Skylanders Cloud Patrol might just be your next mobile addiction

Haven’t heard of Skylanders? You must not be a parent, then. This past holiday season they became the biggest thing since Pokemon. A neat mixing of real world toys and video games, players could purchase plastic characters that could then be accessed in-game by placing them on an accessory called the “portal of power.” It’s pretty ingenious, really – and the game is plenty of fun, too. Soon iOS gamers will get a taste of this world thanks to the upcoming Skylanders Cloud Patrol.

Skylanders Crowd Patrol

Already available for download in the Canadian App Store, Cloud Patrol plays a lot differently than fans of the franchise might expect. This isn’t a top-down action-RPG like the original game, but rather a unique spin-off with a style that’s a great fit for a mobile platform.

In this mobile offering, players will try to squash a troll jailbreak by shooting stage after stage of bad guys. Shooting is as simple as tapping the enemy, but if you draw a line from one to the other instead, you can chain your shots together as a combo to snag more coins (which you’ll be able to spend on upgrades later). The stages themselves take only a second or two to complete, and feel a bit like a carnival game that shoots back. There’s a surprising amount of variety in the offering, and with exploding objects constantly getting in the way, there’s no shortage of challenge either.

Skylanders Crowd Patrol

Like the original Skylanders, a lot of emphasis is placed on unlocking new characters. You won’t need to buy figures to do it, though – as you achieve goals, you’ll earn premium currency that can be spent on new Skylanders. That said, if you do already own a bunch of characters, you can port them into this game at no extra cost by entering their web code (the same one you’d use to add your characters to the free browser game). It’s a great twist, and one I’ll certainly be taking advantage of as we prepare our full review.

Though the game is out in Canada, there’s no specific release date for the rest of the world quite yet. Still, from our hands-on experience, it certainly seems polished enough to launch any day now. And while you’ll read our full take when the game (and our review) launches, we’re quite impressed with what’s on offer here. Honestly, I’d be shocked if this wasn’t the next Jetpack Joyride or Temple Run.