franchise is the original darling of the recent toys to life trend. They've tried many things throughout the five games, including figures with swappable parts, the ability to trap enemies for your own use and, most recently, the addition of vehicles. The upcoming Skylanders Imaginators
will be adding its own twist to the proceedings -- the ability to design your own Skylander and to implement it within the game. Don't panic, though! Developer Toys for Bob is still creating a range of new figures for players to collect in the form of the Senseis, characters that act as mentors to the created characters. At EGX, we got a chance to try out the new title and two of the upcoming Sensei characters.
The game begins on Wumpa Islands in a community that is in peace. Well, as much in peace as it could be when you have Crash Bandicoot and a rather large boombox on the beach. The upcoming synchronization celebration is about to begin and it caused the alignment of the Islands with the world of Skylands. Unfortunately, Dr. Neo Cortex has other ideas. When Spyro and Mags arrive on the Islands, they discover that Cortex has created a machine to harness the rhythmic power of the islands for his own evil intentions. Of course, nothing ever goes to plan when it comes to evil intentions and the machine goes awry, throwing all of the islands out of sync and turning the celebration into a syncopation celebration. Harmony must be restored!
Spyro and Mags have been sent ahead to check out the situation. In the meantime, it is up to us to restore harmony to the areas of the islands that are now the scene of an awful din. Our first character to attempt this task is the Earth Sensei Tri-Tip, who is armed with a rather large mace that is extremely effective in squishing Chompies. He is immediately surrounded by destructible boxes that each yield a Wumpa Fruit, something of which there seems to be plenty on the Wumba Islands. There are also TNT boxes to help characters to boost jump onto higher platforms to get diamonds and other valuable collectibles, as well as exploding crates with arrows that allow the Skylanders to bounce between them until everything is destroyed.
Upon leaving the beach, we find ourselves travelling through Temple Ruins that are filled with pit traps. It doesn't take long to jump over those and encounter our first out of sync area. To restore harmony, players must listen to the singing statues that sound the target rhythm. By bouncing on two pads, players can copy the simple four part rhythm and the singing statues will be happy again. After synchronising the statues and removing our earplugs, we were able to move on to a new area.
Here we were ambushed by bongo wielding crabs and a venus fly trap type of enemy that specialised in spitting out chompies, enemies that will become very familiar in this level. Once these were vanquished, we decided to try out the second Sensei character, Tech Sensei Dr. Krankcase. A former villain, he now uses his goo gun to great effect in mid-range attacks on his former colleagues. Together with this character, we solved a slightly harder synchronisation puzzle and faced more enemies before meeting up with Mags and Spyro.
It turns out that it isn't only singing statues that are out of sync. The din has stopped the normal running of the standing stones and they must be repaired. The only way to do this is to find a mixtape in a mass of boxes. Playing this mixtape will restore a regular rhythm for the stones to obey as they move in and out as a defensive mechanism to stop intruders getting in. Unfortunately, by stopping intruders getting in, it also stops Dr. Krankcase from getting out so he must avoid the moving stones if he's to get one step closer to stopping Dr. Neo Cortex.
At this point the demo ended, but along the way we also encountered secret areas that were filled with treasure, something that we assume will be used to purchase upgrades for your characters. We also found a couple of "selfie spots" where players could pose their Skylander in their preferred position and angle the camera before taking a selfie. These selfies weren't being stored in the demo build of the game that we were playing, so we're unsure of their exact purpose.
This Thumpin’ Wumpa Islands level will be available to all players who purchase the starter pack on Playstation 4 or Playstation 3. For those of you who prefer to get achievements in your game, the holiday season will be bringing along the Thumpin’ Wumpa Islands Adventure Pack at a cost of $29.99 or regional equivalent. Not only will players be able to enjoy the level, they'll also be able to play as Crash Bandicoot and Dr. Neo Cortex.