Before we get into the Skylanders' adventure in the world of Apple, I wanted
to point something out: It has been nearly six months (at the time of this
revision) since the console games hit stores and we are just now getting the
iPhone/iPad version (yup, its universal). If iOS ever expects to be considered a
viable gaming platform, both developers AND Apple need to get their act
together. And quick. Imagine if the Skylanders had been a bust and thousands of
unsold figures littered store shelves. Now imagine the Skylanders game hit the
App Store, half a year later, in a market that had already rejected Activision's
experiment. They would have put all that work into a late game that maybe four
dudes in the midwest would be excited enough about to download. Lame. That's, of
course, not how it worked out, but you see my point, right?
On to the game. Skylanders: Cloud Patrol couldn't be less similar to the
games we've seen up to this point. Using the touch screen, players are to shoot
trolls and ogres out of the sky after some kind of Skyland prison break. Though
the gameplay isn't identical, if you've played Fruit Ninja, you should have no
problem grasping this one.
Don't be fooled by the simple (yet always somehow kinda fun) gameplay; Cloud
Patrol is a game you'll need to "complete" your Skylanders experience. You
remember those little black barcodes that come with each figure? The ones you
used in the online Spyro's Universe? The ones that some of you parents no doubt
threw away? Yeah, you'll need them for this game as well. Typing in the code
gives you instant access to that character/power-up/world in the iOS game,
though unlocking this stuff can be accomplished through normal gameplay as well.
FYI: The field to enter your codes can be a little tricky to find. You'll
need to tap each specific object in the game's store, from items to Skylanders.
Tapping that object brings up the option to enter the web code OR to pay for the
item with in-game currency. Between entering codes one-by-one in this and Kid
Icarus (which you really should be playing), its a rough time to be a
Skylanders: Cloud Patrol is a fun distraction and its always nice to see how
Activision will expand the Skylanders universe. If you've been collecting the
toys, however, brace yourself: You've got 37 Skylanders, four Adventure Packs,
eight power-ups and one level. That is FIFTY ten-digit codes for you to enter.
Better clear your weekend. What makes this especially vexing is that each of the
web code cards has a barcode on it. Why couldn't we use our iPod/iPhone/iPad
camera to snap a photo and have the barcode read instantly? We have the
technology, people. Make it so.
Final Rating: 75%