Summary After the war with Kaos, the Mabu villages have been destroyed. Now with the help of your Skylanders, you must build the Mabu a new home.
Description Type: Simulation
Platform: Android and iOS
Players: 1 player
Age: Any Age
Game Time: Endless
Developer or Designer: Activision
Can connect your Skylanders figures to the game
Over 90 Skylanders to unlock
Island zoom too tight
Have to drag items rather than click them
Have to wait real time for tasks to be completed
The Skylanders video game series was first released for consoles in 2011, and brought a unique new element to virtual gaming. It included physical figurines that you could connect to your console, which would then appear digitally on screen. This turned Skylanders into the first true collectible video game.
When it came out, I was excited by this idea, especially since the main protagonist was Spyro the dragon. However, I was not as enthusiastic about the hefty price tag that came with it. The initial starter set was just under £50, and that's not to mention the additional figures costing anything from £8 - £13 each.
I therefore decided to give the game a miss. Then just the other week, I read on an entertainment new bulletin that Skylanders had become available on Android. Quite how this would work with the figures, I wasn't sure, but was intrigued, and decided to check it out.
Skylanders: Lost Islands can be downloaded for free on Google Play and the Apple store. It is free, but unsurprisingly has in-app purchases you can make to make level progression quicker.
Upon first downloading, I thought that the physical figures were not going to feature in the game, but it turns out they do. If you have any Skylanders figures for your console games, you can type in their code and connect them to Lost Islands. As I do not have any figures, I don't exactly know what this means in terms of enhancing gameplay though.
If you do not have any figures, that does not mean you can't play. All the Skylander characters can still be unlocked either through missions or purchases.
I have not played the console versions, so don't know how this compares, but it does follow the same storyline, in which Skylanders must protect the Skylands from Kaos. After the war with Kaos, many of the Mabu villages have been destroyed, and you must now help them create a new home by building houses, shops, and growing crops.
Gameplay is pretty similar to other simulation/strategy games for mobile devices, in which you have a certain amount of coins to buy materials, and certain number of workers to do the building. These jobs progress in real time, so you can end up waiting a while for tasks to be completed. Of course you can speed things up by buying gems.
Each task that is completed earns you experience points (XP), which you need to gain to level up and unlock new items.
While this goes on, you can send Spyro and your other Skylanders on adventures in an airship. These adventures will gain XP, fulfill missions, and bring back supplies. What would have been more interesting is if you went on these adventures with the Skylanders, and completed missions off world, but unfortunately you are stuck on the island building huts and growing crops, waiting for them to return.
The more you build, the less space on your island there will be, which is why you are able to clear items such as rubbles, rocks, puddles, and trees. One thing that is annoying, when you are trying to build, is how closely the screen is zoomed in. Instead of getting a full view of the island, it is just one small patch, so you constantly have to swipe the screen to move around. Depending on the size of your tablet/phone, determines how much of the island you can see. If you are playing on a phone, I expect it will be very frustrating.
With over ninety Skylanders to unlock, and constant updates, gameplay is practically endless. But in my opinion, there is only so long you can spend building huts, growing crops, and waiting real time for missions to end, before you get fed up.