With a brave new cast and enhanced creativity, the Disney Infinity 2.0 invites wannabe superheroes to create a virtual Marvel Universe and use their skill and cunning to vanquish evil and save the world – all before bedtime!
When Disney unveiled their new multi-platform interactive video game Disney Infinity in 2014, it was billed as “play without limits”. Tapping into the popularity of The Skylanders toys-to-life gaming world that uses collectible play figures that spring into action when posted on a special portal, Disney Infinity offered similar figure-based adventures (with an impressive cast of well-loved Disney characters including Monsters Inc, Toy Story and Cars). What made Disney Interactive different is that it also introduced a creative free play mode called Toy Box, where children could create their own mash-up worlds where anything goes and the possibilities were as endless as their imaginations.
Now there’s a whole new gang coming to town – in a blaze of glory – as Disney welcomes another esteemed member of the family into the Infinity arena, along with improved and enhanced game play features, with the launch of Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes.
For kids who love superhero action, the appeal of Marvel is likely to be as strong as Magneto’s force field. What child hasn’t fantasized about spinning a magical web like Spider-Man and swinging through the sky – or suffered their own Hulk moment when things don’t go their way?
So how does it all work? Disney Infinity 2.0 works on the same basic principles as the original edition, with two distinct modes. In Play Set mode, players use the frosted semi-transparent Set Piece (in this case, it has an Avengers logo) to activate missions that are set in the world of their character. When one of the Avengers Play Figures (Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow come with the Starter Pack) are placed on the portal, they follow a storyline written by award-winning Marvel Comic writer Brian Michael Bendis, complete missions in The Avengers world. Guided by their mentor Nick Fury and with the help of various Marvel props and vehicles, players battle against frost giants amid a rather picturesque snow flurry city scape (the pummeling of said frost giants perhaps not so pretty). The set also includes a Thor Power Disc that unlocks Assault on Asgard game, where Thor puts his mighty hammer to use to protect the home of the Gods from assault.
The Play Set mode is pretty standard going for video games, with lots of fast-paced action and plenty of car smashes (there are lots of cars on the streets which causes lots of debris if the players ‘driving’ skills are dubious, though we have a sneaking suspicion that some players deliberating create the crash chaos). The biggest pull here is that the iconic Marvel characters are all big-hitters and Marvel fans will love the chance to play are their favourite super hero – so be prepared to be pestered into buying more figures!
Although the age range is from 7, the Marvel series is also likely to appeal to a slightly older age group. Game play can be set at different levels (and even the starter level needs patience to hone skills, and the most basic task of making the figures move in the desired direction requires considerable mastery). Players will also appreciate the “Skill Tree ” feature, where clever play (ie, collecting medallions and following Nick Fury’s direction on challenges) is rewarded with upgrades and extra powers to enhance super hero efficacy.
The Toy Box mode is the stand-out feature that really makes Disney Infinity an exciting and creative prospect – and is the biggest proof that Disney weren’t telling fibs with their promise of “play without limits”: the permutations for play really are as infinite as a child’s imagination.
Each character comes with Toy Box mode, and this is where your child can really let rip as they create mash-up worlds with all their favourite charaacters. (Disney Infinity 2.0 has Forward Compatibility, which means any original Disney Infinity figures, toys and power discs are compatible with the Disney Infinity 2.0: Marvel Super Heroes Toy Box, with all those hard-earned stats and upgrades intact).
Ever wondered how Iron Man would fare if he came face to face with evil Malificent? Would Elsa from Frozen give Spider-Man a run for his money? Could Sully and Hulk forge a green alliance, or Buzz Lightyear become best buds with fellow patriot Captain America? You bet. Your child is the boss in this sand-box style game, and they can mix and match play figures and create scenarios as they please. New templates in the 2.0 version also makes creating unique play worlds quicker and easier than ever, the crazier the better.
In addition, up to four players at a time can create and share their own interactive worlds and create free-form mini games in the Toy Box using any combination of Disney-themed characters, environments and tools. To enhance play further, up to two collectable Power Discs can be placed under the figures on the Disney Infinity base to allow additional customisations from skies and textures, vehicles and costumes to power ups.
Good For… fine motor dexterity; hand/eye coordination, and manipulation; coordination; communication skills; vocabulary; listening; following instruction; problem solving; reasoning; comprehension; recollection/memory; attention development; computer skills, imaginary play; story telling and role playing; interaction
Keep in Mind… The word “collectible” says it all. Although the Starter Pack on its own provides hours of play and variety, chances are your child will want to add Spider-Man, or Captain America, or whoever into the mix. There are other new figures in the pipeline, too, including the latest feature animation Big Hero 6, and of course in Toy Box mode, all these characters can play together – the more the merrier.
What Kids Love Marvel Super Heroes have immense appeal so the characters are sure to be winners. The Play mode will suit children who love the traditional perform well to win format, while the more creative Toy Box mode is great for free expression and creative invention.
What Parents Love The creative side of the game, which is modelled on the free-form way children naturally play with real toys, is likely to assuage qualms about computer games. Also, if you’re happy to invest – and not just in money terms, but in creativity – it’s a game that can grow and grow.
Designer Details Disney Infinity was developed by Avalanche Software (for approximately $100 million) and published by Disney Interactive Studios. Disney Interactive Studios (initially Walt Disney Computer Software, later Disney Interactive and Buena Vista Games Inc) is a worldwide American video game company that publishes and distributes multi-platform video games and interactive entertainment. Most of the games are typically tie-in products to existing character franchises. Disney Interactive Studios is part of the The Walt Disney Company media conglomerate.