What is Disney Infinity?
Disney Infinity is a game that mixes the toy swapping fun of Skylanders with the world-building creativity of Minecraft, and adds in a whole host of Disney characters for good measure. Known as a "toys-to-life" game, Disney Infinity sees you placing a physical Disney Infinity toy on a special USB portal, in order to play as that character in the game. The Disney Infinity Starter Pack comes with everything you need to get going, bundling three figures (Mr Incredible, Sully and Jack Sparrow), a level cube that unlocks three of the game's "Play Set" worlds, the all important Disney Infinity USB base, and, of course, the game itself.
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How do you play Disney Infinity?
Divided into two sections - a story based "Play Set" mode, and a free form "Toy Box", where you can create your own worlds using pre-built items, there's certainly plenty for children to get stuck into here - especially if they're big Disney fans.
The Play Sets are where the meat of the game happens, with each of the three included worlds (Monsters University, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Incredibles) taking you on a story driven excursion through levels based on the films. With plenty of different quests to complete, from pulling pranks around Monsters University, taking on the sinister Syndrome in the land of the Incredibles, or climbing aboard a pirate ship to travel across the open seas with Jack Sparrow, there's a lot of variety here - and plenty to get the creative juices flowing.
The Toy Box, on the other hand, is a free form level editor designed for experimentation. With a whole host of options at hand here, letting you place anything from Cinderella's castle to a toy version of Gaston in your world, there's plenty of room to get creative, but it does take a while to get your head around the camera controls to begin with.
It's also worth bearing in mind that although both the Toy Box and the Play Sets are fully playable in co-op, you'll need to own the right figures to do so. If you only own the starter set, you'll only be able to play the free-form Toy Box mode in co-op - you won't be able to play through the Play Set stories with a friend. The reason for this is that only characters from that specific film can play in the corresponding world - that means you can't take Mr. Incredible into Pirates of the Caribbean, but you can take Syndrome into the Incredibles. Seeing as the starter set comes with Mr. Incredible, Sully and Jack Sparrow, you'll have access to all three Play Set worlds from the beginning - but only in single player. If you want to play them in co-op (and you will, because there isn't really all that much to do in the Toy Box mode when you're first starting out) you'll need to buy some more figures first - although there is a handy sidekick bundle, which saves a few pounds.
How easy is Disney Infinity to pick up and play?
In all, Disney Infinity isn't too tricky to pick up and play. There is an initial period of adjustment, especially when it comes to getting to grips with the complexities of the Toy Box mode, but for the most part, the Play Sets are familiar, quest completing adventures, with a fairly shallow difficulty level. The controls are fairly standard third person affair, too, with the left stick moving your character, the right stick controlling the camera, and the rest of the buttons handling attacks, jumping, etc.
If you're a fan of the Skylanders or LEGO games, then Disney Infinity is sure to be a hit - especially considering the power the Disney brand has. The Play Sets are a lot of fun, whether you're playing on your own, or with a friend in tow, and the Toy Box provides plenty of chances to flex your creative muscles.
For the youngest of players, it's important to note that the game isn't fully voiced, with certain mission objectives and tutorials being displayed only as text, so your child will need to be able to read if they want to know where to go and what to do next.
Sample sentences include:
- "Use the dinghies to sail to Tia Dalma's home"
- "Oh man! Fear Tech totally pranked our dorm. Can you get rid of their banners before someone sees?"
Being a game aimed squarely at the younger audience, there's nothing particularly untoward in Disney Infinity - there's no blood, guts and gore, and no bad language. The violence that does take place is of a slapstick variety, with players defeating the evil robot enemies with oversized pistols or swords, at which point the bad guys simply disappear in a shower of coins.
Format Reviewed: Xbox 360