What will the next Skylanders game be like?
Traditionally, Skylanders games are announced at the American International Toy Fair. Since Activision has already confirmed a 2014 Skylanders game, that means the big reveal is mere weeks away. Soon, we'll know all about the fourth title in the series.
In the meantime, why not speculate? There are all kinds of potential gimmicks, and it's pretty entertaining to imagine what they might be. Here are a few things we may wind up seeing in future Skylanders games.
SWAP Force had a terrific gimmick, and it'd be a shame not to carry it into the next game. Why not give it a fresh new spin with swappable Giants? From an aesthetic standpoint, the Giants are one of the most impressive things in the Skylanders line. It'd make for some terrific toys.
While there are 16 swappable Skylanders, there are only 8 Giants. Reviving the gimmick would allow Activision to add some more Giants to the line, which would be a big win for collectors. The detailing on the Giants figures is pretty great, and it'd be even cooler on a swappable toy.
There's something about a video game character with a sweet ride. I'll never forget the first time I saw Epona in Ocarina of Time,or the first time I rode a chainsaw motorcycle in Dead Rising 2. Skylanders could give gamers that same sense of excitement by introducing mounts to the series.
Sure, Fright Rider has his skeletal bird, and Hot Head can turn into a motorcycle, but a game built around mounts could take things to a new level. Vehicles could have their own upgrade path, and mount compatible Skylanders could be moved from vehicle to vehicle. It'd be a ton of fun for players, and could make for some very interesting gameplay.
Transforming Skylanders is a gimmick I've heard fans talk a lot about, and it's easy to see why. Things that transform into other things are massively cool, whether they're werewolves, Transformers, or some other kind of shapeshifter. Unfortunately, it would be a huge challenge to implement. Right now, Skylanders toys are simple figures with zero articulation. The line would either have to go through a massive change, or the "toys to life concept" would have to fall by the wayside.
Still, if it could be pulled off, it could be a gamechanger. Transforming Skylanders could help suck an entirely new audience into the franchise, and would have a real impact on gameplay. It's the stuff of fantasies, and it'd be incredible to see it implemented.
Three gimmicks in three years could be overwhelming for Skylanders fans. It might be better for Toys for Bob to keep it simple and just add a few new elements. Right now, Skylanders only has eight elements, and there are definitely room for a few more. It'd also give Activision an excuse to add new Giants and swappable characters into the mix.
The real question is what should be added. Fairies played an important role in Spyro games, and would be an obvious choice if Pokémon hadn't just added in Fairy-type. Light and Dark have potential, and would fit in nicely with the world of Skylanders. Bubble and Poison would be a bit weird, but would make for a nice callback to Spyro. No matter what elements are chosen, it would make for some very interesting Skylanders.
The first three Skylanders games have been a joy to play, and I hope the trend continues with the fourth entry. Do you have any theories about the future of Skylanders? Be sure to share them in the comments!