Senseis provide a few additional bonuses as well. Each elemental type has a corresponding Sensei Realm to unlock on the map. While these areas are relatively hit or miss, more content is always nice, and you can always revisit them with other characters later on. You can also earn passive stat bonuses for your Imaginators via the built-in selfie mode. Each level has a few points of interest per level where you're encouraged to snap a selfie. If you do this with a Sensei figure, there's an area back in your home base where you can put the picture in a frame, granting a permanent boon to Imaginators of the corresponding class.
The synergy between Imaginators and Senseis is somewhat light in practice. It basically boils down to this: if you want to have more powerful Imaginators, collecting a lot of Senseis will enable that. However, you don't need anything beyond what comes in the Starter Set to enjoy the campaign. It would have been nice to see a more direct relationship between the two, such as bonuses for playing cooperatively with both a Sensei and Imaginator or the ability for an Imaginator to 'borrow' an ability from a related Sensei, because i feel like there was an opportunity to explore this space that wasn’t taken.
In the past year, my kid has gotten more and more into video games, and Skylanders has gone from a “watch daddy play” game to a “it’s a good thing there’s co-op because wrestling a controller away from her is a challenge” game. So this time around, I had a co-op partner on standby at all times.
As it happens, that’s a good thing because unlike last year’s SuperChargers, Imaginators doesn’t have online play for the campaign. As a game that’s directly centered on kids, I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing. However, it’s odd that they backtracked on that feature, especially since you can still use your vehicles to race competitively online.
Each Skylanders game has featured couch co-op, and Imaginators works exactly like each past game, allowing drop-in/out play by simply adding a second figure to the Portal. Though the campaign's levels are quite expansive, the leash put between players is quite tight, and there were a few moments where I wanted to get a treasure chest and my partner didn't agree with my ideas. Perhaps my daughter has better ideas than I do.
Skylanders Imaginators is another solid entry in the series. While I'd like to see the campaign have a few more new ideas, the focus on creation is a smart one. Now, if you'll excuse me, I just unlocked an entire set of ladybug-themed items that will go amazingly well with my starfish ninja stars.
Skylanders Imaginators was reviewed on the Playstation 4 with a copy of the game provided by Activision.
The Co-Op Experience: Players can place two Creation Crystals or two toys or a combination of the Crystals and toys on the Portal of Power to maximize the fun!
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.