As I am a toy photographer, the Skylanders games have always appealed to me. It was not until our beloved EIC told me we were getting the Skylanders SWAP Force guide that I finally bit the bullet and dove into the deep end of the pool. With my toy obsession filled, I can say that the game, the collectable figures, and the guide from BradyGames is something that totally make my inner nine year old self scream with joy!
The beginning of the guide is chock-full of information surrounding all the figures and the basics of the game. As this is my first foray into this fun and colorful world, it was nice to learn how the portal accessory worked, the nuances that make Swap Force different from the prior two games, and the general mechanics of the game. The game might not be all that complex by hardcore gamer standards, but I still found plenty of info that made my first romp in this strange land a bit easier.
The biggest chunk of the first 127 pages goes to breaking down all the characters in the game. This even includes a few pages dedicated to figures from prior games. After the brief summary of prior characters, the guide dives into all the new characters, including some backstory, stats, and moves list. I found that there is just enough info here to aid in my future figure purchases without being long winded or overly boring. This section is finished off with brief descriptions of all the enemies and bosses that fill the game.
From here, the guide tackles the various locations in the game. Collectibles, enemies, detailed maps, and stage dares are easily findable at the beginning of each area. From there, readers will find a detailed description of how to easily progress through the area, complete with details on how to obtain all the spark locks scattered about. For a game that many would write off as simplistic and childish, there is an amazing amount of stuff to do.
The last chunk of the guide goes to all the bonus stuff that there is to do. I found that reading up on the various challenges before diving into them made for a lot less frustration, which is great when you’re playing with a Zelda-themed Wii U controller. The time attack and score mode sections are more there for reference on what players need to do in order to obtain the best scores. Finally, the last few pages go towards a giant listing of collectables, accolades, and achievements. Anyone looking to get the most mileage out of this game will be spending a good amount of time with the last portion of this guide.
I was playing this game on the Wii U and I didn’t find any major issues with the guide correlating to the game. The stage walkthrough, character breakdown, and extras all flowed well and I didn’t find myself confused about what to do. I say this because I have read some people say that the Wii version of the game doesn’t match up so well to the guide. I cannot confirm this, so those that want to play it on the older Wii system might want to do a bit more research. I should also note that this guide does not cover the 3DS version of the game, which still bums me out.
My only gripe about this strategy guide is that it makes me want to buy all the figures just to try them out. I’ve spent who knows how much time just reading the front of the book, making notes, and checking my local stores for various characters.
Skylanders SWAP Force might not be that difficult of a game, but I still found this guide useful. I’m using it to manage my growing collection of figures and it saved me from rage throwing a terribly expensive controller. This is a solid guide for anyone new, or experienced, to this fun world.