Activision created a successful Skylander franchise when they brought Riptide, Rattle Shake, Wash Buckler and other popular characters into the homes of many a happy kid a few years ago. Now kids and grown ups around the world have another reason to bring out their Skylander toys and kick some troll-butt. That’s right! Skylanders: Cloud Patrol is now on Android as an endless shoot’em up game with the ability to bring to life characters from the famous toy collection. If you’re a fan of the franchise, you’ll fall in love with the game all over again, and if you’ve never heard of the game before, this is as good a time as any to become one.
Trolls, Trolls, Everywhere
The Skylands used to be a beautiful and peaceful paradise until some fiendish trolls broke out of their prison cell. Now the trolls have infested the Skylands, making a terrible nuisance of themselves and destroying the beauty and serenity of the place. Enter the elite cloud patrol forces, the awesome Skylanders who bring in their special abilities to tackle the mischievous villains and restore peace in Skylands.
Players take on the role of Trigger Happy Skylander, who must use his special ability to rain down anvils and knock off unsuspecting trolls traversing the skies. Players are presented with an unending series of beautifully arranged platforms where the evil trolls have taken refuge. Knocking off these pranksters is pretty simple. You tap on them or swipe across the screen to eliminate them in a super combo. With such simple controls and game concept, you’d think the game would be a walkover, but surprisingly its not.
The two biggest challenges in the game come in the form spike bombs and moving trolls. Spike bombs have a tendency to float around the screen, making it difficult for you to kill the creatures because one tap on the bomb will end the game. Flying trolls carry some seriously big weapons that fling balls of fire and ice on your patrol ship, and you need to guard yourself against these projectiles as well. Throughout the game, you will be constantly bombarded with all sorts of flying objects and you’ll need a perfect hand-eye coordination if you’re going to crank up some really high scores.
Fun Missions and Flying Magic
Cloud Patrol also features plenty of interesting elements that brings variety and wholesomeness to the game. Missions, such as getting a certain number of maximum combos, shooting down a certain number of projectiles, or clearing a minimum number of platforms brings rewards in the form of stars. When you pick up the requisite number of stars, you level up. Leveling up earns you gems which will help you unlock magical items and new Skylander characters. The game also features plenty of fun magical items that float around the screen. You can grab and make use of them for a while especially when the trolls become unmanageable.
Unlocking More Skylanders
To unlock more Skylander characters, you need a sizable amount of gems but earning them takes a fair bit of time. If you are in a real rush, you can go the IAP way and trade real world currency for them. Another option is to input the web codes from your Skylander toy collection, if you have any of them stacked away in your cupboards. But if both options are a no-no, you can just do it the natural way; play long and hard, earn your coins and gems and then unlock or upgrade items one at a time. The game developers actively encourage you to go in for new items though, with some awesome deal breakers. For instance, I grabbed a cool Healing Elixir worth 40 gems for just 5 gems, and upgraded my ghost sword for 50% less coins and spent not a penny on them.
One major disappointment for Skylander fans is that despite the powerful focus on the characters, the Skylanders only play a passive role in the game. They do bring in some special abilities, but they hide inside their patrol shp and are not involved in any full-fledged action. Yet, despite the limited role of the game heroes, the developers encourage you to unlock new characters by offering you a coin bonus everyday when you unlock a character from a specific element, and that’s easily achieved if you horde at least 40 gems before the end of the day’s play!
In the end, I’d say that Skylanders: Cloud Patrol is a game that you simply can’t ignore. It’s challenging, addictive, and fun. Its got eye catching graphics, fantastic characters and environments, and a whole lot of interactive game elements that make it great choice for your game collection.