Review: ‘Disney Infinity’ invites you to dream big

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Posted August 20, 2013
Review: 'Disney Infinity' invites you to dream big

Review: ‘Disney Infinity’ invites you to dream big
This video game image released by Disney shows characters from the films “Monsters University,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Incredibles” in the game “Disney Infinity: The Toy Box.” (AP Photo/Disney)

In ancient times B.V.G. (Before Video Games), here’s how kids played: Take all your toys—dolls, soldiers, cars, blocks, that thing you got from a cereal box—and dump them on the floor. Forget about logic or plot consistency because the most important goal is to create an entertaining adventure. (My neighborhood is still reeling from the sordid G.I. Joe-Barbie affair of 1974.)

That’s the essence of “Disney Infinity” (for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Wii, $74.99 for starter kit). Why not let Buzz Lightyear ride Dumbo? Or invite Mickey Mouse to hang out with Wreck-It Ralph? There’s one limitation: the characters have to belong to The Walt Disney Co. But given the depth of Disney’s roster—which now includes “Star Wars,” Marvel superheroes and the Muppets—the possible combinations do seem endless.

The starter kit comes with figurines of Mr. Incredible, Capt. Jack Sparrow and Sulley, and “play sets” for their corresponding movies, “The Incredibles,” ”Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Monsters University.” Additional characters cost $13 each; “Cars” and “The Lone Ranger” play sets cost $35 each. It’s hardly the optimal lineup: Disney’s hand-drawn animated classics are absent, and I’d happily trade Tonto for, say, Scrooge McDuck. (I suspect the game’s developers would have, too.)

The introductory package also includes the Infinity Base, which plugs into your game console and has two round spaces for characters and a hexagonal space for a play set. Park Sulley and his play set on the base, for example, and you’re off on an adventure at Monsters U. By providing different game worlds for different characters, the play sets distinguish “Disney Infinity” from its obvious inspiration, Activision’s blockbuster “Skylanders” series.

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