By Charly SHELTON
I emerged from my cave to write this article.
The sun glints in my eyes, which have been adjusted only to the light of a television since Aug. 19 – the day I got “Disney Infinity.” I think I actually forgot what the sky looked like. This game is so engrossing that the need for exercise or fresh air or human contact has become completely inconsequential and unnecessary.
I have created a world from nothingness. Truly I am like unto a god. For the world is hollow and I have touched the sky. Creating floating islands of land and building various structures upon them, I can then populate this land with villagers and citizens, giving them cars, homes, jobs – even customizing their hair, skin color, face, mood, clothing or body shape. I sometimes walk among my people, masquerading in whatever form I choose, be it Sulley from “Monsters, Inc.,” Captain Jack Sparrow, Lightning McQueen or even The Lone Ranger or Tonto. I will walk among them as Syndrome, the villain from “The Incredibles,” to keep them busy fighting someone, and then, as though in answer to their prayers, I appear before them as Mr. Incredible and vanquish the evil Sydrome-bots that have been terrorizing them. They go about their lives and I go back to the sky, ready to create more mischief and create more worlds.
As you can tell, “Disney Infinity” is addicting and empowering. A game involving real toys, the starter set includes three figures and three Play Sets as well as the dock to place them on. Players select a character by placing that figure on the dock and the character materializes on the screen as a playable character. There are two game modes: Story Mode, in which you enter a world from whichever Play Set piece is on the dock and complete various missions, unlocking more toys to use in the other game mode, Toy Box.
This is the reason I forgot about the real world and developed a god complex. When you can create and destroy worlds at your command in here, the real world seems boring. The Toy Box allows players to make unique worlds to play in, rewarding them with spins on a huge prize wheel where they win more toys and set pieces to populate their worlds. So no matter how long you play, you are always “plussing” your world to make it just that much more perfect.
On top of that, there are power discs to place underneath your character for upgrades that include more money, more attack power, more EXP and so on. Then there are hexagonal tiles to affect the worlds you play in. There are over 20 power discs to collect with toys, guns, vehicles, skies and textures for objects.
To launch series 1.5 (as it is unofficially called on the online forums), retailer Toys R Us held a trading event for power discs that, as stated in their ad and by an employee over the phone, is intended for children ages 6 and up. I called ahead to see if adults were allowed to trade and was told that no, this is an event for kids ages 6-12. I almost didn’t go.
But I did end up going, figuring I could see the competition and at least get a pack of the new 1.5 power discs (when Toys R Us switched from their exclusive Mike’s Car disc to their exclusive Tron Spark disc). I’m glad I went.
When I arrived, I found an adult sitting on the floor in Toys R Us waiting for like-minded nerds to show up and trade. I sat down and started trading and this attracted more of us who were filtering in from the edges of the aisles, waiting to see if any other adults would show up to trade. By the end of the event, there were 10 grown adults standing around trading, discussing game strategy, sharing built maps via XBOX Live gamer tags and discussing where the best place was to find the figures for cheapest cost. There were two children there – the uninterested nephews of one of the adult traders. They wanted toys, not so much to trade.
For anyone without a life, I recommend this game. If you have a job, a girlfriend, pets, even a houseplant – this game will eat your life and you won’t remember that you had any of those things ever again. Other than that and the odd glitch that occurs in the game (more frequently than expected, by the way), it is an incredibly addictive game that provides endless fun to create new worlds ad infinitum. The $75 sticker price on the starter pack is hefty, but it is only $15 more than most new games and it is a game with unlimited re-playability.
I give this game 4 out of 5 stars.