Disney Infinity: Serious fun, you’re doing it right.

Sid and Buzz

If Geoffery Rush’s Captain Barbossa teamed up with Mater from Pixar’s Cars on a cow tipping rampage doesn’t tickle your funny bone, check your pulse – you might be dead.

Disney Infinity is a mash-up of both franchise and genre-bending game styles. It’s equal parts platform jumper, light hearted racer, cartoon brawler and free-form world builder with a high emphasis on spontaneous social interaction. Toss in a perfect jumble of characters, artwork and sound from several decades of your favorite Disney hits and a few more surprises and you have a smash hit that plays like a big box of toys dumped on the floor and come to life – safe for kids of all ages. Yeah, including us BIG kids. It is easy enough that our six year old can play, but still challenging enough to keep my attention.

It comes with three prebuilt story-driven adventures based in “Pirates of the Caribbean” , “The Incredibles” and “Monsters Inc.”, in addition to dozens of franchise-neutral challenges like driving, object collecting (think Mario 64), fighting monsters, solving puzzles, or building things. As you complete objectives in each of the story worlds, you gain new objects in the world building mode from that theme. As an example during story quests in Pirates of The Caribbean you gain building sets to recreate many of the structures, characters and locations from that fiction in your own open-ended world. Add-on content includes “Cars” and “The Lone Ranger”, with “Toy Story” and “Frozen” set to be released later in October. Out of the box it includes at least 50 different potential achievements for a wide variety of feats, many of which focus on multiplayer co-op, (or lack of co-op, ie: “Sorry”, LOL).

Given that Disney also owns the rights to Starwars now, I expect those characters and props will eventually find their way into the game. Let that be the day that you nearly crossed sabres with JEDI Captain Jack Sparrow.

In addition to being crazy fun, the attention to detail is outstanding. The voice acting is dead on for the respective characters, which is good because there is a ton of banter and feedback in all of the game modes. It could be a clever resampling of the actors voices from the movies, but in some cases the lines seem too candid to have been rips from existing dialog. If you have ever played a movie-based game and found the voice acting to be either missing completely or totally off, it can be a bit distracting or reflect poorly on the finished product, but not so with Infinity.

In parting, it may be fair to criticize Disney Infinity as a mammoth cash-grab for the way the game’s external play pad integrates with the high-quality plastic replicas of the characters (required to play, it comes with three), and for how clearly it encourages you to collect them all to unlock many of the game’s rewards. At 10$ or more a pop, you’ll shell out more than the initial game cost to complete your Incredibles family – required to unlock a significant reward at the conclusion of that story world – and that’s just a start. With that said, heed my warning now – once you try it, you might have so much fun that you care as little as I do about their evil, cash grabbing motives.

 

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