|Skylanders: Trap Team|
|Developer(s)||Toys for Bob|
Skylanders: Trap Team is an action 3D platformer  video game developed by Toys for Bob and published by Activision. It is the fourth installment in the Skylanders video game franchise and was released on October 2, 2014 in Australasia, October 5, 2014 in North America, and October 10, 2014 in Europe, for release on Android, Fire OS and iOS mobile platforms, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Nintendo 3DS. It is the sequel to Skylanders: Swap Force, with the voices of Fred Tatasciore, Billy West, John DiMaggio, Matthew Moy, Laura Bailey, Alex Ness, John Paul Karliak, Matthew Yang King, and Richard Horvitz.
Skylanders: Trap Team utilizes a near-field communication reader platform, called the Traptanium Portal, that reads NFC chips located on the bottom of figurines. The figurines are then used in-game as playable characters. Later figurines named "Trap Masters", working with the Portal Master, must try to capture all criminals that Kaos has released from Cloudcracker Prison, which held the most feared villains of Skylands.
The goal of the game is to capture the villains who have escaped from Cloudcracker Prison. Long ago, Skylands was ruled by powerful villains called The Doom Raiders who hid out in the Savage Badlands and wreaked havoc over Skylands. They were eventually captured by the Trap Masters and remanded to Cloudcracker Prison.
Some years later, Kaos, the game's antagonist, released The Doom Raiders and others by blowing up Cloudcracker Prison with his Evil Frequency Modulator of Evil Doom. As a result, the Trap Masters were also sent to earth. What's more, all characters from previous games appear at the opening of Skylanders Academy presented by Buzz. Buzz helps the player's Skylanders catch The Gulper at Soda Springs, presumably unaware that the villains have broken out. The Gulper is trapped by his addiction to soda, thanks to a switch up. Buzz is caught up by Mags, the creator of the Academy, and Mags also attempts to capture the remaining villains.
Meanwhile, Kaos gathers with the Doom Raiders at his new base, but the Doom Raiders reject Kaos without even listening to his plan. The Golden Queen lets Kaos and Glumshanks stay, only to come up with a plan of her own, calling it "solid gold".
The Skylanders secure intelligence about the Doom Raiders at Know-It-all Island, then head to Chompy Mountain, where they battle the Chompy Mage and his forces. In the Mage's final battle, he is officially trapped and bagged after a 3-stage fight. Meanwhile, the Doom Raiders learn of the defeat and dissent grows in the ranks. Kaos, seeking to take back control, commences "Operation Sabotage".
The Skylanders are sent to track down Chef Pepper Jack. Meeting up with Tessa at Phoenix Psanctuary, they hold of the Chef's forces from obtaining a Phoenix Chicken egg to create a Spicy Omelet of Doom. Kaos intervenes to sabotage the plans, but his smoke rocket lets Chef Pepper Jack escape with an egg. Launching an assault on his Zeppelin, the Skylanders free all slaves on board, and trap the maniacal cook, but Flynn is injured in this action. With 3 Doom Raiders down, Dr. Krankcase and Wolfgang are set to take action, but the Golden Queen still wants to build a weapon made of Traptanium. Much to Kaos's dismay, the Queen only wants the riches, not the world. Fed up with her leadership, Kaos challenges the Queen to an "evil-off", winner takes all, but he loses and has to call for help.
After acquiring an Information Squid from Mag's home village, the Skylanders want to know why the Doom Raiders are obtaining Traptanium. Eventually, Mag's Information Squid turns out to be Kaos who soon turns into an unlikely ally of the Skylanders. With Kaos being the only lead to where the Doom Raiders are, the Skylanders travel to Monster Marsh where they find Dreamcatcher terrorizing a Mabu village. They are able to stop her by waking the sleeping townspeople, but Dreamcatcher escapes. The Skylanders head to Telescopic Towers to prevent her from stealing secrets of Traptanium from the dreams of Mabu scientists. After many battles through the maze-like labs, Dreamcatcher decides to stop the Skylanders herself, but fails at the attempt and is trapped.
Though the secrets were lost, Dr. Krankcase still needs one final piece to the weapon, a large amount of "stinkocity". Kaos knows that the most powerful substance of that level is in the Secret Sewers of Supreme Stink. With Flynn back in action, the Skylanders go and cut off the supply of goo, earning the gillmen workers trust in the process. Ever crafty, Dr. Krankcase substitutes the goo for cheese, and comes up with a plan: bury it and go forward in time to when it is most stinky. Only one problem, they need a portal master to do it. Reopening Kaos's Wilikin Workshop for his own purposes, the Skylanders are lured to investigate with Kaos in tow, fighting through Evilkins and Trolls. Finally battling the Mad Doctor, he traps Kaos in a barrel, but Wolfgang appears and takes Kaos for himself, the Skylanders go in pursuit, but not before trapping Dr. Krankcase.
The Skylanders and Flynn track Wolfgang to Time Town, where they get help from the stereotypical Italian-speaking Mabu Da Pinchy. Fighting their way through town, they arrive too late as Wolfgang has already headed to the far future. Arriving in that time period, they discover that Wolfgang has completely taken over and constructed the "Big Bad Woofer", a giant speaker that amplifies his painful music 10-fold. The Skylanders make their way to the sinister speaker and shut it down, fight Wolfgang, and cage the Big Bad Man-Beast before he can freeform the ultimate concert. However, the rotten cheese was sent to the Golden Queen in the present, and she completed the weapon. Holding Skylands hostage, she demands her fellow Doom Raiders to be freed and all the gold in the world as tribute. Oh, and to make infinite number of more rules.
The Skylanders and their comrades steal a rocket from the Trolls and use it to get to the Skyhighlands, where they find a crystal to locate the Golden Queen's lair. Traveling there, Cali is imprisoned in gold, and the Skylanders have to fight their way through the lair to rescue her. In an epic battle against the Queen, the Skylanders are victorious in trapping the queen and putting and end to her tyranny once and for all. But just when it looks like its over, Kaos takes the weapon for himself and absorbs the combined stinkocity and energy from the collected Traptanium. His skin turns purple as a result, also developing enhanced senses, being able to see everything. He then realizes it was not the Skylanders he had to destroy, but the one thing that was always in his way, the player, or portal master, and sets his sights on Earth. With both worlds hanging in the balance, the Skylanders make their way through the weapon and battle Kaos, who transforms into an enhanced traptainium version of himself. In this final battle Kaos pulls out all the stops, but is finally defeated and put in a trap of his own. The weapon then over loads and explodes, freeing the trapped cities. The game ends with the residents of the academy celebrating.
In the credits, Kaos makes his comments while they roll.
Kaos has blown up the walls of the feared Cloudcracker Prison, freeing Chompy Mage, Wolfgang, Golden Queen, Chef Pepper Jack, Dr. Krankcase, Gulper, Dreamcatcher, Nightshade and Luminous - The Doom Raiders, the most notorious villains in Skylands. Now it's up to Snap Shot, Wallop, Jawbreaker, Wildfire, Gearshift, Krypt King, Gusto, Lob Star, Bushwhack, Head Rush, Ka-Boom, Blastermind, Tuff Luck, Knight Mare, Knight Light, Thunderbolt, Short Cut, Enigma and the rest of the gang to find and capture them. Using Traptainium, a magic material that can harness the power of the elements, they now have the amazing ability to trap the villains and return them to Skylands to fight for them. The Trap Team must begin the ultimate adventure as they explore the world of Skylands in search of the escaped villains.
As in previous games, the player controls a variety of characters by placing toy figures representing the characters onto a near field communication-enabled interface device known as the Traptanium Portal, which activates the character in the game. In Trap Team, however, a new item type has been added: the trap. Unlike the figures, which bring characters into the game, the traps can be used to store forty-seven enemy characters originally found in the game (including Kaos apparently), who may then be controlled as good characters. These stored characters can be taken to other consoles. The Traptanium Portal has a speaker incorporated in its design, to emphasize the trapping mechanic. When enemies are "trapped", their vocals travel from a screen to the portal. Skystones Smash, a mini-game and successor to Skystones from Skylanders: Giants has been added. Skystones Smash is a card game, that uses numbers and is played in a tabletop style which is also included in the game.
Trap Masters are introduced in Trap Team and are special Skylanders that are stronger against trappable villains. The game also establishes Skylanders Minis (miniature versions of regular Skylanders) as playable characters. Players can switch between playing as a villain and a Skylander at any point in the game. In co-operative play players can share the trapped villain, and take turns playing as it. However, a time limit is given to how long a villain can be used. Once the playable villain's energy is depleted, players must wait until the villain's energy can recharge before using the character once more. Villains are actually more powerful than Skylanders. There are also hidden quests involving villains, once completed each quest unlocks exclusive upgrades. Villains can also be stored in the Villain Vault which is located in the game's hub world.
The mobile version of Trap Team uses a bluetooth Traptanium Portal and optional touch controls. If the Traptanium Portal is not connected, players can use "on the go characters", digital versions of the figurines stored on the device.
New elements have been added to the classic eight. These new elements have later become known as Light and Dark; however there are only two Skylanders in each. These Skylanders are Knight Light, Spotlight, Knight Mare and Blackout.
Skylanders: Trap Team characters
Skylanders: Trap Team introduces 18 new Trap Master Skylanders, 18 new core Skylanders, 40+ trapable villains, and sixteen new mini Skylanders. It also includes five reposed core Skylanders from previous games, and 8 Eon's Elite Skylanders with shiny finishes.
On April 23, 2014, Activision announced Skylanders: Trap Team with a release on October 5, 2014.
Skylanders: Trap Team was released on October 2, 2014 in Australia, October 5, 2014 in North America, and October 10, 2014 in Europe, for release on Android, Fire OS, iOS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Nintendo 3DS.
In addition to the regular Starter Pack released for all gaming consoles (which includes Food Fight and Snap Shot playable characters, two Traps, sticker sheets and trading cards), a Dark Edition Starter Pack was also released, and included the Ultimate Kaos Trap, a dark version of Snap Shot, Dark Wildfire, Dark Food Fight, a two-sided collector's poster, sticker sheets, two additional traps, and trading cards.
The Tablet Starter Pack, for Android, iOS and Fire OS devices, comes with a Bluetooth Traptanium Portal, a controller and everything that is included in the Starter Pack from game consoles. At the time of release, the game was compatible with NVidia Shields and later versions of the iPad, Kindle Fire, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and Google Nexus.
Skylanders: Trap Team received positive reviews. Aggregating review website Metacritic gave the Wii U version 86/100 based on four reviews, the Xbox One version 78/100 based on 22 reviews, and the PlayStation 4 version 78/100 based on 46 reviews.
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