Skylanders Cloud Patrol

App of the Day: Skylanders: Cloud Patrol

Skylanders, eh? What a cracking wheeze. Take a game, gate off much of its content (including several levels, a clutch of power-ups and all but three of its playable characters), and release a bunch of toys at seven quid a pop to act as glorified unlock keys. Then drip-feed supplies to stores over six months and watch the cash roll in. You can almost picture Bobby Kotick skipping around his boudoir, casually flicking piles of loose banknotes into the air in slow motion. Just me?

But here's the kicker: Skylanders is actually brilliant. You're not paying for crappy plastic bits of nothing, but genuinely well-made and characterful figurines. And you're not merely unlocking fresh content, but buying into a world. Quite apart from the NFC-driven wizardry of the Portal of Power (it's kind of magical the first time even for an adult; the effect lasts much longer if you're six), you've got a Top Trumps-style card game, a substantial browser-based multiplayer universe, and now a perfectly enjoyable iOS spin-off.

Cloud Patrol is a shooter of sorts, tasking you with firing cannonballs at trolls who've taken up residence on a series of floating islands. Tapping them individually is the easiest and safest way to get rid of them, or you can draw a continuous line between them all to earn a combo bonus. The trouble with this latter method is that it's all too easy to drag your finger into the spiked bombs that bob and swirl around each archipelago, and which result in instant death.

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Activision launches Skylanders Cloud Patrol for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch

Activision has announced its video game toy hybrid Skylanders for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

Skylanders Cloud Patrol includes over 30 characters from Skylanders Spyro's Adventure, and has arcade shooting gallery gameplay, ranking and reward systems, and unlockables. It costs 69p from the App Store.

Cloud Control is set in a new region of Skylands overrun by the Portal Master, Kaos. You command a sky-ship and use your skylanders to beat up baddies with touch gestures. Basically, you tap the screen to shoot and swipe the screen to create combos.

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