iOS App-Aholics Anonymous: [Skylanders Battlegrounds]

App Name: Skylanders Battlegrounds
Developer: Activision Publishing Inc.
Launch Date: 11-15-12
Price: $6.99 / €5.43
App-Aholic Rating: 4/5
Watch it Here: Official Game Trailer

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The mid-week releases on the AppStore came early this Thanksgiving, and with a fair line of contenders for our iOSA3 spotlight, the mobile gaming world has quite a bit to be thankful for. Here’s what we’re playing right now!

Skylanders Battlegrounds is the latest contribution to the action figure and gaming franchise. The past Skylanders experiences on the AppStore were publicly successful; but it took the emergence of Battlegrounds for the series to finally breach 8DAG walls. Here’s why…

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The Good: Beautiful artistry, memorable characters, numerous skill classes, and long, enemy-ridden levels are only the first perks we noticed. Further investigation of the game revealed that as you roam the landscape and encounter your enemies, each distinct battle begins with full health points, even if one of your teammates dies in a previous battle. That said, having two characters to control on the field is both confusing but useful. Quick Tip: having one long-range shooter and one close-range brawler is a very effective combination. Finally, the save feature is convenient because it follows each move you make without conflict, meaning you don’t have to finish a level in order to stop; if you fully close the app, it will reopen exactly as you left your character, down to the place he/she was standing.

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The Bad: Man, oh man, using controls effectively: on a touchscreen is crucial to the gaming experience. While Skylanders doesn’t exactly have a bad control scheme in mind, it could definitely be better. When roaming the land, you tap on a hexagonal piece of land to advance your character. Surely this same idea would carry on to battle mode? Not exactly. When waging war? a line must be drawn from protagonist to target in order to engage in battle. Since there’s already so much happening, with you keeping track of two characters and all your enemies, drawing a long versus a simple tap on your target seems like an unnecessary step taken to yield the same result. Finally, while we’re on the subject of battle landscape, the zone you fight in will never vary within a level, and even when you do change levels, each battle zone is the same flat surface with a different outer skin. The repetition is maddening!

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iOSA3 Rating: 4/5; All in all, Skylanders Battleground is a characteristically-appealing and actively-pleasing adventure. At first, I had to question if the price tag was worth the product, but each level seems extensively long with many challenges that are repetitive in nature, yet they never get old. Activision spent some time to refine Battlegrounds, which becomes apparent as you delve deeper into the title.

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Bottom Line Skylanders Battlegrounds’ price still may seem a bit steep for some, even considering the thought put into the length of gameplay. For this reason, gamers may feel more comfortable waiting for this one to go on sale. For RPG enthusiasts, however, Battlegrounds is a fun and somewhat immersing adventure that is worth a brief run-through; you may be pleasantly surprised by how much fun you’ll have.

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Sound Off: Now folks, it’s your turn! Do you have any thoughts, opinions, or general comments about Skylanders Battlegrounds and/or its developer, Activision Publishing Inc.? I personally reply to every comment, and I’d love to hear what you have to say! Just take your cranial debris and throw it down in the box below!

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