My girlfriend got me “Disney Infinity 3.0” for Christmas — specifically, the “Star Wars: Twilight of the Republic” starter pack for my Microsoft Xbox One games console.
“Disney Infinity,” if you don’t know, is a video game that’s brilliantly addicting.
Indeed, Disney believes that “Disney Infinity” will be a billion-dollar business before too long.
And I fell for it. Hook, line, and sinker, taking me from “zero” to “collector” in less than 12 parsecs.
The way “Disney Infinity” works, across video game consoles, smartphones, PCs, and even the Apple TV, is both simple and amazing.
Buy an actual plastic action figure, at an MSRP of $15 a pop, and place it on the USB-connected “Infinity Base” that comes with the game’s starter sets, and use that character in the game. Place Darth Vader on the base, and Darth Vader he shall appear.
Which is to say, the more you spend on “Disney Infinity,” the more you can do with it. Which means that the knowledge that mowing down Stormtroopers as Iron Man, Han Solo, or Captain Jack Sparrow is only a cool-looking $15 action figure purchase away always lingers over you while playing.
None of this would matter if the game weren’t fun. But “Disney Infinity 3.0” and its “Star Wars” content is a total blast. Playing through the new “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” for instance, is both all-ages friendly and just an enjoyable and exciting, if undemanding, video game.
It’s enough that after one day of playing “Disney Infinity 3.0,” my girlfriend and I found ourselves at a Toys ‘R’ Us, where I begged a clerk to check to see if they had the “Star Wars” playsets for the game I wanted in the back room. They did. I could barely contain my glee.
In fact, I’ve already dropped $100 of my own money on “Disney Infinity” toys. It would have been more, but I made judicious use of sales this week at Toys ‘R’ Us and Target to cut down my bill.
The different characters have different skills, strengths, and weaknesses — being a Jedi is all about lightsaber combat and the Force, while Han Solo and Finn, from “The Force Awakens,” are focused on accuracy with a blaster. Oh, and it has a two-player mode on the same console, which is increasingly rare and nice to find.
And, better yet, all of the characters you buy and all of the missions you complete unlock more stuff for the game’s “Toy Box” mode, where you can rearrange and remix Disney-iffic elements to make whatever levels and games you want.
“Star Wars” podracer versus “Tron” lightcycle in a deathrace through Aladdin’s Agrabah? It’s on. You can even share your Toy Box levels and challenges online. The game’s unique art style makes it so even the “Star Wars” characters based on people, like Han Solo or Princess Leia, look at home next to Disney princesses and Pixar toys.
So-called “playsets,” which usually retail for around $35, hold two figures and an additional game piece that unlocks a campaign in the game starring those characters.
The starter set my girlfriend got me, for instance, came with Anakin Skywalker (the future Darth Vader) and his apprentice Ahsoka Tano. An included plastic piece slots onto the base, loading up an adventure that pits them against the sinister Darth Maul during the era of the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy.
Indeed, the focus of “Disney Infinity 3.0” is squarely on Star Wars. The other playsets available for this release include campaigns based on the original “Star Wars” trilogy, and one that adapts this year’s “Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens” — making it the only official video game adaptation of that movie, to date.
There’s also an “Inside Out” playset for “Disney Infinity 3.0,” based on this year’s excellent Disney/Pixar movie.
Previous versions of “Disney Infinity” dipped even deeper into Disney’s stable of intellectual property.
The first release, 2013’s “Disney Infinity,” had figures focused largely on Disney/Pixar movies, alongisde then-current releases like “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Frozen,” or the notorious Disney flop “The Lone Ranger.” The genius bit for Disney is that any “Disney Infinity” character, from that original 2013 release to now, will also work in “Disney Infinity 3.0.”
But for me, right now, it’s all about the “Star Wars,” plus a “Guardians of the Galaxy” set I got for cheap on clearance at that Toys ‘R’ Us.
The figures you buy also include codes to enter in the iPhone and Android versions of “Disney Infinity” to unlock the characters there, too.
For now, though, if you need me, I’ll be trying not to think about how much I’ve already spent on figures, while I talk myself out of buying a Kylo Ren figure. And a Chewbacca figure. And Iron Man. And Captain America. And…