While it may not have become quite as pervasive a success as Skylanders, Disney Infinity has gained a fan base in its own right. Following a similar "toys to life" concept, the game lets you buy figures in real life, and then play as them in game in a co-op, platforming adventure. And while the co-op pack comes with everything you need to get started, there's plenty of scope to buy extra figures to add to your collection, and expand your game - figures, like the ones Disney Interactive recently sent over to us for us to have a look at.
While Disney Infinity 2.0 may have focussed on Marvel characters, that isn't all there is to it. With a mix of both super heroes, villains, and classic Disney characters on offer, there's plenty of choice - and family favourites - available for Disney Infinity 2.0, with the final "wave" of new releases now hitting shop shelves (along with Marvel hero Falcon, and Guardians of the Galaxy star Yondu). The package we were sent shows you a good cross section of the sort of figures on offer, from giant robot Baymax and boy wonder Hiro (star of the recent Disney smash Big Hero 6), and the Hulk, through to Princess Jasmine, Maleficent, and Donald Duck. It's a cast that also provides a few great photo ops:
As you can probably tell from the pictures above, the figures have all been heavily stylised into the lower detail, bold, block colour Disney Infinity cartoony style. It's a choice that works better for some than others, although luckily, out of this set, all started out life as cartoon characters, and so all look rather nice in their new stylings.
As for what you can do with the figures when you get them - well, that's the catch with Disney Infinity. While you can buy these figures to expand your game, and give you new characters to play as, you can only play as them in certain modes. With the game divided into a free-form, world building "Toy Box" mode, and a number of more story driven "Play Sets" (the game comes bundled with the Avengers play set, but the rest are sold separately), it's important to remember that some (most) figures can only be used in the Toy Box mode, so how much mileage you get out of these figures will depend entirely on which modes you (and your family) spend the most time playing. Hulk, for example, can be used in both Toy Box mode, and the bundled Avengers Play Set - but he's the only one out of the collection we were sent. Donald Duck, Jasmine, Maleficent, Baymax and Hiro can only be used in the free form, world building Toy Box mode - which some people will be totally OK with, while for others it'll be a total deal breaker.
Still, once you get them into the Toy Box, there's plenty to each of the figures. As you use them more, each character will level up, with a total of 20 levels to gain (by collecting pots of experience, or beating up enemies), and a skill tree you can use to upgrade your character, buying them new powers, new abilities, or just buffing up the ones you have (health power ups are always nice). There's a surprising amount of variety between the characters, too. Hulk, for example, can grab onto buildings and climb his way up, punching his own hand holds as he goes, while Baymax comes equipped with a rocket launcher, and some jet boosters, which let him fly. In a really nice touch, Baymax also has the ability to heal other characters when he picks them up ("Are you satisfied with your care?"), so plenty of thought has gone into designing the moves each character has, and sticking to their various personalities. We're still a bit disappointed Jasmine doesn't have her tiger, though.
Still, there's plenty to like about each character as they "come to life" in game. Donald duck goes through levels chuntering to himself in characteristic style ("WWAAAKKKKWAKWAKWAKWAKAAHHH PHOOEY"), Maleficent is never short of a snide remark, while Baymax is every bit the destructive force of robot might he's supposed to be. In other words, the characters aren't short of character - the only real issue here is that you can only use them in the toy box mode, where you'll either play through levels you've created, or ones you've downloaded off the internet, which means the opportunities to use certain moves (like Baymax's healing), are few and far between. With prices ranging from £10 - £13, these are a good few quid more than the most basic Skylanders characters, but a little bit cheaper than Trap Team's fanciest (the Trap Masters are a lot bigger, and more detailed than your average Disney Infinity character). If you could use them in every mode, we could see us buying a lot of these - but if you spend your life in Toy Box mode, these could be well worth a flutter.