Developer: Toys for Bob
Rated: E 10+
Release Date: March 3rd, 2017
After five games in the Skylander series already on consoles, does the world really need another? Whether or not each new entry is needed, you at least have to give them credit for the “hook” of each edition. After a disappointing and overwhelming addition of vehicles in Superchargers, Imaginators brings character creation to players. Technically, they brought character creation to the series last holiday, but Imaginators is hitting the Nintendo Switch as one of its launch titles. Even so, I can easily say Imaginators for the Switch is a great title for those who might have already picked the title up or those looking for something else for their new system.
Skylanders has always been a great, family fun-filled platformer and Imaginator keeps that formula as you go through multiple levels. A lot of the charm of the series has always come from the characters, for which they have utilized some great designs and fantastic voice acting to really bring your toy to life.
This time around, your old Skylanders naturally still work with Imaginators (including Donkey Kong and Bowser from Superchargers) along with new Sensei characters, but the real fun comes from creating your own character. The creation tools are surprisingly robust with numerous options to put your own little spin on your character. You can change their head, arms, legs, chest, size, color, and more from pieces you unlock from either playing the game, purchasing in-game with real currency, or treasure chests you can buy in stores. Another handy option if you want to boost your choices is that those old random pieces you may have from previous games, such as the Kaos Trophy or even the Superchargers vehicles, will open new treasure chests for you with mutliple pieces. Just because you can create your own characters in the game doesn’t mean its free. You still will have to buy elemental creation crystals in store to create and store your character. Picking up a creation crystal is definitely worth it and a big part of the fun of Imaginators.
If you already have Imaginators or seen it in action, you may wonder what the Switch version can do the others cannot. Alone the portable nature gives it a big leg up, but that same portable nature led to Toys for Bob adding in the greatest feature Skylanders has ever seen; a digital library for your characters. What this means is that you don’t have to pull out your box of characters every time you want to play to Imaginators. If you’ve been playing the series for awhile, it can get cumbersome getting out whatever box your storing your vast amount of figures in. Now all you have to do is scan your figures on the right Joy-Con twice and it will add that character to the game permanently, unless you decide to delete them off. The 3DS versions had done this to an extent, but with two of your figures. Imaginators does this for ALL of your figures. It really is an amazing feature that made me want to play the game more than I otherwise would have if I had to search through my physical figures for who I wanted to play. The only downside of this feature is the lack of a sort option. Your Skylanders will be listed in a single file row in the order you scanned them, except for actual Swap Force characters which all pull to the front for some reason. Either way, it’s still extremely convenient.
If you are someone who has skipped on Skylanders before, this is a great jumping on point to finally get into the action. It really is a solid platformer that is lots of fun by yourself or with another. The character creation has plenty of customization options that will allow you to get pretty creative with your own skylanders and the digital library changes the game. Superchargers was underwhelming, but Imaginators, especially on the Switch, brings the series back in top form.