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Best Nintendo 3DS Games – #36 Skylanders SWAP Force

Developer: Vicarious Visions, n-Space (3DS), Beenox (Wii U)

Release Date: October 13th, 2013

Synopsis: Before there were amiibo, there were Skylanders, and Swap Force does not deviate too far from the formula set down by its predecessors, Spyro’s Adventure and Giants. Skylanders figures can be tapped into the game for use in the action-adventure platformer. Each copy comes with at least one figure, with more available in bundles or sold separately. Each Skylander has different abilities it can use to traverse obstacles or fight enemies, but the key distinction of SWAP Force is the ability of the Skylanders to swap their top and bottom halves with other figures for new combinations of powers.

There are sixteen total characters whose halves can be swapped, making up to 256 different combinations possible. Certain areas of the game are only accessible with the correct “bottom half” equipped, making it even more imperative to collect several of the figures.

Why It’s One Of The Best Nintendo Games: Skylanders may cross multiple platforms, but it’s always seemed particularly appropriate to a Nintendo audience that already loves platforming, quirky cartoon characters, and collectibles. Though it’s easy to frown at Skylanders for requiring so many additional pieces to access the entirety of the game, such a model has worked well on the target demographic–a younger set who are just as content collecting a few new Skylanders to swap out as they are getting a new game entirely. Gradual collection means the game is constantly changing, adding lots of replay value to an already excellent adventure title, and the mixing and matching were fun additions, even if the feature made older Skylanders obsolete. Hopefully, such a drastic change in model won’t be necessary for upcoming titles.

Next: 35 - Kid Icarus: Uprising