"Disney Infinity" answers the question: What would it be like if the casts of countless Disney movies and TV shows were thrown into one game? The entertainment juggernaut has a constantly growing list of lovable characters at its disposal, and the sheer number of possibilities helps make "Disney Infinity" an intriguing project.
The game acts as a mash-up of Disney stories and objects. Captain Barbossa from the "Pirates of the Caribbean" series can drive a light cycle from "Tron"; the Lone Ranger can go to target practice with Buzz Lightyear -- "Disney Infinity" makes all this possible, but it comes at a price.
3 stars = Good
Xbox 360 (reviewed), PS3, Wii, Wii U and 3DS.
Starter pack $74.99, play set $34.99. solo-character pack $12.99, three-character pack $29.99.
The game follows a similar model as Activision's popular "Skylanders" series. Character figures come to life on the screen when placed on an activation base that comes with the "Disney Infinity" starter set. The starter pack ($74.99) comes with the "Disney Infinity" game, the activation base and three figures -- Mr. Incredible, Sully of "Monsters Inc." and Captain Jack Sparrow. The rest of the game's collection is sold separately.
Owning the entire character collection is a pricey endeavor. Play set packs come with two characters, plus an adventure mode that explores those characters' stories. These cost $34.99; solo figures are $12.99, while three-packs run $29.99.
"Disney Infinity" includes value with that price. The figures look and feel like precious collectibles, and the game is packed with plenty of replay value.
The game is split into Adventure mode, which comes with the play set packs, and Toy Box mode. Adventure mode tells a roughly four-hour story of specific character worlds, but these experiences are hit or miss.
In the starter pack, the "Pirates of the Caribbean" set steals the show. Sailing the high seas and clashing swords with Davy Jones is especially fun when playing with a friend. On the other hand, "The Incredibles" set is repetitive and disappoints with a poor level design and a questionable control scheme.
These Adventure modes can be played solo or with a friend, but two figures from a specific world are required for co-op (team play). Because the three characters included in the starter pack are from different Disney worlds, at least one additional character has to be purchased in order to play co-op in Adventure mode.
Toy Box mode features completely different gameplay than Adventure, and any "Disney Infinity" character is welcome here. This is a virtual sandbox, where users can create worlds using Disney-themed objects and settings.
Toy Box mode is the meat of "Disney Infinity" because of its endless possibilities. Users can spend time creating vast worlds and mini-games or browse the marketplace to play what others have created. The concept is in its infancy, but gamers have already created the hedge maze from "Alice and Wonderland" and a replica of Orlando's Disney World.
"Disney Infinity" is in the early stages of what could become an expensive commitment, especially for families with kids. The payoff is an impressive game to play after buying the collection.
Max Parker covers video games as The Game Guy at communityvoices.sites.post-gazette.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GameGuyPGH.