Sulley and Jack Sparrow fighting for the same cause is unbelievable in the cinematic world, but in the new gaming universe that is Disney Infinity (in stores now for $75 for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and Wii U), players create their own game narratives selecting from an assortment of Disney and Pixar characters to run the show. The game isn't beholden to the virtual world, either: the Infinity Starter Pack includes a copy of the game; a base that connects to the gaming console; three Infinity Play Sets (Monsters University, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Incredibles); action figures of Sulley, Jack Sparrow, and Mr. Incredible; and a power disc that when placed under a character while in their base boosts their abilities. Additional characters can be purchased for $13 and power discs for $5.
For those who have gotten used to a gaming life of first-person shooters or mobile candy crushing, the concept of Disney Infinity is a bit outside the toy box (unless you've played Skylanders), so here's how this game that cost Disney over $100 million to develop works.
Place the figures on their corresponding play sets atop the base that plugs into the console. Those characters are then brought to the digital game, ready to bring their own set of powers to the two styles of game play. Play Set takes you on six to eight hours of themed adventures related to the characters you're using. Playing as Mr. Incredible will have you battling bad guys, while Sulley is focused on stories within the recent Monsters University film.
Expect to see plenty of YouTube videos in coming months of users' creations in the second style of game play, Toy Box. In this mode, the rules are up to the player. Combine any sort of characters — the Lone Ranger with Mike Wazowski — in whatever environment you can dream up, then, with a Disney account, share your gaming genius to other players. Watch as a Disney Infinity tutorial explains how to make a racetrack for this mode below.
When you can't be tied down to a console, there are also two apps, the first of which, Disney Infinity: Action! (free for iOS and Windows Phone, coming soon to Android), puts the video game version of Disney Infinity characters in your phone-captured home movies as seen below. Think of the possibilities! Actually, we're a little scared for the Internet of possibilities when sweet Disney characters meet bored smartphones.
The second app, Disney Infinity: Toy Box, releasing in a few weeks, functions as a companion app for iPad when players can't be at their game console. Any item, character, or prop unlocked in the app will be synced for game play on the console.
The Disney Infinity world is huge, and we have to wonder, will the variety of game play have you hooked (and buying more!), or is this better left to younger gamers?