darn cool.

Additionally, if you have the action figures that come with the 3DS, you can take them to your pal’s house, even if he has another format like the Xbox 360. All of the powers you’ve accumulated from playing the game on the 3DS are transferred as you play on the Xbox. These are smart toys that remember!


So how’s the game itself? At first, you think things will be easy. Shoot a few Chompers, collect the booty in treasure chests, move some turtles around to reach protected areas, and level up. But that’s just early on. As you go through the game, it gets harder. I was actually stymied for a while at a pretty difficult puzzle that asked me to move a bunch of square stones in exactly the right way to get to a portal. And if that’s in the first few levels, you know it’s going to get more challenging (in a good way).

Here’s a special note on the 3DS version. The game looks impressive in 3D as the towns in the sky come to life. The game doesn’t have the deep beginning and dialog to the story that’s on the console and PC versions. But the upside is, it gets you into the game more quickly. I also noticed that you have more powers right away, like the ability to jump and double jump.

Finally, the 3DS platform is powered by batteries, unlike the other versions which use the energy from the console. But some powerful batteries are included. (Yet why they added a screw on the bottom to put in the batteries, I’ll never know. It should just have been a latch. You have to find a screwdriver before you can play!)

Overall, this is a fine reboot to the Spyro series. The characters have so much personality and the world is so lovingly created, I bet there might be a TV show or movie based on the game sometime in the not-so-distant future. It’s a game that everyone can pick up and play. But it’s also one that takes some thinking to master. I’m not going to say it’s the perfect holiday gift, but it will be a really good present to have. And the 30 action figures? Some of you are going to want to collect all of them. I know you’ll be sending in questions about how to get past certain areas in Skylanders soon. Rest assured that my thinking cap is already on!

72 Comments on Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventure game review

  1. skylanders giants player // January 6, 2013 at 1:22 pm // Reply

    skylanders giants is better. but I like ghost roaster

  2. Voodoos my favorite

  3. Keybearer44 // October 8, 2012 at 8:29 pm // Reply

    I don’t know anything about Skylanders as I haven’t played the game but…why does Spyro not look anything like Spyro? 😥 I miss the original Spyro

  4. they game has a few flaws but so does every other game so i think its a good game over all

  5. i think the game has a few flaws but every game does right ive beaten the game 3 times so i give it ten out of ten

  6. i’m stuck on chapter 15 please reply!

  7. Game is so awesome and hard to beat but I finally defeated Kaos

  8. spyroandcynder // August 23, 2012 at 3:45 pm // Reply

    i almost completed the entire game in two days, but got stuck at the final boss battle. I’m still stuck. my characters are spyro, gill grunt, trigger happy, cynder, wreaking ball, and eruptor all level ten. please help!

  9. game killer // August 22, 2012 at 6:44 pm // Reply

    i beat the game in 2 months

  10. boomerboy8 // July 27, 2012 at 12:39 pm // Reply

    go boomer go go i like boomer



  13. human ghost // July 8, 2012 at 7:32 am // Reply

    I have all the skylanders!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yep i got wham shell and he is prety cool i recemend him to any skylander fan : D

  14. human ghost // June 18, 2012 at 6:04 am // Reply

    I have warnado and camo now AND camo is the best skylander ever!!!!!!!

  15. human ghost // June 15, 2012 at 3:50 pm // Reply

    i have all the skylanders but warnado,cam and wham shell

  16. Harry Potter Fan #1 // June 15, 2012 at 3:05 pm // Reply

    I have tons of Skylanders. I have it for the Wii and the 3DS. The 3DS has Dark Spyro, Ignitor, and Stealth Elf. The Wii comes with the three main Skylanders. They are Spyro, Trigger Happy, and Gill Grunt. I have beaten the game on the Wii but not on the 3DS.
    I have a ton more though. I have one from each group.

  17. is it better on the xbox or the wii ?

  18. awesome gamer // May 19, 2012 at 8:17 pm // Reply

    i dont have skylanders but my friends do does anyone out there that know how to get it for a good price i saw it for 50$$$$$$ wow

  19. earth

  20. human ghost // May 4, 2012 at 6:49 am // Reply

    I got zook and lightning rod! and trust me LIGHTNING ROD well… ROCK!!!!!!

  21. Guys I have 22 skylanders

  22. human ghost // April 25, 2012 at 9:51 am // Reply

    ever since i commented i got, drill sergent,sonic boom,hex,double trouble,stealth elf, terrafin and slam bam

  23. HELP!! My game got erased, now all of the skylanders I had on the last save cant be added to my collection tab of characters. Is there a way to add old skylanders in a new game?

  24. My son 8 years old, can complete this entire game in 1 day. Is that normal? We keep thinking there’s got to be more to the game. Credits role in the end and everything. Suggestions?

  25. Dragonfriend // April 4, 2012 at 11:30 pm // Reply

    I have 10 Skylanders. My favorite is Drobot.

  26. What’s a better system to play it on 3DS or PS3? (Which I have both)

  27. Prism Break // April 1, 2012 at 5:01 pm // Reply

    I have lots of them.Almost all.My favorite is…well…ALL OF THEM.

  28. Do you have to buy to jump in x box 360 version?

  29. I have 14/ 32

  30. Portal master 993 // March 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm // Reply

    I have all of the skylanders up to date now( Including cynder)

  31. Fun!!!!! Want it a lot after reading this

  32. human ghost // March 19, 2012 at 7:56 am // Reply

    I got cynder guess what she ROCKS!!!!!!

  33. Hey guys my USB plug isin’t working got any tips and please tell soon!!!

    • One: what system are you playing on? If it’s on the Nintendo Wii…
      Then: Make sure you put batteries in the Portal (and make sure they are in the right direction!). If you did that, then hold the button for ONE second to turn it on. If that doesn’t work you may need to either get closer maybe, or push the button on the USB and then push the button on the Portal. That’s all I can think of for right now. Your Welcome!

  34. gill grunt or perueseus is the captain of my squad which is trigger happy and runner up squad is hex and ghost roaster.i also unlocked the ultimate form for gill grunt.he has mad spikes and his 2 cannons are incredible.

  35. human ghost // March 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm // Reply


  36. human ghost // March 2, 2012 at 6:37 pm // Reply

    Got flameslinger!.(p.s. he is WAY better then eruptor)!

  37. Skyland-BMMM // February 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm // Reply

    Skylanders are fun to play with.Kids love then.

  38. whos your two worst skylanders? mines boomer and zap

  39. Hay guys i just got WHIRLWIND!!!!!!!

  40. fire (ignitor) fan // February 22, 2012 at 7:40 pm // Reply

    umm… its hard to explain how to beat kaos in creepy cididel.. but you NEED to get to arkeyan armory, and quicksilver vault. its AWSOME. you will also HATE fighting kaos on chapter 22.


  42. How do you beat kaos and the hydra it is impossible!!!

  43. I just got zap!!!

  44. my bros beat the game they only have a magic,tech,water,two earths,fire and,doom/death

  45. LEGO Universer // February 8, 2012 at 3:42 pm // Reply

    I need help.I am using the Wii version and can not get the skeleton key.It stinks that in order to keep on going after you die you have to use a weaker sky lander.I recommend not getting this game

  46. Plants vs Zombies master // January 28, 2012 at 7:33 pm // Reply

    I have the Xbox 360 version of this game, and HOW DO YOU BEAT KAOS in creepy citidal?

  47. How much is it i have to get it

  48. sorry guys, i was wrong, i now hav for wii AND IS EPIC!!!

  49. it stinks that u cant jump!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  50. I’m at Falling Forest.

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