Skylanders: Spyro's Adventure hit game and toy store shelves, resulting in thousands of children and adults learning a new way to play together. There are many different ways to squeeze fun out of these shiny lumps of plastic; let's take a look at three of them.
There's the game console version of Skylanders, in which the player hooks up a glowing portal to their PlayStation, Wii, Xbox, or PC's USB port, creating a glowing disc from which sprouts virtual heroes ready to defend the realm from the voice of Invader Zim.
Then there's the 3DS version, which features a wireless portal and the ability to carry any two Skylanders with you at any given time, keeping things portable. Oddly enough, it also features a much more dynamic style of gameplay, with well-designed jumping and platforming elements that are absent in the console version.
And finally there's the web portal, which functions as both an online home for your Skylanders complete with your own personal playground, and a social online world where players can meet and play games in a family-friendly environment.
There's also a fourth way to play with Skylanders, but that involves imagination, funny voices, and children's laughter, and nobody likes any of that stuff.