Skylanders: Trap Team

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Skylanders: Trap Team
Skylanders Trap Team cover art.jpg
Developer(s)Toys for Bob
Beenox[1]
Vicarious Visions (iOS, AND)
Publisher(s)Activision
Producer(s)Dawn Pinkney
Chris Wilson
Artist(s)Terry Falls
Lee Harker
Writer(s)Alex Ness
Composer(s)Lorne Balfe[2]
SeriesSkylanders
EngineVicarious Visions Alchemy
Platform(s)Android
iOS
Nintendo 3DS
PlayStation 3
PlayStation 4
Wii
Wii U
Xbox 360
Xbox One[1]
Release
  • AU: October 2, 2014
  • NA: October 5, 2014
  • EU: October 10, 2014[1]
Genre(s)Toys-to-life, role-playing, platform
Mode(s)Single-player, multiplayer

Skylanders: Trap Team is a 3D platformer [3][4] video game developed by Toys for Bob and Beenox and published by Activision. It is the fourth installment in the Skylanders video game franchise and was released on October 2, 2014 in Australasia, October 5, 2014 in North America, and October 10, 2014 in Europe, for release on Android and iOS mobile platforms, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Nintendo 3DS. It is the sequel to Skylanders: Swap Force, with the voices of Fred Tatasciore, Billy West, John DiMaggio, Matthew Moy, Laura Bailey, Alex Ness, John Paul Karliak, Matthew Yang King, and Richard Horvitz.

Skylanders: Trap Team utilizes a near-field communication reader platform, called the Traptanium Portal, that reads NFC chips located on the bottom of figurines. The figurines are then used in-game as playable characters. Later figurines named "Trap Masters", working with the Portal Master, must try to capture all criminals that Kaos has released from Cloudcracker Prison, which held the most feared villains of Skylands.

A sequel to Trap Team, Skylanders: SuperChargers, was released in September 2015.[5]

Synopsis[edit]

Kaos has blown up the walls of Cloudcracker Prison, freeing The Doom Raiders, the most notorious villains in Skylands, lead by the Golden Queen and her cohorts: The Gulper, Chompy Mage, Chef Pepper Jack, Dreamcatcher, Dr. Krankcase and Wolfgang. Now it's up to Snap Shot, Wallop, Jawbreaker, Wildfire, Gearshift, Krypt King, Gusto, Lob Star, Bushwhack, Head Rush, Ka-Boom, Blastermind, Tuff Luck, Thunderbolt, Short Cut, Enigma and the rest of the gang to find and capture them. Using Traptanium, a magic material that can harness the power of the elements, they now have the amazing ability to trap the villains and return them to Skylands to fight for them. The Trap Team must begin the ultimate adventure as they explore the world of Skylands in search of the escaped villains.

Plot[edit]

The goal of the game is to capture the villains who have escaped from Cloudcracker Prison. Long ago, Skylands was ruled by powerful villains called the Doom Raiders who hid out in the Savage Badlands and wreaked havoc over Skylands. They were eventually captured by the Trap Masters and remanded to Cloudcracker Prison.

Some years later, Kaos, the game's main antagonist, released The Doom Raiders and the other villains by blowing up Cloudcracker Prison with his Evil Frequency Modulator of Evil Doom. As a result, the Trap Masters were also sent to earth along with crystal traps formed by a material of the prison called Traptanium. During the opening of Skylanders Academy presented by Buzz, a remnant of the explosion is seen and he goes to investigate. Buzz helps the player's Skylanders catch the Gulper, a gluttonous blob monster, at Soda Springs by using his addiction to soda.

Meanwhile, Kaos gathers with the Doom Raiders at his new base, but the Doom Raiders reject Kaos without even listening to his plan due to him failing to stop the Skylanders from recapturing the Gulper. The Raiders' leader Golden Queen, an animated statue capable of turning objects to gold with a single touch, lets Kaos and Glumshanks stay, only to come up with a plan of her own.

The Skylanders secure intelligence about the Doom Raiders at Know-It-all Island, then head to Chompy Mountain, where they battle the Chompy Mage (a mage obsessed with Chompies who they met in Skylanders: Giants) and his forces, and trap him. Meanwhile, the Doom Raiders learn of the defeat and dissent grows in the ranks, with Kaos deciding to take advantage of this to retake control.

The Skylanders are sent to track down Chef Pepper Jack, an anthropomorphic chili pepper who was formerly a celebrity chef. Meeting up with Tessa at Phoenix Psanctuary, they hold off the Chef's forces from obtaining a Phoenix Chicken egg to create a Spicy Omelet of Doom. Kaos intervenes to sabotage the plans, but his smoke rocket lets Chef Pepper Jack escape with an egg. Launching an assault on his Zeppelin, the Skylanders free all the slaves on board, and trap the maniacal cook. With 3 Doom Raiders down, the remaining Doom Raiders are set to take action, but the Golden Queen still wants to build a weapon made of Traptanium in an attempt to steal all the riches of Skylands, much to Kaos' dismay. He tries to reassert control, but loses.

Realizing he will need the help of the Skylanders, Kaos decides to aid them to get revenge, revealing that Dreamcatcher (a sadistic yet immature floating head able to manipulate dreams and bring nightmares to life) has been terrorizing a Mabu village. They are able to stop her by waking the sleeping townspeople, but she escapes. The Skylanders head to Telescopic Towers to prevent her from stealing secrets of Traptanium from the dreams of Mabu scientists, eventually defeating and trapping her, though she manages to send the secrets to the Golden Queen regardless.

Though the secrets were lost, Dr. Krankcase, a mad scientist specializing in animating wood into evil robotic minions made of wood, still needs one final piece to the weapon: a large amount of "stinkocity", or bad odor. While the Skylanders manage to stop the main flow of smelly goo, Dr. Krankcase substitutes the goo for cheese, and comes up with a plan to simply bury it and travel forward in time to when it will be unbearable in stench, though this requires a Portal Master. To do so, they reopen Kaos' old workshop and trap him, but Wolfgang, a rockstar werewolf armed with a massive bone harp, abandons Dr. Krankcase and leaves him to be trapped by the Skylanders.

The Skylanders and Flynn track Wolfgang to Time Town, but they arrive too late as Wolfgang has already headed to the far future. Arriving in that time period, they discover that Wolfgang has completely taken over and constructed the "Big Bad Woofer", a giant speaker that amplifies his painful music 10-fold. The Skylanders make their way to the sinister speaker and shut it down, and defeat Wolfgang. However, the rotten cheese was sent to the Golden Queen in the present, and she completes the weapon. Holding Skylands hostage, she demands her fellow Doom Raiders to be freed and all the gold in the world as tribute.

The Skylanders and their comrades steal a rocket from the Trolls and use it to get to the Skyhighlands, where they find a crystal to locate the Golden Queen's lair. Traveling there, Cali is imprisoned in gold, and the Skylanders have to fight their way through the lair to rescue her. In an epic battle against the Queen, the Skylanders are victorious in trapping the queen and putting and end to her tyranny once and for all. However, Kaos takes the weapon for himself and absorbs the combined stinkocity and energy from the collected Traptanium, to become much stronger. He then realizes it was not the Skylanders he had to destroy, but the one thing that was always in his way: the Portal Master, or the player, and sets his sights on Earth. With both worlds hanging in the balance, the Skylanders make their way through the weapon and battle Kaos, who transforms into an enhanced Traptainium version of himself, growing Traptanium swords and raven-like wings. In spite of this, Kaos is finally defeated and put in a trap of his own. The weapon then overloads and explodes, freeing the trapped cities. The game ends with the residents of the academy celebrating.

In the credits, Kaos makes his comments while they roll.[6]

Gameplay[edit]

As in previous games, the player controls a variety of characters by placing toy figures representing the characters onto a near field communication-enabled interface device known as the Traptanium Portal, which activates the character in the game. In Trap Team, however, a new item type has been added: the trap. Unlike the figures, which bring characters into the game, the traps can be used to store forty-seven[7] enemy characters originally found in the game (including Kaos), who may then be controlled as good characters. These stored characters can be taken to other consoles.[1] The Traptanium Portal has a speaker incorporated in its design, to emphasize the trapping mechanic.[7] When enemies are "trapped", their vocals travel from a screen to the portal.[7] Skystones Smash, a mini-game and successor to Skystones from Skylanders: Giants has been added.[7] Skystones Smash is a card game, that uses numbers and is played in a tabletop style which is also included in the game.[7]

Trap Masters[7] are introduced in Trap Team and are special Skylanders that are stronger against trappable villains. The game also establishes Skylanders Minis (miniature versions of regular Skylanders) as playable characters.[8] Players can switch between playing as a villain and a Skylander at any point in the game.[7] In co-operative play players can share the trapped villain, and take turns playing as it.[7] However, a time limit is given to how long a villain can be used.[7] Once the playable villain's energy is depleted, players must wait until the villain's energy can recharge before using the character once more.[7] Villains are actually more powerful than Skylanders.[7] There are also hidden quests involving villains, once completed each quest unlocks exclusive upgrades.[7] Villains can also be stored in the Villain Vault which is located in the game's hub world.[7]

The mobile version of Trap Team uses a bluetooth Traptanium Portal and optional touch controls.[9] If the Traptanium Portal is not connected, players can use "on the go characters", digital versions of the figurines stored on the device.[9]

New elements have been added to the classic eight. These new elements have later become known as Light and Dark; however there are only two Skylanders in each.[citation needed] These Skylanders are Knight Light, Spotlight, Knight Mare and Blackout.

Skylanders: Trap Team characters[edit]

Skylanders: Trap Team introduces 18 new Trap Master Skylanders, 18 new core Skylanders, 40+ trapable villains, and sixteen new mini Skylanders. It also includes five reposed core Skylanders from previous games, and 8 Eon's Elite Skylanders with shiny finishes.

Development[edit]

On April 23, 2014, Activision announced Skylanders: Trap Team with a release on October 5, 2014.[10]

Release[edit]

Skylanders: Trap Team was released on October 2, 2014 in Australia, October 5, 2014 in North America, and October 10, 2014 in Europe, for release on Android, iOS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Nintendo 3DS.[6]

In addition to the regular Starter Pack released for all gaming consoles (which includes Food Fight and Snap Shot, two Traps, sticker sheets and trading cards), a Dark Edition Starter Pack was also released, and included the Ultimate Kaos Trap, a dark version of Snap Shot, Dark Wildfire, Dark Food Fight, a two-sided collector's poster, sticker sheets, two additional traps, and trading cards.[11]

The Tablet Starter Pack, for Android and iOS devices, comes with a Bluetooth Traptanium Portal, a controller and everything that is included in the Starter Pack from game consoles.[9]

The Wii version contains a free download code for the Wii U version of the game, which is not available on the Nintendo eShop otherwise.[12]

Reception[edit]

Skylanders: Trap Team received positive reviews. Aggregating review website Metacritic gave the Wii U version 86/100 based on four reviews,[13] the Xbox One version 78/100 based on 22 reviews,[14] and the PlayStation 4 version 78/100 based on 46 reviews.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Crecente, Brian (April 23, 2014). "Skylanders Trap Team coming Oct. 5 with a new twist and a new portal". Polygon. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  2. ^ Greening, Chris (April 24, 2014). "Lorne Balfe to return for Skylanders: Trap Team". Game Music Online. Retrieved April 24, 2014.
  3. ^ Martens, Todd. "Toys-to-life gaming at E3 is set to land big, but it's not all child's play". LA Times. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  4. ^ Williams, Katie (May 4, 2015). "Toys-To-Life Are Gaming's Hottest-selling Accessory of 2015". IGN. Retrieved June 14, 2015.
  5. ^ "Activision confirms Skylanders 5, Call of Duty 2015, "unannounced intitatives" during quarterly presentation". Warp Zoned. 5 February 2015. Retrieved 5 February 2015.
  6. ^ a b Ewalt, David M. (April 23, 2014). "Activision Announces 'Skylanders Trap Team'". Forbes. Retrieved April 23, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Robertson, Andy. "Skylanders Trap Team characters, multiplayer uncovered at E3". wired.co.uk. Wired. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  8. ^ Seedhouse, Alex. "Skylanders Minis introduced in Skylanders Trap Team". nintendo-insider.com. Nintendo Insider. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  9. ^ a b c Edney, Andrew. "Hands-on With Skylanders Trap Team Tablet Edition". huffingtonpost.co.uk. Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  10. ^ Walt, David (April 23, 2014). "Activision Announces Skylanders Trap Team". Forbes. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  11. ^ Campbell, Evan. "SDCC 14: SKYLANDERS TRAP TEAM DARK EDITION DETAILED". ign.com. IGN. Retrieved 15 August 2014.
  12. ^ Reiner, Andrew (26 July 2014). "Wii Version Of Skylanders: Trap Team Contains Free Wii U Digital Download". Game Informer. GameStop. Retrieved 26 July 2014.
  13. ^ a b "Skylanders: Trap Team for Wii U Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  14. ^ a b "Skylanders: Trap Team for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  15. ^ a b "Skylanders: Trap Team for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 20, 2014.

External links[edit]