Skylanders, Disney Infinity and LEGO Dimensions continue to work the toys to life furrow.
These games use plastic figurines and collectable toys to unlock in-game content by placing them on a USB peripheral plugged into the console.
Playmation is a new project from Disney that turns this trend on its head, making it more active and engaging at the same time.
It’s based around a Starter Pack that provides wearable technology for the Avengers franchise.
Players put on the Avengers Repulsor wrist cannon to interact with a virtual adventure. Using sound effects and voice the Repulser tells a real time story that players interact with.
Playmation Starter Pack
It detects motion so at times players must run, jump, hop and stand still to progress the story. It also has a variety of infra-red targeting weapons. Here players shoot different virtual weapons at the Activator scanners to earn points, defeat enemies and again progress the unfolding narrative.
These Activator scanners are more than just sitting targets though. They can detect the player and shoot back. Sometime this is with line of sight, but other times it sends out a blast to effect the whole room. This means that players have to quickly leave the space before it’s too late, then return fire after the blast.
It’s an experience that can sound kind of comical to explain but in practice does a surprisingly good job of creating an engaging and interactive virtual adventure.
Although it’s not been priced for the UK yet the Starter Pack will cost $120 in the US, with additional figures and expansions sold separately.
In the Starter Pack you get:
Repulsor Gear Arm Cannon
2 Power Activator Scanners
2 Smart Figures – Captain America and Iron Skull
Playmation Avengers Mission
There is also an app that comes with Playmation that extends this from toy to video-game.
Once you have completed a mission you are awarded points back in the app. This enables you to unlock more story chapters and also upgrade the wearable tech with additional weapons and abilities. It’s a clever move that crosses toys and games in a new way.
Also, purchasing one of the following figures adds more abilities to your weapons:
- Black Widow
- Captain America
- Iron Man
- Iron Skull
- Super Soldier Captain America
- Ultron Bot
- War Machine
Playmation will be released first in the US in October then in other territories.
It will launch with the Avengers adventures but will add Star Wars in 2016 and Frozen in 2017.