Review Roundup: Skylanders: Trap Team Tablet Edition Is A Winner


For anyone wondering when tablets would be able to offer equivalent, or dare we hope, superior gaming experiences for titles also available on consoles, that time is apparently upon us.

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Granted, Skylanders: Trap Team isn’t the type of game that pushes eighth-gen consoles to their limits from either technical or gameplay perspectives. But it is a bona fide new console release that also happens to be available in a Tablet Edition, and reviewers are raving about it.

Gamezebo’s review headline says “The Next Generation of Mobile Starts Now,” with EIC Jim Squires saying this about the Tablet Edition:

"This isn’t some clumsy, stripped down port. There haven’t been sacrifices. There haven’t been stumbles. This is a $75 console game that you can play on your iPad or Android tablet instead of on your TV.And it’s flawless."

On Kotaku, Mike Fahey declares that “Tablet Is The Best Way To Play Skylanders: Trap Team, offering this to back up his assertion:

"Not only is Skylanders: Trap Team‘s tablet offering the exact same game as on consoles, its portability and convenience makes it the superior version."

It’s still too early for the Skylanders: Trap Team Tablet Edition to have a Metacritic rating — the game just came out today, after all — but suffice it to say that it’s a big hit with people who had a chance to review it early. And before you express your shock at how a mobile game that costs $75 could earn such high praise, let’s break down why the critics like it so much:

  • You get a lot for your money

Not only does the Tablet Edition come with the portal that all Skylanders games need to turn their figures into in-game characters, this one has an added bonus: a small but full-featured controller that stores right in the bottom of it. Both the portal and the controller work via Bluetooth, and there’s even a slot in the portal that allows you to use it as a stand for your tablet.

The controller has dual analog sticks and a full complement of buttons, so it’s a really nice addition to the overall package. Plus there are the usual franchise necessities: two figures, two traps (those allow you to capture bad guys and put them to use for you) and five AAA batteries, which are pretty important since neither the portal nor the controller are rechargeable.

  • It’s versatile

The Tablet Edition is compatible with several iPad models, the Google Nexus 7 and Samsung Galaxy Tab and Galaxy Note tablets for Android users, and the new Kindle Fire HD and HDX devices. On top of that, it’s playable even without the controller thanks to on-screen controls, or the portal, since you can use “Instant” versions of some of the Skylanders if you find yourself without it.

  • It’s the full version of the console game

Kotaku noticed some slight differences in textures and small graphical details and noted that introducing each new character requires a brief download. Other than that, the Tablet Edition is identical to the console version, with all the same levels, challenges, etc.

That’s an accomplishment that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. Watershed moments in any form of entertainment are difficult to identify until they’re in the rearview mirror, but it sounds like when it comes to console games that are just as good to play on mobile devices right out of the gate, we may be looking back on the release of Skylanders: Trap Team someday as one of those events.