Holiday video game guide: Something for 'Everyone'

Published: Friday, Dec. 6 2013 2:22 p.m. MST

"Disney Infinity" Next » 1 of 20 « Prev
Rated E 10+ for cartoon violence, PS3, XBox 360, Wii U, Wii

This multifaceted, innovative new release is overflowing with options and creativity. "Infinity" features tangible toys, a seemingly endless supply of digital building elements and familiar animated characters and settings that are, in all likelihood, close to the heart.

Parents will definitely want to understand Infinity's setup and structure before committing. And commitment starts with a "starter pack," which retails for $74.99. The pack includes the game disc, a platform called the "base," one "play set" piece and three character figures.

Like Activision's Skylanders series, plastic figures are required to import different characters into the game. The starter pack features characters from three different Disney films — Mr. Incredible, Sulley and Jack Sparrow.

Once in the game, there are two distinct play options — "play set" mode and "toy box" mode. Each play set is like a video game, filled with unique levels and challenges based on the theme of a particular Disney movie. The piece that comes in the starter pack actually contains three play sets — Monsters University, The Incredibles and Pirates of the Caribbean — and the physical piece must be placed on the base in order to access those worlds. Currently, three other play sets are sold separately — Cars, The Lone Ranger and Toy Story in Space. Each comes with two additional figures and sells for $34.99.

The second play option, toy box mode, allows players to build their own worlds with a random and robust collection of vehicles, characters, costumes, objects and terrain pieces. Separately sold power discs ($4.99 per pack) increase the number of options. Disney is constantly releasing custom-built toy box worlds that are free to download.

"Infinity" is quite sophisticated and can be experienced on many levels, making it an ideal game to play together as a family. Unfortunately, while all characters can play in toy box mode, they can't cross over in play set mode. So if you invest in the characters from the new "Frozen" movie, don't expect them to be admitted into the Monsters University playset.

Cost-conscious parents should ask themselves whether the starter pack will be enough for their little gamers. On its own, the starter pack provides plenty of shelf life and game-play depth. But everywhere gamers turn in "Infinity," they'll be enticed by all the upgrades waiting for them on the store shelves.

For a more detailed review, click here.

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