Meet The New Skylanders: Skylanders Trap Team

The next major installment in Skylanders, Activision's wildly popular toy-video game mashup, is called Trap Team, the company announced at a special event this afternoon in New York City. It's being developed by series creator Toys for Bob, and as the name suggests, the new game is going to let you capture bad guys and play with them alongside all the noble Skylanders.

Here's a new trailer:

The way it all works sounds sort of like the catch-em-all mentality in Pokemon. In the lead-up to Trap Team's story, series villain Kaos burst open the most notorious prison in the Skylanders universe, a place that housed all the most dangerous criminals inside a special kind of crystal called traptanium. This scattered all the bad guys across the world (of course), leaving its fate in the hands of a new team of heroes known as "trap masters."

Meet The New Skylanders: Skylanders Trap Team

As you play the game's campaign, you'll encounter a variety of villains that can be, erm, trapped using toy crystals that are plugged into the portal of power. In the gameplay preview I saw, for instance, the guy playing the game as one of the new trap masters (a water-themed critter named Snap Shot that fought with a bright blue crystalline bow-and-arrow) defeated a chompy mage in a boss fight.

After the fight was over, he plugged a plastic crystal into the portal of power, which made a vortex appear on screen that sucked up the chompy mage. A moment later, I could hear the chompy mage griping loudly from a speaker set in the new portal of power.

Yes, you read that right: the new portal of power now supports two different toys at the same time. The crystals are broken down across the same eight elements from the previous games, and each can hold one villain at a time. When you have a villain and a Skylander on the portal, you can swap back and forth between the two with the press of a button on the gamepad—no picking up one Skylander and dropping down another needed.

Ok, ok. Here's the short version for all of you Skylanders fans out there fiending for more lovably adorable action figures:

  • The game is going to launch in the U.S. on October 5, 2014. Activision representatives didn't parse out when it would appear on individual platforms.
  • Trap Team will appear on all the same systems as 2013's awesome Swap Force: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, the Wii and Wii U, and—last but not least—the Nintendo 3DS.
  • There are "more than 40" trappable villains spread across the eight elements, including Kaos himself. Well, a version of Kaos at least. They were pretty cryptic about that last part.
  • There are "more than 50" new Skylanders characters and figures. Activision representatives told me that none of these will be swappable like the special figures released for Swap Force. Rather, it sounds similar to 2012's Giants—a handful of the new characters will be rarified traptanium-wielding trap masters. And the others will just be good old fashioned Skylanders.
  • There are going to be "multiple styles of crystals" across the eight elements, though Activision didn't specify exactly how many.
  • As with previous Skylanders games, the toys will be platform agnostic. So if you're a PlayStation person, you can still take them over to your Xbox-owning friends house to play.
  • Older Skylanders figures will be compatible with the new game, but you won't be able to bring the new characters or toys into previous titles.

Activision sent us a whole bunch of screenshots of the game, along with some photos of the new Skylanders and the Traps. Enjoy:

Meet The New Skylanders: Skylanders Trap Team

Meet The New Skylanders: Skylanders Trap Team

Meet The New Skylanders: Skylanders Trap Team

Meet The New Skylanders: Skylanders Trap Team

Meet The New Skylanders: Skylanders Trap Team

Meet The New Skylanders: Skylanders Trap Team

Meet The New Skylanders: Skylanders Trap Team

Meet The New Skylanders: Skylanders Trap Team

Meet The New Skylanders: Skylanders Trap Team

Meet The New Skylanders: Skylanders Trap Team

Meet The New Skylanders: Skylanders Trap Team

Meet The New Skylanders: Skylanders Trap Team

Meet The New Skylanders: Skylanders Trap Team

Meet The New Skylanders: Skylanders Trap Team

Meet The New Skylanders: Skylanders Trap Team