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Skylanders Cloud Patrol review (iOS / Universal)

April 8, 2012

“Ooh, I just know that something good is going to happen”

10 word description: Arcade target shooter. Create combos, unlock new characters and power-ups.

10 word review: Excellent addictive mix of whack-a-mole and Fruit Ninja.

You will like this if you enjoy: Tap-the-target shooting games. Skylanders too, I assume, although previous exposure to them isn’t at all necessary to fully enjoy this game.

The good news: It’s a complete blast – loads of fun and very addictive. Graphics and sounds are very good, performance on my two test devices (1st gen iPad & 4th gen Touch) smooth and fast. Although there are IAPs, character and power-up unlocks are realistically achievable just playing the game normally, i.e. no need for extreme grinding! Gameplay is very good.

The bad news: I think quite a few people might instinctively avoid this as it’s based on an existing franchise that they have never encountered or had any interest in, assuming it’s an impenetrable kids’ game like Pokemon. I recommend setting such instinctive prejudices aside and going for it.

Arcadelife verdict: This is a very good game and a rather huge surprise for me. Since I got it (thinking it would be a good review candidate whether I liked it or not) I have had trouble putting it down. I don’t know anything about Skylanders, apart from seeing the Wii cartridge on sale while wandering round Toys ‘r’ Us looking for Star Wars figures, but that’s an entirely different story.

Although there are a lot of characters to unlock, the only real benefit to acquiring extra characters is having one from the relevant base element group to match the “Element of the Day”, and that’s only because there’s a small coin bonus if you do that.

The gameplay is spot-on, with three random objectives always active to add an extra level of encouragement to have one more go. Levelling up is based on achieving those objectives; if there’s an objective that you don’t like you can skip it, although there’s an in-game gold cost for doing so.

Power-ups and extra characters are unlocked with gems. Gems are gained by playing and whenever you level up. Although there are IAPs to buy gems, I can’t see it ever becoming more than a very lazy option as the gems are very easy to acquire through playing the game. Overall this game is a lot of fun, and that’s coming from someone who had no previous interest in Skylanders.

Arcadelife rating

Visuals – 8.5/10
Audio – 8.5/10
Controls – 9/10
Content – 9/10
Fun – 9.5/10
Final rating – 90/100

Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.1.0
iTunes link

Skylanders Cloud Patrol website link

Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
4th gen iPod Touch (OS 5.0.1)
iPad (OS 5.0.1)
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