Mobile gaming is no longer a novelty, just as tablets that can release a power worthy of sitting at the same table as home consoles are not. However, play the mobile version of Skylanders: Trap Team however, it is a very special experience, which opens a window on that future in which the great studios develop triple A titles for iOS and Android. Yes, because even if you play it on a tablet, what you have in front of you is a high budget title, a small technical masterpiece that brings an Xbox 360 or PS3 title on a device as big as a hand.
Probably this conversion, almost perfect from a graphic point of view, was made possible by two main factors: the first is that Skylanders: Trap Team it is certainly not a game that squeezes processors, in fact, we are at the limit of the old-gen; the second is based on the use that is made of the tablets and on the fact that these devices are increasingly the new pole of entertainment for children.
In the package created for the mobile edition you will therefore find the same things present in that console, with only a few small differences. In addition to a trap for the enemies of the Life element and a trap for those of the Water, a novelty of which we will discuss later, the Skylanders included are Food Fight, a kind of salad basket that launches tomatoes, and Snap Shot, a crocodile armed with an arc of ice. The second is a Trap Master, a new variant of Skylanders that adds to the already large stables of Giants, Swap Force and classics.
To the new arrivals in the collection obviously a new portal is added, a little smaller and different in appearance than the standard one, which is a small design gem. This mobile version is equipped with a Bluetooth sensor for wireless connection but it has no speaker, so the trapped monsters will speak directly in the game.
At the bottom there is a niche where you can store the pad, which is also wireless, while on the side opposite the power button there is a small slot that allows you to hold the tablet vertically.
The pad is small enough for the hands of an adult but perfect for those of a child, the keys have a good run and the backs are slightly staggered, so that you can immediately understand which one is touching.
In general, it seems a more than adequate tool for the purpose and the only flaw, you can only use it with Skylanders. And if you really can’t use it, why don’t you have the base to support the tablet? Well, the controls on the screen are more than enough to make up for the lack.
From a technical point of view, the connection is excellent: as soon as you start the game, just press the pairing keys to instantly hook the base to the pad. Beware of data traffic, because an internet connection is essential to play: Skylanders: Trap Team in fact it will download new levels and new characters, so watch out for data consumption. If you want to avoid this “always online” option you can choose the 6 GB premium installation, which will download all the contents while you play.
Even if the version is “mobile”, the base is fundamental to fully enjoy the game and the figurines, since there is no other way to get them inside. However, it is still possible to play without but at that point the experience is limited to only the two main characters, without the upgrades stored in the physical character, and to two virtual traps. An emergency solution for when you’re on the go and you want to complete that level.
For the rest, Skylanders: Trap Team it rests solidly on the foundations of Swap Force (whose figurines are obviously compatible), which is an understatement to say that the gameplay is substantially similar, only that instead of creating Skylanders with combined powers between above and below, you will have to manage your character main with the possible villain imprisoned in the trap.
The focus of this year’s edition is in fact the possibility of imprisoning every boss or mini-boss that you will meet along your way. Obviously each opponent can only be trapped in a crystal of the corresponding element, and even if you can choose only one villain at a time, all enemies of the same element can be stored in one trap.
Unfortunately, the bad guys can only be used for a certain period of time, after which they must return to the bench to recharge. Their entry is undoubtedly a welcome novelty, given that they allow you to alternate totally different fighting styles and powers, and further widen the spectrum of usable characters. However, we cannot say that they are enough to make this year’s edition truly innovative compared to the past.
Division by elements is also essential to unlock certain sections of the game which contain special upgrades and abilities of certain Skylanders. It should be noted that in Trap Team special areas can only be opened by Trapmasters, who are obviously the most expensive characters in the new collection. Therefore, to enter a special room of the fire element, a character of the corresponding element will not be enough, it must be a fire Trapmaster.
However, even if some parts of the game are closed to those who do not want to expand their collection, Trap Team still offers a fair amount of content. The story is pretty long, no less than eight, nine hours of play for an adult on an easy level. The rhythm has varied from small puzzles, more platform sections and others where you will have to demonstrate some fighting skills instead. In addition, the new arenas halfway between the horde and the tower defense, which can also be tackled in two, offer some variety to the main events.
While not representing a great innovation, Skylanders: Trap Team Team is however a valid chapter in the series, varied and fun whether you are a few years old or in the head. Obviously, just as the merits remain intact, the same is true for the defect of asking for a little too much money for the complete game experience.
This mobile version can also count on the fascinating addition of being a real console version in a tablet version, without any cuts or limitations whatsoever. Dependence on the base could perhaps have been avoided but if you adapt, you can still play on the move without great worries.
Skylanders: Trap Team in the mobile version it is then the arrival point of the series, the squaring of the circle that was still missing. But now the time has come for a new ingenious innovation that takes the franchise to the next level. See you next year!