Disney Infinity synergizes action figures and video games in fun, creative ways with limitless options, future expansions/collaborations, and creative gameplay. The game expands interactivity by “syncing” physical pieces with the video game.
Introducing Disney Infinity, a unique toy based video game where a spark of imagination unlocks the freedom to play with some of your favorite Disney and Disney/Pixar characters in their respective worlds like never before. Game features include: extreme game customization and character mingling in ‘Toy Box’ mode, the inclusion of everything needed for initial play including the base peripheral and three initial character figures, multiple virtual play areas, additional collectible characters/figures, single-player and multiplayer options, and unlockable online and mobile content.
Battle enemies, solve puzzles, overcome obstacles and complete a variety of other unique quests. You can also create your own world – the choice is yours in Disney Infinity. Unlock virtual toys from each play set — characters, buildings, weapons, gadgets and more –- and bring them into the Toy Box where you can mix them all up to create your own game. In the Toy Box, there are no rules and you can create any adventure you want. The only limitations are those of your imagination. Share your one-of-a-kind creations with your friends with up to 4-player co-op play, and enjoy the option to collect more characters. The more you play, the more you unlock – and the more you have, the more possibilities for play. Players can add new Infinity play sets and figures as the franchise continues, and can even take their Disney Infinity experience to a whole new level with Power Discs – an all new way to unlock character powers, fun gadgets and new ways to customize your world. But remember, the story never ends. The Disney Infinity Starter Pack is just the beginning, with many more Disney and Disney/Pixar characters and worlds coming soon, giving you infinite ways to inspire your imagination.
Disney Infinity offers an all ages gaming experience where players roam open worlds, take on adventures, and experience their own Toy Box environment creations on current consoles, the Nintendo 3DS handheld console, and tablets/PCs/mobile.
Players need the game and the base, which they use for interactions with the figures and set pieces. Power discs can be placed under figures or set pieces. All components on the base can be placed intuitively by shape and can be switched or removed at any time. Players can also use the webcode cards on www.disney.com/infinity to unlock new web content.
The main console versions on the PlayStation 3, Wii U, and XBox 360 features a base for up to two figures (with up to two power discs each) and one set piece (maximum three power discs). Up to four players can play locally or on network online in the “Toy Box” mode.
Downloadable Toy Box environments are only available in these three versions. Additional downloadable content includes new Toy Box levels based on Tron, Up, and the impressive BioShock Infinite – specifically Columbia (a.k.a. the city in the clouds), which offers an enticing possibility at more future add-on content beyond the Disney universe. Players just access toy box mode, select toy box share then Disney’s toy boxes.
The Nintendo Wii version features many Toy Box modes including building, combat, driving, platforming, and sports. Up to two players can play cooperatively in all four versions.
The Nintendo 3DS version is essentially a party game where as many as four players play in more than 50 mini games and different themes created in the Toybox mode. The base has one figure slot connected wirelessly to the 3DS. Up to two players can play cooperatively. Sorry, no PlayStation Vita version yet, which really could have expanded use of the front/rear touch screens and camera here.
Starter packs are available for the PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360, Wii and 3DS versions and feature Mr. Incredible, Jack Sparrow, and Sulley with their respective Toy Box environments (a.k.a. play sets).
Disney Infinity will release on the Mac and PC in October 2013, but players can experience the two accompanying apps. Disney Infinity: Action! lets users shoot videos and combine them with action from the Disney Infinity characters. These videos can be saved or shared via YouTube, e-mail or Facebook. Users can also try Disney Infinity: Toy Box, which lets users create and edit their own game environments then share them among consoles and devices via the web-connected cloud.
The figures represent characters well making great stand-alone pieces for collection or play. The impressive details even include Jack Sparrow with his pinkie and index finger up in the air. Some of the original character voice talent provide the audio dialogue in the gameplay (e.g. Craig T. Nelson for Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible, Larry the Cable Guy for Mater, etc.), but there should have been more though voice casting Jim Hanks (Tom’s younger brother) for Toy Story’s Woody worked well. Visit the Hall of Heroes for helpful videos on each character and their abilities.
The power discs add themes, vehicles, and upgrades to the interactive mix (three additional sets to follow). The initial themes include Alice in Wonderland, Finding Nemo, Tangled, and Wreck-It Ralph (Sugar Rush). Initial vehicles include Abu the Elephant, Cinderella’s coach, Dumbo, Mickey’s jalopy car and even Mr. Frederickson’s walker with tennis balls plus weapons like Stitch’s blaster.
Players can definitely “buy their way into the game” with additional power discs and figures that also unlock special vaults and other items within the gameplay, especially since Disney Infinity purchasers cannot find the game in a stand-alone case, but must get it within a pack (with mixed characters amid a theme like “sidekicks” or “villains”) located in a sizable display including all the accompanying physical pieces. The thorough packaging definitely deters any tampering or even theft.
A basic starter pack will definitely yield close to double-digit gameplay (average skill level) in conquering the included adventures/Toy Boxes alone. Toy Box creation and customization adds even more replay value, so the additional physical items that can always increase the gameplay experience.
Single, co-op, competitive and online play modes all factor into this PlayStation 3 starter pack as players enter play sets or open worlds (a.k.a. the Toy Box). Characters do not die they just start again.
The initial play set properties include Pirates of the Caribbean, Monsters University, Cars, The Incredibles, The Lone Ranger with Toy Story in Space play set releasing in October 2013 plus more on the way including figures of Jack Skellington, Rapunzel, Ralph, Venellope Von Schweetz, Anna & Elsa (Frozen) with specials like Sorcerer Mickey and Crystal Lightning McQueen.
The open world Toy Boxes mix sandbox-type play, missions/challenges, customization and creation elements. Players also earn “spins” through gameplay progression, which can be used to unlock additional items. Tablet and PC versions are also involved in Toy Box gameplay and creation, which is where the web code cards come into play. Online play requires actions to received invites.
Looking for multiplayer fun in the play sets? That requires multiple figures from the same play set. For example, the starter pack only includes the Sully from the Monsters University set, so more than one player gameplay requires Mike or Randall. In the Toy Box, players can mix and match figures from different play sets.
The environment/play sets have impressive graphics, several unlockables, secrets, action packed scenarios, problem solving challenges, and entertaining cut scenes. The water animation in the Pirates of the Caribbean set really impresses and it’s great to see great supporting characters like Edna E.Mode in the Incredibles set.
The control scheme seems complicated at first, but duplicates related action. For example, players use two separate buttons for entering (square) and exiting (circle) vehicles…the standard is usually triangle. Yet these same actions are used to pick up (square) and drop (circle) items, so it’s relatively easy to adjust.
The build mode works fairly well. The rotation options are a little cumbersome using the triangle and direction buttons. Raise /lower by holding square and left stick up. Items used in the build mode come from many Disney dynasties, so players can easily mix and match into their creations. The tutorials are very helpful though it is helpful and interesting to let younger players try out different scenarios. For example, a special young girl tried to build a bridge over to a background environment she could never reach.
This trial-and-error “sparks” the imagination instead of causing frustration. Special movements in the environments can be easily spotted with glowing lines, stacked boxes, etc. Exploration yields special pop open canisters including hints (watch the blue figure hologram).
Other unlockables in the themed play sets usually activate after an interaction (just talk to someone with an exclamation point hovering over their head) though players can complete them ahead of the interactions and unlock them all at once.
More save spots would be nice, but would likely complicate the process as well, especially for younger players. The menus often require confirmation action, which is nice, so players do not lose any progress or creation work.
Missions (accessed by select button) could involve collecting objects from around the level, escorting people around, or even defeating enemies in battle. The challenges need more creativity beyond paintball and races. Sound enhancements mainly come from the top-notch narration from Yuri Lowenthal. The music soundtrack and dialogue often overlap each other when quickly triggered by multiple actions. The music also diminishes with inactivity.
Developed by Avalanche Software and published by Disney Interactive Studios, Disney Infinity presents an action/adventure, sandbox game with potential for continuing gameplay scenarios and exponentially expanding replay value where each physical component can be synergized into the game.
It’s doubtful we’ll see a future mathematics/ Georg Cantor Toy Box element, but Star Wars, Marvel, would be great to see Marvel superheroes, Star Wars, Daisy Duck, Minnie Mouse, Brave, Aladdin, Up, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Peter Pan, Pocahontas, Tarzan, Wall-E, Sleeping Beauty (with villain Maleficent), and Snow White in the future.
Disney Infinity Starter Pack (PS3)
MSRP: $74.99 (Amazon and other stores)
What I Like: Imaginative gameplay building/customization option; showstopping DLC with potential for more surprises; great synergtic consideration; fun/addictive format; well made figures; numerous unlockables; “can’t break”-type interactions with figures, set piece and base pad; all age/gender appeal and recognition
What Needs Improvement: More variety in play set missions; less random unlockables; overlapping sound with triggered actions
Source: Reviewer copy provided by publisher