Rather than the story-driven adventures of the console, PC, and 3DS versions of Skylanders, Cloud Patrol is a quick and dirty little shooting gallery game. There's no real plot to speak of; just an endless series of rapid-fire levels broken up by slightly longer hideout stages. Your Skylander hops into the turret of an airship in order to commit systematic genocide on the Troll hordes, sheep, and any balloons that might happen your way. Tap to shoot, drag to string together combos, and tap bombs to instantly end your run. Bombs are bad.
What's the point? Coins and gems, my friends. Completing mission goals as you play earns gems, which can be used to unlock special power-ups and new Skylanders. Gold coins accrued during game are used to unlock and upgrade power-ups.
So where do the plastic toys come in? Each Skylander comes with a web code that can be entered into Cloud Patrol to unlock that monster in the game. While I've not really noticed any difference in gameplay between the different creatures, using a Skylander whose element matches the game's random "Element of the Day" will earn double coins, which seems nice.
Skylanders Cloud Patrol is the sort of simple little game that can devour your free time if you let it. It's not nearly as entertaining as Skylanders proper, but it's $.99 that should keep your children quiet for at least five minutes.
Skylanders Cloud Patrol [iTunes - $.99]