Activision has recently revealed details of the next Skylanders game: Skylanders: Swap Force
This new game, Skylanders SWAP Force, will have 16 new characters who have detachable upper and lower bodies that, when interchanged, create different characters. Magnets hold the figures together.
That swap-ability "brings a whole other layer of imagination and fun and novelty to the game," says Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg.
The game will come with one new SWAP Force character and two figures that do not separate. Additional SWAP Force characters will be sold separately (price not yet set, but current figures are sold individually starting at $14). SWAP Force is due this fall for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii and Wii U and Nintendo 3DS handheld. Figures sold with previous games will also work with the new game.
SWAP Force's 3-D environment will reward players for swapping out character parts, Hirshberg says.
Consider this scenario: A new character such as Washbuckler, a cutlass-swinging pirate with octopus tentacles, is good at climbing. But when there's a chasm ahead, another character, such as Blast Zone, who has rocket-powered boots, might be better.
Players can combine the top of Washbuckler with the lower half of Blast Zone to create a new character that can fly. "You not only get to bring new toys to life, but you also get to choose what toys they are before you bring them to life," says Hirshberg.
The 16 characters with interchangeable parts add up to 256 combinations, a new aspect that will push player's imagination, says NBC Today show contributor James Oppenheim, who got a preview.
"Inside the video game, the ability to customize the attributes of your character gives kids new avenues to explore strategic problem solving," he says. "It is as if you were giving the rook in a game of chess the ability to jump over pieces like a knight."
Skylanders: Swap Force has a "fall 2013" launch window (likely October, per the previous two), and is heading to Microsoft's Xbox 360, Sony's PlayStation 3, and Nintendo's Wii U, 3DS, and Wii consoles at an unknown price.