Right now, my son loves Skylanders figures that go with the Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure game. We have the Wii version, but it also comes in versions for Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and Nintendo 3DS.
These figures run $6.00-10.00 each and there are a total of 32 to collect. This has been the focus of my son’s allowance savings, requests for his birthday, and all gift receiving possibilities…which he hopes is daily. We now have 15 Skylanders. The “starter pack” is $69.99 which comes with the “Portal of Power” and 3 Skylanders figures. As you can tell, the $69.99 soon turns into mega profits for the Activision company by the additional purchase of each separate Skylanders figure. Brilliant, really.
The game goes like this: place your favorite Skylanders figure on the “Portal of Power” and it comes “alive” on the TV screen in the game. They run out of energy if they don’t find food, and once they “run out of energy” they need to rest…sometimes for 24 hours or more. Once a Skylander runs out of energy (or before) you can replace it with another figure who has more energy. But, once you go through all of your figures and use their energy, you must wait until they recover, which takes more time than a 6 year old is ready for. This forces the game to stop for some time. By the way, the batteries run out quickly on the “Portal of Power” if you leave it on over night.
Ok, once you are in the game, the object of the game is to save the world from a bad guy. You are given tasks to do this in each level and have tiny battles along the way while collecting treasures and food. It is simple enough for my son to do on his own and complicated enough for my 9 year old daughter to join in and have fun. Though there are battles, there are no visual fighting. Things disappear when they get “hit”, so the violence is minimal.
My 6 year old boy loves Skylanders. He loves it so much, that I have been able to add additional reading time of his school reading books in exchange for a few minutes of playing Skylanders on the weekend. We don’t allow electronics on weekdays, so this comes in handy to get his homework done. On nights when he has scored well on his spelling or math tests at school, all his homework is done, extra reading and chores are done, and I need to be alone for a few minutes, he gets to choose from playing Skylanders or watching TV and he almost always chooses Skylanders.
My daughter is frustrated with this choice because the Wii game console is in the den, which houses the biggest TV in the house. So, if she has earned some electronics time, she moans about Skylanders and chooses to play computer games instead.