Split-Screen is nice because you can go anywhere in the open world. You're furniture will be littered with toys though.
Everything in the ToyBox and hubworld can be skinned using "power discs" - which are purchased for $5 for a pack of three. These random packs unlock world themes, special powers for your characters, or exclusive toys. In one of our packs I purchased I managed to get a flying vehicle - which was actually Dumbo. Apparently it's super rare, which means I already checked the EBay prices. There are 21 total power discs available in the first wave with more on the way. These are random so collecting "them all" will require as much luck as it will cash.
I played the game with my four and a half year old daughter, who is not quite a gamer yet, but was instantly enthralled by what Disney Infinity had to offer. We spent a good hour just learning the controls and playing around with random objects in the ToyBox and hubworld modes. The game freely lets you drop-in and out of a second player and swap characters at will. It only took a few seconds to load up a new character and switching themes (we had Alice in Wonderland and Finding Nemo) which displayed a neat effect as it changed the skybox, ground and some object textures. Sadly the game doesn't seem to offer any of the music from those respective worlds, which would have been a nice touch.
We gave the Incredibles playset a try first, placing the crystal playset piece on the portal. The characters in each set have their own unique powers and feel to them. Mr. Incredible is strong and can smash things while Captain Jack has a flintlock pistol and a sword. You can tweak character abilities with the power discs too - for instance if you place a Dash disc under a character it'll increase their speed. There's definitely a lot going on with Disney Infinity in terms of the interaction between the toys and the game, Disney pulled a lot of traditional in-game features and put them in physical form instead.
What exactly do you do in the playsets? There's some sloppy platforming elements, which are mostly caused by some confusion as to what buildings or objects you can actually climb. There are fetch quests, races, challenges, and more collectibles to be found as well. You'll find a fully voiced story based on the franchise and the voices for the ones we had access to seemed fairly accurate to the movies. Graphically things seemed a bit sparse and almost empty at times and we hit some framerate issues on the Xbox 360 version - especially in split-screen play.
Most of the challenges found in the playsets require a specific character to initiate, and if you don't have that character, you can't launch it. In co-op your partner can help complete the challenge (usually destroying something, hitting checkpoints, or carrying something) so they can be completed faster. This is great for helping younger children out who are just learning the controls. The challenges have varying levels of difficulty adding some replayability. Completing these challenges levels up your character, unlocking abilities, toys, and other customizations for the playsets and ToyBox. My personal favorite playset is based on the Cars franchise, which felt a bit like Mario Kart.
Outside of the playsets there's various other minigames and challenges you can choose from the menu - these are playable in co-op as well - and offer up things like wave based "survival," races, and other quick little arcade like games. These seem to unlock as you play through the playsets though, but the game doesn't provide a clear indication one way or another.
If you're playing with a younger gamer that is having some trouble or getting stuck, the game allows you to use your in-game character to pick-up another player and carry them to another area. You can actually toss them (or punt them) to get to hard-to-reach collectibles too.
Would you believe this is almost $70 worth of "toys"?
The biggest problem I have with Disney Infinity is there are so many paywalls in the game to access content it becomes frustrating, especially when you have a four year old asking what things are. There are areas in playsets that require you to own (or have access to) all four characters. If you want to purchase every figure in the first two series of characters you'll easily spend $500 factoring in the initial $75 cost for the game.
As great as it is to see all the Disney franchises together and the potential the game has, I can't help but be a little disappointed with Disney Infinity. Despite some flexible co-op options like having online play with friends and drop-in and drop-out support, the other co-op walls are infuriating. Most of the playset content felt a bit flat to me. Thankfully the flexibility of the ToyBox helps keep you occupied. All that said, for me, what matters is what the kids think. Here's my daughter's quick review -
Izzy's Review - "I liked all the little characters running around (the AIguys you can interact with in the cities). Running and jumping was really fun. The Incredibles was my favorite playset."
The Co-Optimus review is based on the Xbox 360 version of the game. A copy of the core game was provided by the publisher, the additional playsets, figures, and discs were purchased by the reviewer.
The Co-Op Experience: Two player local co-op via split screen and four players can play online co-op. Co-Op can be played in mini-games, the ToyBox, and Playsets. Playsets are limited to characters of the same universe.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.