Disney Infinity, brought to us by Avalanche Software, is easily one of the most fun children’s games I’ve played in quite some time. Giving the player the chance to see some of their favourite Disney and Marvel characters in their own universes is not only unique but also endearing. The characters come in the form of toys in your own personal toy box and you get to watch them come to life as you play with them in their own universe playsets or free roam in the toy box.
There are two main modes: Playset and Toy Box. Playset is where you (or more than one of you in multiplayer) plug into a world and embark on missions to level up your character, complete the story, and unlock things for the toy box. What makes the playset so interesting is that there are several different ones to choose from in order for you to live as all your favourite characters; my brother and I purchased the Asgard playset, where he and I were made to stop Loki’s frost giants from taking over New York.
The playsets that you purchase also come with an array of characters to plug into the console. Ours came with Avengers Black Widow, Thor, and Iron Man, but we had to purchase Hawkeye, Captain America, and the Hulk on our own. Now, keep in mind that these six characters are really only for one playset. There’s an arsenal of characters to choose from, not only from the predetermined playsets but also sold separately; you can buy characters recognized from all over the Disney and Marvel map, including the Incredibles, Loki, Captain Jack Sparrow, Stitch, Maleficent, Tinkerbell, Aladdin, and even Mickey Mouse.
Once you plug in the playset, you can compete in challenges with your friends or join them to take on missions scattered all over the map. In doing these things, you build up your characters’ rankings and can even start at a more advanced rank should you choose to start the playset from the beginning. There really isn’t too much game time, but it all depends on how long you sit in front of the screen to finish off the missions. Plus, with challenges to complete and special coins to find all over the city, there are plenty of things to keep you occupied.
In Playset mode, you also unlock characters and types of brick or foundation for Toy Box mode. Now, here is where the game lets your imagination run free. You start with an indescribably giant blank space and you are essentially the creator of your own universe. You build everything from the ground your characters walk on to buildings for cities, trees, and different types of grasses for parks, and you can even incorporate Cinderella’s castle. It’s amazing to spend the time to build an entire universe for your characters to be happy in, a little like Minecraft.
Now, when it comes to gameplay, there are some really great things. The controls are easy; it’s essentially button-mashing for melee fighting and the A button for building things in Toy Box mode. The graphics are relatively decent for a kid’s game and I like how authentic the game is to the concept. Because your characters come in the form of toys, they can fall from skyscrapers without winding up a broken mess on the floor, and each character captures the likeness of the real character beautifully.
There are some things to look out for, though, such as the repetitiveness in enemy battles and just how easy things become once you level up your character enough. The missions themselves are fairly similar to each other: arrive and take out the frost giants. The enemies were difficult at first, but before long, taking them out—even the harder ones—becomes pretty easy.
The only other beef I have with this game is having to purchase toys separately in order to play as them (unless, of course, they come with the playset). At around $13 a pop, it get pretty pricey to build your toy box, even if you do love all these characters.
These minor setbacks aren’t enough to stop me from playing the game. To watch some of my favourite characters or even toys I had as a kid come to life is amazing. The missions do differ enough for me to want to continue roaming the universe and building up my toys. I would certainly recommend this to anyone who wants to relive their childhood for a while.