Skylanders SuperChargers, review

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Aina Martin
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You may or may not like the Skylanders series, yet there are objective merits in Activision production that cannot be denied. For example, having been able to give dignity and depth to the genre of "children's games", which too often in the past was synonymous with modest if not downright depressing experiences, or being able to offer a tangible element of novelty every year avoiding the simplest and most obvious way of the "homework". The alternation in development between Vicarious Visions and Toys for Bob was in this sense an extraordinarily successful decision, capable of guaranteeing a development period for each chapter sufficient to enclose within it the creative process, the realization one and finally that of optimization while maintaining that annual frequency which is obviously essential at a commercial level. To confirm what has been said so far, it is enough to know that for this year's release a variant has been introduced that can heavily modify the balance of the gameplay proposed so far, adding a completely new element: we are talking about the vehicles, divided in turn into the categories of land, water and air, intended to be used in precise and large sections within the levels and thus constituting a sort of ample diversion from the "classic" progression phases on foot.

Skylanders SuperChargers is a turning point capable of renewing the formula by increasing its variety

No parking

For those who have followed the development of the Skylanders series since its inception, it will be easy to remember the introduction of the jump in Swap Force as a key element for the evolution of the franchise, which from that moment on had the opportunity to offer a thickness of all other category. The feeling that SuperChargers could have a similar importance in the future developments of the Activision series is evident from the moment you check out Hot Streak for the first time, that is the car included in the Starter Pack and destined for obvious reasons to be the most representative and most used means of this episode: between arenas, ramps, boosts, evolutions and breathtaking tracks to be faced at maximum speed there is very little time to blink, in a frenzy that never becomes chaos.

And it is probably the sections on board the cars where the team has managed to offer the most immediate and convincing gameplay, whereas the aerial and underwater ones appear slightly less successful: the former often result in somewhat repetitive dogfights and with little grit, the latter instead due to the greater slowness of the vehicles and the inertia of the controls inevitably appear less exciting and intense. In any case, it is really difficult, if not impossible, to find clearly boring or uninspired passages in Skylanders SuperChargers, confirming the qualities and experience of Vicarious Visions by now perfectly capable of shaping the material of which the series is made to one's liking. . What makes the addition of vehicles even more interesting is the possibility of improving their characteristics and capabilities through the installation of new components, which are also destined to affect their aesthetic appearance: a system that adds value to the formula, inevitably making it more interesting. Also worth mentioning is a constructive detail of the vehicles which, unlike the characters, are not immobile and placed on a sort of pedestal but are "free", and with moving parts such as wheels or propellers: a factor that brings us closer together the "toys to life" to real toys, always keeping intact the excellent build quality and the remarkable aesthetic creative effort that has always distinguished the series. As we said at the beginning, however, those who have appreciated the formula of the previous episodes should not despair: the innovations introduced blend in with the classic formula of the walking section, with the usual balance between exploration, combat and platform elements consolidated over the years. And of course you can use all the Skylanders in your collection, confirming that compatibility that has always been an immovable pillar of Activision production.

Skylanders Map

Skylanders SuperChargers is an important episode for the series also for the fact of introducing online multiplayer for the first time: all this not within the main adventure, but in a separate mode focused on races aboard the vehicles at your disposal. . Also in this case the courses are divided according to the use of means of land, air or water, and are presented through a gameplay formula heavily inspired by Mario Kart. This obviously could be a problem only on Nintendo consoles, where actually direct competition with this sacred monster can reduce the appeal of the Skylanders SuperChargers offer; but on the other consoles it is undoubtedly possible to appreciate more serenely the work done by the American team, which while not setting new standards can be appreciated by guaranteeing some pleasant challenges.

The greatest weakness of this mode is to be found in the reduced number of tracks available, only six, which can only be increased by purchasing particular bundle packages that contain trophies capable of unlocking new paths. The choice of limiting the number of human players out of the eight drivers participating in the races to four, where the rest are controlled by the CPU, is also debatable. The graphics component, on the other hand, is truly remarkable, which even within a cross-gen context is able to offer an excellent glance on the latest generation consoles, with a stable frame rate at 60 frames per second and an important level of detail. , all enriched with spectacular graphic effects. Finally, the choice by the developers to take a sort of step back in the money-sucking mechanics that until now had been one of the founding elements of the Skylanders experience, and more generally of the "toys to life" genre, should be appreciated: compared to the past in where the presence of areas or contents accessible only with characters of a certain element urged insistently the purchase of new statuettes, in SuperChargers this component has been heavily reduced, in a renewed sense of respect for the final consumer that will certainly please especially the parents. The only sections that really need an additional toy compared to the contents of the Starter Pack are those related to water or air vehicles, whereas the elemental affinity mentioned above only finds space to ensure greater effectiveness of attacks in individual areas. In a nutshell, although the vehicles cost more than the characters, just buy two more to be able to roughly reach everything Skylanders SuperChargers has to offer. A good decision, which we feel like applauding and which we hope will be destined in the future not to prove to be a simple exception to the rule.


Tested version PlayStation 4


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Your vote

Skylanders SuperChargers is an important moment for the franchise, as was Swap Force that introduced the mechanics of the jump: in this case, Vicarious Visions wanted to put a hand to a game formula that risked reaching a phase of tired refreshing it thanks to the vehicles. The sections on board land, air or water vehicles give a variety hitherto unknown to the series and although not always everything works perfectly, the final result is still extremely appreciable. It probably won't convince all Skylanders fans, but SuperChargers is an episode in some ways innovative and courageous, and probably the best of the Activision series to date.


  • Convincing vehicle introduction
  • Great care in the gameplay
  • Excellent graphic component
  • Less demanding of extra purchases than in the past
  • The aerial and aquatic phases are not as brilliant as those with cars
  • Few tracks in multiplayer
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