What is Disney Infinity 2.0?
Disney Infinity 2.0 is what's known as a "toys to life" game - a video game that lets you place real life toys on a base, and then play as them in the in-game world.
While it can be confusing to get your head around what all the different bits and pieces are when you first start playing (not to mention the terminology), the starter pack comes with everything you need to get started. There are three figures (Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow), two Toy Box game discs (which unlock little mini-game adventures), an Avengers Play Set (a fully fledged, co-op adventure), the USB Infinity base itself, and finally, a poster!
How do you play Disney Infinity 2.0?
The game itself is split up into two parts - the Toy Box, and the Play Sets. The Toy Box is the open ended, free form, level editing mode, which gives you a blank canvas on which to build your very own level from a variety of pre-made parts. if you're not all that into the creation aspect, the Toy Box also serves as an infinite supply of levels, letting you download new stages from your friends, or the very best the rest of the world has to offer. It's kind of like Minecraft, only with a pair of Mickey Mouse ears.
The Play Sets, on the other hand, offer a more traditional, story driven, adventure-game approach. The game comes with one Play Set, based around the Avengers, although others are available separately. When New York city finds itself under attack by Loki, who plans to use a secret weapon to freeze the city - and its residents - in place, its up to the Avengers to save the day. Set in a free roaming hub that you can explore at your own leisure, there are quests to complete (where you do favours for character, whether that's beating up baddies, or protecting a bus), levels to do, and collectibles to find, with the whole Play Set playable in co-op out of the box - no additional purchases necessary.
How easy is Disney Infinity 2.0 to pick up and play?
In terms of difficulty, the Avengers Play Set has its moments. While for the most part, it's not too bad, with fairly simple controls and straightforward mission objects, the flying sections can be a bit tricky, and some of the levels are surprisingly hard for a game aimed at kids. Whether it's asking you to have split second timing to zip through a laser field, or simply an incredibly challenging boss fight, where you spend more time going "oof!" after you're hit by a laser than you do beating up the boss, this is more punishing than you'd imagine.
While other toys to life games, like Skylanders, can be a little bit punishing in terms of lives, Disney Infinity 2.0 is a lot more forgiving. If you're playing in co-op, and you die, you can have a friend come and revive you and pick up from where you left off. If you're playing on your own, things are a little bit trickier, but still not too bad, as you're given the choice between respawning at the last checkpoint, or switching your defeated character out for a fresh one.
It's also worth bearing in mind that there's a lot more to Disney Infinity beyond what you get in the box. While the starter pack grants you access to the Toy Box to create your own levels, and you can finish the Play Set with what you get in the box, there's a lot more waiting to be bought. There are two additional Play Set expansions - Guardians of the Galaxy and Spiderman - each offering an additional co-op adventure to play through, and a huge range of blind bagged power discs, which offer additional items, or Toy Box customisation options to collect, although it's all entirely optional. An expensive hobby it may be, but it's great for collectors - and as a kind of more complex take on a sticker book, with plenty of scope for swapping with friends, there's a lot to collect if you want to get 'em all!
While it may be based on the Marvel universe, this is a Disney game at heart, and so there's little for parents to be concerned about here. There's no swearing, no blood, guts or gore, and no sex. Although characters can beat each other up, and some can use guns, the guns that are included are handled as being toys (and essentially sound like cork guns!), while any violence is suitably slapstick, and far from realistic.
While the game doesn't allow for online multiplayer, it does allow you to download levels other users have made. While this does mean there's a chance that someone might make something inappropriate that might slip through the net, the game's users are mostly families themselves, and any inappropriate user-generated levels that do find themselves available for download are promptly removed. Still, it's something to keep in mind.