Skylanders Swap Force – Review
Follow Genre: Adventure, Platform
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Publisher: Activision
Platform: 360, PS3, PC, Wii U, (3DS - different version)

Skylanders Swap Force – Review

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Good: Swap Force gives you a lot of extra options
Bad: Expensive
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Skylanders is one of those franchises that hit the stores in 2011 and nobody expected it to be such a hit. At first Spyro’s name was used to kick start this new series, not knowing it would be a success or not. Of course the game was amazingly popular and already more than 120 different kinds of skylanders have been created. Some variations of already existing ones whilst others are completely new. The second installment introduced the Giants, which were in essence just bigger Skylanders. Now the third installment, Skylanders Swap Force introduces the Swap Force skylanders, which pave the way for you to choose which Skylander suits your fancy.



It seems Kaos is back, shorter, grumpier and a little more evil. He’s plotting to convert the ancient Skylanders into evil beings and thus throwing the world out of balance. Seeing it will only take one evil being to turn the rest into evil monsters as well. This means Kaos might get his way and throw the skylands into… chaos?

As usual not everything Kaos does works out and thus he might receive some help from an unexpected angle. Perhaps a surprise to some but when this mystery person comes in to play you’ll immediately understand.

Flynn, the pilot, has a more emphasized role in this game and it works quite well. His remarks will keep his wittiness intact as well as his lack of common sense.

Skylander Swap Force also presents you with a new environment in which you’ll spend most of your time.


When comparing this third game in the franchise to the first one, you’ll be able to see massive progress. The environments in which all your Skylanders roam looks beautiful, yet cartoony. The Skylanders themselves received great graphical updates and they look more like as if they are truly coming to life instead of the original wii-ish ported characters. Your enemies look appealing and amusingly evil at the same time.

There is not much bad that can be said about how this franchise is evolving.



Let’s start off by saying Skylanders Swap Force has a giant cast of voice actors to voice all of the available Skylanders and NPC’s. You’ll be treated to some more famous voice actors but this does not mean the others are below par. All of the characters have a fitting voice, even though some only have a few taglines, it makes your characters come that much more to life.

The music in this game sounds like so much more than a simple adventure game. The soundtrack might not always stick in your head but it is quite wonderful. Skylanders Swap Force will offer you a decent set of tracks that simply make you want to embark on an epic journey to protect the Skylands.


Skylanders Swap Force is one of those typical adventure games with an atypical mechanism. Like the previous games in the series you’ll be able to use your real life ‘Skylanders toys’ by setting them on the ‘portal’ that was delivered with the game. At any given time during the game you’ll be able to switch characters by placing another Skylander on the portal.

This new installment offers you the chance to buy and use Swap Force characters which are characters you can pretty much divide into two parts and thus combine them with other Swap Force characters. This will allow you to create characters with two element types or simply your own little Frankenstein’s monster.


Like the previous games each of your Skylanders can be leveled and Swap Force lifts the level cap once again by five levels. This means you’ll be able to level your Skylanders up to level twenty. For those that have played the first game it’s fun to use their very first Skylanders and leveling them further. Sadly when leveling up to level twenty your character will have loads of spare cash. Which used to be an issue in the previous game but Swap Force does an attempt at fixing that, but more on that later.

When leveling your characters you’ll earn money along the way. With this money you’ll be able to buy skills for your Skylander and thus upgrade his abilities. When doing so you’ll have to make a choice later on to choose which ability will be his main one. Thus a small reference to having different skill trees.

The Swap Force characters kind of work the same with the exception you’ll be able to buy skills for their upper and lower bodies. Each of them have their own skill trees and thus you’ll be able to experiment with more ‘builds’.

Levels in Skylanders Swap Force have become a lot longer to finish and have a lot more options to explore. You’ll come across more element gates and you’ll encounter new dual element gates. These can be opened when you have a Swap Force character combining the two right elements, playing with another player and combining the two elements this way. (This will also allow you to simply hook up a second controller when you don’t possess the right Swap Force combination.)

During your playthrough you’ll encounter more than the element gates, namely some sort of ‘Ability gates’. The Swap Force characters each have an ability symbol at the character’s base. In the end it’s the same principle as the element gates but you’ll simply have to pick the right Swap Force character to open the gate and thus complete the challenge that is thrown at you to win your prize.

Outside of the adventure missions you’ll have to patch up the main town and explore it as you go. The town will also offer you the chance to place your special artifacts on pedestals. You find these artefacts across your playthrough and thus give your characters passive bonuses. These pedestals are unlocked the higher your portal rank gets and in turn this rank gets higher with all the things you accomplish. Clearing levels, using different Skylanders, finding treasures and so on.


We talked about spare money earlier and that the previous games did not offer you that much chance to dump that excess money. Skylander Swap Force has an in game shop for you to buy items, namely hats (for extra stats), legendary artifacts and so on. This offers a great way to keep playing with your favorite characters and not having to worry about having useless money.

Outside of the main campaign there are a lot of bonus missions you can complete, pvp arenas and other challenges. These challenges can be played with friends and will also earn you money and experience.


Even though Skylander Swap Force might cost you quite a bit if you’re a collector, it’s an investment you’ll not regret. You’ll not only be buying extra content but also something nice to put on your shelf. Skylanders Swap Force is a great improvement of a series that was already top notch and it tries to innovate its already great gameplay with every new addition. The Swap Force characters offer you even more chances to pick and create the character you want to see on your screen and exploring has become an as important factor as simply completing the storyline. Skylander Swap Force is one of those games that suit every type of gamer.

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