Disney Infinity and Skylanders go head-to-head again
There’s two brand new toys-to-life games out for the new-generation consoles, just in time to be put on children’s Christmas lists for Santa - Disney Infinity 2.0 and Skylanders Trap Team.
When they were first released in October, both games retailed for around the £50 mark, but thanks to pre-Christmas price incentives the two games are now available for £40 - making them much more affordable for kids (and big kids) this Christmas.
If you haven’t bought a Disney Infinity or Skylanders game for your children yet it’s worth knowing what the differences between the two are before you make that initial investment. You’ll want your kids to love the game and play for it for months to come.
What's great about both games is that once you've made that initial investment, you can then add more functionality to the games by buying a single new toy.
We’ve put together a quick guide that should help you make your Disney Infinity 2.0 vs Skylanders Trap Team decision, including the differences between the toys themselves, the base, the investment required and of course theactual games.
How much will it actually cost you?
The most important thing for parents is to work out how much Skylanders Trap Team and Disney Infinity 2.0 will cost you in the long run.
First you need to buy the base game. For Disney Infinity 2.0 you currently have the choice of the Marvel Super Heroes Starter Pack or the Toy Box Combo Pack, which retail for anywhere between £42 and £47 depending on the platform.
The individual toys for Disney Infinity 2.0 cost £9.50 each, but you can also buy playsets with a pair of toys in and a special playset token for unique missions.
As for Skylanders Trap Team, the prices for the base game have dropped considerably from the RRP of £50 to around £35 for all platforms.
With Trap Team, it's a bit more complicated. You can buy individual Trap Masters for £13.50, which will unlock new areas of the game. You can also buy the traps for £6 a pop, which will let you trap different types of monsters to play with.
Overall, Skylanders is working out a little cheaper, but there is more stuff to buy with the Activision game. Disney Infinity 2.0 has the recognisable characters on its side though.
Disney Infinity 2.0 vs Skylanders Trap Team - Basic Premise
On the surface level, Disney Infinity 2.0 and Skylanders Trap Team offer a similar experience for gamers. Each come in a starter pack offering a couple of toy figurines that can be placed on the bundled base to transport the characters into the game.
The in-game characters can be levelled up and players can hone their skills for a personalised play style. Away from the game, you get well-made toys for the children to use in their imaginary play. Bonus.
But aside from the toys themselves, there are additional bits of kit that you’ll need to use to fully utilise both Disney Infinity 2.0 and Skylanders Trap Team. Both Starter Packs give you a taste of all the necessary gear, but you’ll need to be prepared for additional purchases when your children decide they need additional characters, traps, discs or playsets to get more out of each game.
Skylanders Trap Team requires you to obtain Elemental Traps. These coloured plastic sword-like pieces allow you to trap enemies within the storyline, which can then become playable characters. There’s a special hexagonal slot in the Trap Team base that these fit into – more on which a little later.
Each colour corresponds to a different element – water, life, tech, earth and so on – so your child will need to work out, which traps they need for each baddie. You get two with the Starter Pack: one life trap and one water trap.
For Disney Infinity 2.0, beyond the well-known characters themselves there are plastic discs that unlock Toy Box mini-games and there are special costume discs that kit your characters out with unique outfits that supercharge them.
Disney Infinity 2.0 vs Skylanders Trap Team - Characters
For Disney Infinity 2.0, there’s the allure of the Marvel Super Heroes Starter Pack, which comes with Thor, Iron Man and Black Widow figurines. You also get a pair of Toy Box mini game discs and the Marvel Super Heroes Playset statue, which you’ll need to put on the base to start the game.
Beyond the Marvel Super Heroes Starter Pack, Disney Infinity 2.0 is also getting a Toy Box Starter Pack early next month. This comes with Merida from Brave and Stitch toys, two different mini game discs and the appropriate playset statue. Don’t get conned into buying both Starter Packs though because you will be buying the console game twice. Pick the stater pack with the characters your kids prefer and then just buy other figurines seperately.
With the Skylanders Trap Team Standard Pack, you get the Snap Shot and Food Fight toys and two traps – one life and one water trap. If you’re purchasing the Nintendo 3DS version, the Standard Starter Pack is a little different, as it comes with Gusto and Barkley toys instead.
In terms of toy quality, we’d say that Disney Infinity 2.0 has the edge. The toys are made out of hard matte plastic, with a more pliable, rubbery plastic used for certain elements like Thor’s cape. The colours are a little muted though and lack the vibrancy of their Skylanders counterparts.
Of course, the main appeal of the Disney toys is that they are characters you and your children will know and love. Even if it’s not the Marvel crew, there are also Guardians of the Galaxy toys to be had as well as beloved Disney characters like Donald Duck or even Princess Jasmine.
As for the Skylanders’ toys, they are vivdly colour, well detailed and have more mischievous expressions than the Disney lot. Each one has its very own personalised weapon, which it wields even in figurine form, making them a little more interesting as toys.
There are two different types of Skylander Trap Team toys. There’s your basic Skylander such as Food Fight, then there’s the Trap Masters, which have crystal weapons like our friend Snap Shot. These crystal weapon clad monsters are capable of opening up the Elemental Doors scattered throughout the world, so you’ll need as many of these as possible to open up the world.
However, we might add that the crystal weapons are a little on the pointy side. We know that both Skylanders Trap Team and Disney Infinity 2.0 are aimed at children six and up and therefore should know how to handle the things. But, those weapons could definitely scratch a retina or two if you're not careful, so be aware of that when dishing Snap Shot out to your children.
One more thing is that the Disney Infinity 2.0 toys have a much larger base on them, which is to make sure they fit properly in the game’s base station. Although this means the light underneath can shine though when docked in the base, it can distract from their position as toys a little.
Disney Infinity 2.0 vs Skylanders Trap Team - Base
The base systems for Disney Infinity 2.0 and Skylanders Trap Team are the new bits of kit for both games. The Disney Infinity 2.0 base looks strikingly similar to that of its predecessor, but it has some internal tweaks that allow the Infinity 2.0 characters to have skill trees, and to give those skill trees to characters from the original game.
It’s a slimline but sturdy piece of kit that has the mark of good build quality. It allows you to have two characters in place at a time (or one toy and one toy box mini game disc), meaning Disney Infinity 2.0 allows co-operative play straight out of the box. Behind the holes for the two characters, there’s also a smaller space where the playset statue is positioned.
Despite accommodating all three spaces, the Infinity 2.0 base isn’t huge and won’t take up much space. Plus, it lights up in an array of colours, filling the translucent playset piece with light and makes the underside of your characters glow – always a welcome addition, especially for children.
The Skylanders Trap Team base is a marked difference from any of the previous games – Skylanders: Swap Force, Skylanders: Giants and Skylanders: Spyro’s Adventures. It still has the rounded portion where you need to place the Skylanders, which glows gently in a range of colours around the surrounding ring. But, there’s a new extra piece to the base with a hexagonal hole and a little prison where the speaker hides.
It’s in that hexagonal hole where the new Traps can be placed and you’ll hear the trapped baddies being sucked into the little prison as you capture them. Every so often the trapped monsters will also comment on the action and call for you to swap them back into the action.
It’s a nice touch and makes the overall experience feel much more lifelike. The phrases they call out are also pretty funny and will make both children and adults chuckle more than once.
Overall, the Skylanders Trap Team base does lack a little of the finesse of the Infinity 2.0 base. It’s a little plasticky and quite a bit chunkier than the Disney version, but we do like the fact that the Skylanders one makes noises.
Disney Infinity 2.0 vs Skylanders Trap Team – Gameplay
Now this is where the big differences come in and what will probably define your purchase if you’re not already sold on one game or the other – the gameplay.
First we’ll tackle Disney Infinity 2.0. There’s a number of things that Infinity 2.0 tackles well and the major thing is its portrayal of the three heroes bundled with the Marvel Super Heroes Starter Pack. Black Widow has some neat martial arts skills; Thor can batter his way though enemies with his hammer; and Iron Man fights with his fists or his repulsor rays.
Thor and Iron Man can fly and you’ll be to explore the breadth and height of the game’s version of Manhattan, which comes complete with Avengers tower. Basically, you feel like you’re playing with a real super hero, which is a key part of the Marvel Super Heroes playset.
For combat, there is an element of strategy too, as you’ll be able to utilise the special attack gauge to add another level to the strong fast-flowing combat. The special attacks are accessed within each characters Skill Tree, which enables you to level up your hero’s attacks and other abilities. This is something totally new to Disney Infinity 2.0 and lets you customise your character with your particular play style. It’s also a great way to mix up the gameplay a little.
The world itself is far, far larger and taller than any worlds included in previous Disney Infinity playsets from the first game, but sadly, it lacks some of the personality and finesse found in Skylanders. It would seriously benefit from some enemy variety or some enhanced environmental textures.
The same can be said about the story campaign itself. While the characters are fully fleshed and have voices that you’ll instantly know and love to hear coming out of your TV, the story missions lack imagination and more importantly variation.
You can play co-op from the off though, if you’ve got two controllers for your console – something missing from the original Disney Infinity and Skylanders Trap Team too.
However, slightly mundane story aside, there is more to Disney Infinity 2.0. You do get two mini-games within the Starter Pack: one Tower Defence style game and another Guardians of the Galaxy themed mini-game set in the Kyln prison.
But, the real appeal of Disney Infinity 2.0 is the Toy Box 2.0. Although the premise of the Infinity 2.0 version is still the same – build your own little world in an open sandbox and even create your own games – it has been totally revamped in Toy Box 2.0. There’s an easier way to buy content directly with your in-game currency aka Blue Sparks, rather than having your prizes randomised.
The main new addition though is the little helpers or builders who can quickly help you build cities, racing tracks or other content while you watch. It takes a lot of the hard work off you, but still lets you have a lot of creative control. You can also now customise the interior of your houses.
Read our complete Disney Infinity 2.0 review for the full ins-and-outs of gameplay
Then we come to Skylanders Trap Team, which lets you play as both the Skylanders and the baddies in the game. In the box you get two Skylanders, Snap Shot and Food Fight. The former is your Trap Master and you’ll need him when you see piles of Traptanium in the Skylands world to take them down and access new areas of the map. Food Fight is just a normal Skylander, but he’s got a rather impressive tomato cannon that is pretty powerful against enemies, especially when you start upgrading it.
What’s great about Skylanders is you don’t know anything about the characters or the enemies that you also get to play as. Part of its appeal is learning about the new Skylanders Trap Team cast and discovering their unique weapons, personalities, sound tracks and advantages.
The enemies themselves can be a great advantage and you can switch to any you have trapped mid-battle. Just press the left trigger and the critter you’ve got trapped in your Elemental Trap currently docked in your base will come flying into battle. Our particular favourite is Broccoli Guy, who the adults will appreciate for his dry humour.
Enemies aren’t upgradable in the same way as the Skylanders. Instead of buying upgrades with the in-game coins, each has a specific redemption mission to play through. By completing each enemy’s associated redemption mission, you earn a cool upgrade for your newly-turned baddy.
Compared to Disney Infinity 2.0, Skylanders Trap Team looks much more like a new-gen Xbox One and PS4 title. It has slick lighting effects, detailed textures and is looking more and more like a computer generated cartoon series than ever before. Even as an adult, I was hooked on the game’s strong storyline and elaborate cutscenes. Your children will be more than engrossed in the story and especially the fact that the game involves you as a player in the game.
The levels themselves lack a little variation, but the focus is on the characters, humour and storyline rather than the specific locales. There are a few unique features and some stand out levels, but there’s no really interesting game mechanics to be seen.
The main campaign is complemented by some new mini-games found within the Skylanders main area. There’s a little side-scrolling platformer section for example and there’s tonnes of variation in the redemption missions too, including an Angry Birds-style destruction level for the enemy known as Sheep Creep.
Read our complete Skylanders Trap Team review for the full gameplay details
Disney Infinity 2.0 vs Skylanders Trap Team - Price
Thankfully, price isn't going to be one of the deciding factors when it comes to choosing between Sklanders Trap Team and Disney Infinity 2.0. Both starter packs come in at around the £50 mark, but it is possible to find them both a little cheaper if you shop around a bit.
Each of the Disney Infinity 2.0 playsets give you around 6 - 10 hours of play. That's not including the Toy Box or mini games though, which will give you more to play around with. So you get the Marvel Super Heroes playset with the Starter Pack and you can then either buy another playset or just get more characters for your children.
All prices are correct at the time of publishing. You can get all of the above cheaper if you shop around a bit.
When you buy the Skylanders Trap team Starter Pack, you get the whole game and its various mini games contained on that one disc. However, to actually get access to the full game, you’ll need to buy at least seven more Trap Master Skylanders - with their crystal weapons - to gain access to the Elemental Doors sealing off different areas of the map and the game's full potential.
As for the Trap Team baddies, there are actually 46 that you can trap and play as. Don't worry, you won't need to buy 46 traps in order to capture them all. Just like the Skylanders, each enemy belongs to one of the elemental groups, so you'll need to purchase five more traps beyond the water and life traps you get with the Starter Pack if you want to trap them all.
Disney Infinity 2.0 vs Skylanders Trap Team - Platforms
Here's a guide to which consoles support both games. It's worth noting that for the first time, there's also a Skylanders Trap Team for Tablet, taking the console Skylanders experience to mobile devices for the first time.
Disney Infinity 2.0 vs Skylanders Trap Team - Backwards compatibility
Now, if you bought into the last generation of Disney Infinity or any of the previous Skylanders games, you might want to stick with what you already know.
All existing toys for both Skylanders and Disney Infinity are compatible with the new games, meaning any you've already got lying about at home will work with the new bases.
With Disney Infinity 2.0, older toys will even get the new Skill Trees added to their customisation options, meaning they get a little extra charm with the new game.
However, you cannot buy any of the new toys for either game and expect them to work with any existing bases from previous Skylander games or Disney Infinity 1.0. They are built with the newer technology and are therefore only compatible with the latest base.
Disney Infinity 2.0 vs Skylanders Trap Team - Verdict
If we were coming to the toys-to-life game market for the first time, we'd have a tough time deciding between Disney Infinity 2.0 and Skylanders Trap Team. On the one hand, Disney Infinity 2.0 has a string of recognisable characters and voice actors that makes collecting the whole set seem very appealing. It also has a full storyline within the Starter Pack and comes with three toys rather than the Skylanders' two.
However, we don't like the fact that to get more story out of the game we'd have to buy another playset, which retails around the £30 mark each time. But, you do always have the immersive Toy Box to while away the hours with.
See also: Best games 2014
With Skylanders Trap Team, the characters may not be recognisable, but they ooze with charm and appeal as soon as you start playing. Children and adults alike will love the comedic and brilliantly acted storyline, but may not like the fact you need to buy at least seven more Skylanders Trap Masters to access the full game.
Each Trap Master does cost around £12 though, so you could get another couple of hours play out of each purchase, rather than having to spend £30 each time as with Disney Infinity 2.0.
There isn't quite as much to do in Skylanders, but the strength of the storyline and the animation quality makes us inclined to spend our money there rather than the Disney alternative.