Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure
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|Skylanders Spyro's Adventure|
Updated North American cover design.
|Developer(s)||Toys For Bob (Mac, PC, PS3, Wii, 360, Wii U)
Vicarious Visions (3DS)
Frima Studio (Web, iPhone, iPad)
|Release date(s)||AU October 12, 2011 (PC)
AU 20111013October 13, 2011
EU 20111014October 14, 2011
NA 20111016October 16, 2011
|Mode(s)||Single-player, Cooperative Multi-player, Competitive PvP|
|Distribution||Blu-ray Disc, DVD, DS Game Card, Wii Optical Disc|
Skylanders Spyro's Adventure is the first game in the Skylanders series. It is a video game that is played along with toy figures that interact with it through a "Portal of Power", that reads their tag through NFC.
Skylanders Spyro's Adventure was published by Activision and developed by Toys for Bob. It was released on October 12, 2011 in Australia for the PC and October 13, 2011 on other consoles. The game was released in Europe on October 14, 2011, in North America on October 16, 2011, and it was released in South America (including Brazil) by Neoplay on December 15, 2011.
Japan eventually finally saw a release of this game, being handled by Toys "R" Us and Square Enix and was released for the Wii, PlayStation 3, Nintendo 3DS and the region has also received a unique Wii U port exclusively (instead of having an Xbox 360 release), being released on July 12, 2013, which was nearly two years after its release in the western regions, thus making this the first Spyro game to be released in Japan in almost 10 years, since Spyro Orange: The Cortex Conspiracy. It is also the final Japanese release of Spyro game to be owned by Vivendi.
Activision announced that as of June 3, 2012, the game had been the top selling console and handheld video game worldwide for 2012. As of March 31, 2012, Activision has sold over 30 million Skylanders toys, and sales are expected to exceed $500 million by the end of the year.
This is the only Skylanders game to released on PC.
There are 32 standard characters and 8 different elements under which characters are classified. The 8 elements are Magic, Water, Tech, Fire, Earth, Life, Air and Undead. When the character figurines are placed on the "Portal of Power" peripheral, they appear in the game. The "Starter Pack" has three characters to start with – Spyro, Trigger Happy, and Gill Grunt. Each character has specialized statistics in areas such as health and speed. The player can also find hats for the characters, which further affect statistics. Special Elemental Gates require a Skylander with the corresponding element to pass through. With two players, only one player needs to be controlling a spectrobe of the correct element.
In addition to the standard character figures that are available for purchase there are also limited edition Gold, Silver, Crystal, Chrome, and Glow-in the Dark versions of certain characters.
This version of Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure is more of an action platformer than its console counterparts. Players have to complete levels by gathering crystals, which lets them unlock more levels. Each level is littered with crystals, obtained by going towards the end of the level, or by completing a variety of tasks, such as defeating a certain number of enemies, or finding items. Whenever the player finds a crystal, an enemy awakens and a time limit starts. They have to defeat enemies, and get clocks in the level to get more time to ward off the chasing enemy. Unlike other versions, characters can make a jump, and a double jump. This version of the game is set in a different realm in Skylands called the Radiant Isles, and a different force of darkness is faced under the command of Hektore. Unlike the console versions, the starter pack for the 3DS version comes with the Skylanders Ignitor, Stealth Elf, and Dark Spyro.
Toys for Bob was given the opportunity to revive a Vivendi franchise, and they chose the Spyro the Dragon franchise. Paul Reiche III noted: "attempts to revive broad-audience mascot franchises haven't seen predictable success in the game industry. Just creating a new Spyro game after the traditional fashion was unlikely to work" and reinventing the character as a "really gritty, strange otherworldly Spyro" didn't seem like a promising idea. Reiche says he had considered integrating technology with toys and games for a while, and it was the kind of concept that was so outlandish that it was the most promising idea the team sketched out for the brand.
The game's original working title was Spyro's Kingdom from June 2009. The game was originally going to be a mature Spyro game with a much darker tone, that also included blood, but the developers of Toys for Bob lost their enthusiasm and felt that this direction did not feel like "Spyro". They spent six months on a variety of different directions with Spyro, and with the time and budget given by Activision.
Executive producer Jeff Poffenbarger stated that the game is geared more towards younger gamers who have no prior knowledge of the Spyro character.
To enable the game to work with the toys, the base of each toy contains an RFID chip  which communicates wirelessly with the portal when in near proximity to inform the game which toy is currently active. The RFID chip also retains several key stats including gold, level and upgrades purchased and won through gameplay. Due to the use of RFID, the toys are portable between supported platforms while retaining their stats, allowing players to use their characters in other player's games with all upgrades in place. Additionally, two figures can be placed on the portal simultaneously, for cooperative or versus play.
The game's music was composed by Hans Zimmer, who also composed music for such well-known movies such as the academy award-winning Disney animated film The Lion King, Inception and The Dark Knight trilogy.
The game's main story was penned by Alec Sokolow and Joel Cohen, both of whom worked on Pixar's original Toy Story film. The game was originally revealed to be exclusive for the Wii, but was eventually released on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, iPad, iPhone, the Web, Microsoft Windows and Macintosh computers.
According to the Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bathia, Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure "is testing apparently very well with kids", who are the game's target audience.
Nickelodeon of Europe and Activision had worked together to help sponsor a tour called Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure Live to help promote the game, ranging from September 10–11 at Liverpool, Williamson Square to September 17–18 at London, Westfield Stratford.
The game has received generally favorable reviews. GameSpot gave it a 7.5 out of 10, praising its family-friendly gameplay and role-playing-style character progression, but criticized the lack of online multiplayer, the cost of buying a complete set of figures, slapping Spyro into the game, and for finding the Portal of Power peripheral to be temperamental. Nintendo World Report gave the game a 9 out of 10, praising the Wii version for its gameplay and production values, and the 3DS version for its accessibility to younger gamers and overall design. Gaming Nexus gave Skylanders a B+ and praised the game for taking the Spyro franchise to a younger audience once more, though noted that the game has a few flaws.
Destructoid gave the game a 8 out of 10 saying, "It's not the most complex game on the market, but the innovative gadgetry and authentic thoughtfulness on the part of the developer stands out in a market so used to churning out the same old crap." IGN gave Skylanders an 8.0 out of 10. Skylanders was nominated for two Toy Industry Association awards: 'Game of the Year' and 'Innovative Toy of the Year'.
ZTGD gave the game 8.7 /10 in a positive initial review (October 2011) and their follow-up article on 4 January 2012  noted a worldwide shortage of additional toys to the starter pack trio, an issue the manufacturer, Activision, warned of in November 2011 due to the significantly higher-than-expected demand.
During the first quarter of 2012, Skylanders was the third most profitable game in North America and Europe, including sales of accessories and figures. According to Activision's internal estimates, sales of Skylanders toys exceeded those of the number one action figure line at the time, Star Wars.
Over 30 million Skylanders toys have been sold worldwide. Toy sales were two to three times higher than Activision had originally expected.
As of December 2012, the Skylanders franchise sold more than $500 million in retail sales in the U.S., inclusive of accessory packs and figures. In 2012 alone, Skylanders Giants, the sequel to Skylanders Spyro's Adventure—the #1 best-selling kids' game of 2011—generated more than $195 million in U.S. sales. Furthermore, Skylanders Giants topped domestic box office sales of each of the top holiday kids' feature films including Wreck-It Ralph and Rise of the Guardians in 2012.
Activision announced a sequel, Skylanders: Giants, which was released in October 2012. A Web game called Skylanders: Universe was created as well but was discontinued on 29 April 2013. A second sequel in the Skylanders franchise has been announced titled: Skylanders: Swap Force.
On May 3, 2012, An illustrated novel titled: Skylanders: The Machine of Doom has been released on eBook applications, that is set as a canon prequel to the first Skylanders game. It was written by Cavan Scott under the pen name, "Onk Beakman". It was published by Grosset & Dunlap and released as Paperback on August 3, 2012 in the United Kingdom and on September 6, 2012 in North America.
A second illustrated novel titled: Skylanders: Spyro versus the Mega Monsters, will not only be a sequel, but it is to be the first of a Mask of Power series of the Skylanders novel brand franchise. It was released on January 10, 2013.
Activison had commented on the possibility of a Skylanders movie and TV series as something that they could see themselves looking into in the future. However on May 30, 2013, Activision confirmed that there aren't any plans for a Skylanders movie adaption nor a TV series, with Activision's vice president of the business unit adding that "the video game is the movie."
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- Official Website
- Skylanders: Spyro's Adventures at Internet Movie Database
- Official Reveal Trailer
- Bring Your Toys to Life Trailer