Skylanders: Swap Force

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Skylanders: Swap Force
Skylanders Swap Force.jpg
Developer(s) Vicarious Visions[1]
n-Space (3DS)
Beenox (Wii)[1]
Publisher(s) Activision
Distributor(s) Activision Blizzard
Composer(s) Lorne Balfe[2]
Series Skylanders
Platform(s) Nintendo 3DS
PlayStation 3
Wii U[1]
Xbox 360
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Release date(s) Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, Wii,[1] Wii U[1] & Xbox 360
NA 20131013October 13, 2013

AU 20131016October 16, 2013

EU 20131018October 18, 2013
PlayStation 4
  • NA November 15, 2013
  • EU November 29, 2013
Xbox One
  • WW November 22, 2013
Genre(s) Role-playing, action adventure, platform
Mode(s) Single-player, co-op

Skylanders: Swap Force is a platformer video game developed by Vicarious Visions and published by Activision. It is the third main game in the Skylanders video game and toy franchise, following 2012's Skylanders: Giants, which was a direct sequel to 2011's Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure.

It is the first Skylanders game to be released in North America before other regions, unlike the previous two games where Australia got the installments first. It is also the first Skylanders game not to be owned by Vivendi.


The gameplay for Swap Force is based on the two previous games, Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure and Skylanders: Giants. Players use a portal to bring real life action figures into the video game. For the new game, Skylanders are able to jump, and there are new swappable Skylanders. The new game also brings a new Portal of Power (and therefore is only sold as a starter pack). The new Portal was added because of the new technology that makes the Swap Force characters work correctly. The older portals from the past 2 games would not be able to sense the top half of these new Swappable characters. These sixteen new characters have top and bottom halves that can be separated from each other and recombined with the halves from other characters. This allows for a total of 256 combinations between all tops and bottoms. Another new feature of the swappable characters is that each has one of eight distinct ways of moving. These different movement types are necessary to enter certain side areas in the game called "SWAP Zones". Only characters with the correct bottom half can enter said areas.

Starter Packs[edit]

As with the previous installments of the game, Skylanders: Swap Force will be available for purchase in starter kits that will include a copy of the game itself, the portal of power, a handful of characters to begin or supplement your collection, a poster of the entire Swap Force collection, cards, stickers, and Web codes. The current starter packs and the characters include the following:

Console Starter Pack[edit]

  • Wash Buckler
  • Blast Zone
  • Ninja Stealth Elf

Nintendo 3DS Starter Pack[edit]

  • Rattle Shake
  • Free Ranger
  • Volcanic Eruptor

Pre-Order bonuses[edit]

  • People who pre-order Console Starter Pack or Gamestop Exclusive Dark Edition Starter Pack from GameStop receive a free, never before released Skylanders: Giants Lightcore Hex figure and a poster.
  • People who pre-order Console Starter Pack from Toys "R" Us also receive a free, never before released Lightcore Hex figure, a poster, and any single Skylanders: Swap Force character they would like.
  • People who pre-order Console Starter Pack from Walmart also receive the free, never before released Lightcore Hex figure.
  • People who pre-order Console Starter Pack from Target Corporation receive a free, exclusive, physical magic/trading card that grants a hat (UFO Hat) when placed on the new Portal of Power, as well as the Lightcore Hex figure.
  • People who pre-order Console Starter Pack from Best Buy also receive the free, never before released Lightcore Hex figure.

New Skylanders/Returning Skylanders and Map Packs[edit]

Swap Force features sixteen new core characters and sixteen new swappable characters, in addition to sixteen reposed Skylanders from previous games, five new dark figures and eight Lightcore Skylanders.[3]

Dark Figures[edit]

Dark figures are in game variants that are only available as part of a packaging exclusive by Gamestop (US stores).

  • Dark Wash Buckler (Water - Climb)
  • Dark Blast Zone (Fire - Rocket)
  • Dark Slobber Tooth (Earth)
  • Dark Ninja Stealth Elf (Life)
  • Dark Mega Ram Spyro (Magic)

Legendary Figures[edit]

Legendary figures are in game variants that are only available by certain retailers (Toys R US - US stores).

  • Legendary Free Ranger (Air - Spin)
  • Legendary Night Shift (Undead - Teleport)
  • Legendary Zoo Lou (Life)
  • Legendary Lightcore Grim Creeper (Undead)

Adventure Packs[edit]

  • Tower of Time - Includes PopThorn, Battle Hammer, Sky Diamond, and Tower Of Time Location Item
  • Sheep Wreck Island - Includes Wind-Up, Platinum Sheep, Groove Machine, and Sheep Wreck Island Location Item

Battle Packs[edit]

  • Arkeyan Crossbow - Includes Grim Creeper, Thorn Horn Camo, and Arkeyan Crossbow Magic Item
  • Fiery Forge - Includes Bumble Blast, Knockout Terrafin and Fiery Forge Magic Item


  • Wham-Shell (Water)
  • Smolderdash (Fire)
  • Bumble Blast (Life)
  • Flashwing (Earth)
  • Countdown (Tech)
  • Warnado (Air)
  • Grim Creeper (Undead)
  • Star Strike (Magic)

New characters in Skylanders:SWAP Force[edit]

  • Roller Brawl (Undead)
  • Grim Creeper (Undead)
  • Scorp (Earth)
  • Slobber Tooth (Earth)
  • Star Strike (Magic)
  • Dune Bug (Magic)
  • Bumble Blast (Life)
  • Zoo Lou (Life)
  • Fryno (Fire)
  • Smolderdash (Fire)
  • Wind Up (Tech)
  • Countdown (Tech)
  • Punk Shock (Water)
  • Riptide (Water)
  • Scratch (Air)
  • Pop Thorn (Air)


  • Blast Zone (Fire - Rocket)
  • Boom Jet (Air - Rocket)
  • Doom Stone (Earth - Spin)
  • Fire Kraken (Fire - Bounce)
  • Free Ranger (Air - Spin)
  • Freeze Blade (Water - Speed)
  • Grilla Drilla (Life - Dig)
  • Hoot Loop (Magic - Teleport)
  • Magna Charge (Tech - Speed)
  • Night Shift (Undead - Teleport)
  • Rattle Shake (Undead - Bounce)
  • Rubble Rouser (Earth - Dig)
  • Spy Rise (Tech - Climb)
  • Stink Bomb (Life - Sneak)
  • Trap Shadow (Magic - Sneak)
  • Wash Buckler (Water - Climb)

Returning Characters / Reposes[edit]

  • Anchors Away Gill Grunt (Water)series 3
  • Big Bang Trigger Happy (Tech)series 3
  • Blizzard Chill (Water)series 2
  • Heavy Duty Sprocket (Tech)series 2
  • Fire Bone Hot Dog (Fire)series 2
  • Horn Blast Whirlwind (Air)series 3
  • Hyper Beam Prism Break (Earth)series 3
  • Lava Barf Eruptor (Fire)series 3
  • Mega Ram Spyro (Magic)series 3
  • Ninja Stealth Elf (Life)series 3
  • Phantom Cynder (Undead)series 3
  • Knockout Terrafin (Earth)series 3
  • Super Gulp Pop Fizz (Magic)series 2
  • Thorn Horn Camo (Life)series 2
  • Twin Blade Chop Chop (Undead)series 3
  • Turbo Jet-Vac (Air)series 2


Variants in Swap Force comes in the following categories:

  • In Game Variants: Characters that appear in game and are produced in good numbers to the public.
  • Physical Toy Variants: Characters that appear different as a toy but does not look any different in the game. Availability varies by figure and how it is released.
  • Employee Exclusives: Characters given to employees that are generally not available to the public. These characters are generally expensive and are targeted to collectors.
  • Chase Variants: Characters that are physical toy variants only and produced only in limited numbers to the public. These characters are generally expensive and are targeted to collectors.

In Game Variants:

  • Enchanted Hoot Loop (Magic-Teleport)
  • Enchanted Star Strike (Magic)
  • Jade Fire Kraken (Fire - Bounce)
  • Volcanic Eruptor (Fire)
  • Jolly Bumble Blast (Life)
  • Nitro Magna Charge (Tech - Speed)
  • Nitro Freeze Blade (Water - Speed)
  • Spring Time Trigger Happy (Tech)
  • Kickoff Countdown (Tech)

Physical Toy Variants:

  • Silver Metallic Sprocket (Tech) (Best Buy - US Stores Exclusive)
  • Green Wash Buckler (Water - Climb) (Only sold in special Wii U packaging)

Employee Exclusives:

  • Gold Fire Kraken (Fire - Bounce)
  • Snowderdash (Fire) (Labeled Snowderdash on box)

Chase Variants:

  • Green Translucent Scorp (Earth)
  • Green Translucent Rip Tide (Water)
  • Green Translucent Chop Chop (Undead)
  • Red Dune Bug (Magic) (Toy Fair 2014 Exclusive)
  • Bronze/Silver Trap Shadow (Magic - Sneak)
  • Silver/Gold Stink Bomb (Life - Sneak)
  • Gold/Bronze Doom Stone (Earth - Spin)


Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings (X360) 84.68%[4]
(PS3) 83.93%[5]
(WiiU) 88.44%[6]
(Wii) 88.00%[7]
(3DS) 72.79%[8]
(XONE) 80.00%[9]
(PS4) 79.67%[10]
Metacritic (X360) 83/100[11]
(WiiU) 89/100[12]
(PS3) 83/100[13]
(PS4) 79/100[14]
(3DS) 68/100[15]

Skylanders: Swap Force was released to very positive reviews, with the reviews from GameRankings and Metacritic being the highest and most genuinely positive of the series so far across all platforms. Gaming website Quarter To Three gave both the Wii U and Xbox 360 a perfect score of 5/5.[16][17] Video Game website Gaming Age gave the PlayStation 3 version the highest grade of an "A" and further commented that "Whether you’re a Skylanders fan or a gamer who’s looking for a charming and unique family-friendly game series to get into, Skylanders SWAP Force comes highly recommended."[18]


  1. ^ a b c d e f East, Thomas (July 2, 2013). "Skylanders Swap Force Wii will be very close to the HD versions". Official Nintendo Magazine. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  2. ^ Greening, Chris (2013-05-01). "Lorne Balfe Interview: Scoring Assassin’s Creed and Skylanders". Game Music Online. Retrieved 2014-04-24. 
  3. ^ "Skylanders Swap Force FAQ". Activision. Retrieved July 17, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Skylanders Swap Force for Xbox 360". GameRankings. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Skylanders Swap Force for PlayStation 3". GameRankings. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  6. ^ "Skylanders Swap Force for Wii U". GameRankings. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  7. ^ "Skylanders Swap Force for Wii". GameRankings. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  8. ^ "Skylanders Swap Force for 3DS". GameRankings. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "Skylanders Swap Force for XONE accessdate=25 April 2014". GameRankings. 
  10. ^ "Skylanders Swap Force for PS4". GameRankings. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  11. ^ "Skylanders Swap Force for Xbox 360". Metacritic. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  12. ^ "Skylanders Swap Force for Wii U". Metacritic. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  13. ^ "Skylanders Swap Force for PlayStation 3". Metacritic. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "Skylanders Giants for PS4". Metacritic. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  15. ^ "Skylanders Swap Force for 3DS". Metacritic. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  16. ^ "Skylanders Swap Force is enough new stuff to delight a whole family". Quarter To Three. 2013-10-16. Retrieved 2014-04-25. 
  17. ^ "Is Skylanders Swap Force a force for good, a force for evil, or something else?". Quarter To Three. 2013-10-28. Retrieved 2014-04-25. 
  18. ^ "Skylanders SWAP Force review for PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U". Gaming Age. 2013-10-15. Retrieved 2014-04-25.