Recently we attended the launch announcement of ‘Disney Infinity’ from Disney Interactive and Avalanche Software, where we also got some hands-on experience and demo’d the game. While we have been at the forefront of releasing news on this hotly anticipated project, even we were taken aback at the scope and magnitude of the game and the worlds it allows you to experience through both its adventure mode and the toy box mode.
Needless to say, to even attempt a proper rundown of everything the game has to offer in just one article would be futile at its best, so rather than even try, we will begun focusing on various aspects of the title and share what we know, going far beyond the information that has already been presented to the public. We’ve chosen to start with what is perhaps the most confusing element of the game and one we have already fielded many questions on: the power discs.
So just what are those power discs exactly? In short, they allow you an element of customization above and beyond what the game itself offers. They are add-ons, tantamount to downloadable content, only they are unlocked with a physical piece that adds them to the game when the power disc is applied and removes them when the power disc is taken away.
At the most basic level, there are two types of power discs. The round power discs enhance players’ individual abilities. This can include enhancements such the economy, so the player will earn slightly more coins when playing inside the play sets, or the ability to move faster, or have special powers. These power discs are placed upon the ‘Disney Infinity’ reader, right underneath the character they are intended to enhance.
The second, ‘hexagonal’ type provides customization to the toy box mode and is placed on the reader where the play set token would go. This, by far, is the more popular of the power discs and, as such, provide a much further range of possibilities. They are capable of either bringing in an object into the toy box temporarily (as long as the power disc is on the reader) or modifying the toy box dome (environment).
As an example for the former, gamers can introduce mounts (vehicles) to the toy box such as a Disneyland Dumbo ride vehicle, a Muppets Electric Mayhem bus,, Abu from Aladdin as an elephant, Mickey’s jalopy from ‘Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Angus from Disney/Pixar’s Brave and more. Meanwhile the latter type of disc allows gamers to customize the dome, either the landscape or the skin of the dome itself, meaning it will take two power discs to completely transform the dome into a particular theme. Films such as Wreck-It Ralph, Tangled, Alice in Wonderland, Finding Nemo, Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas and ‘TRON: Uprising,’ just to name a few. As a side bar, the various films’ themes are available as textures inside the toy box, allowing you to theme a plot of land inside the dome to’TRON: Uprising’ or ‘Sugar Rush’ from Wreck-It Ralph, but the respective power disc will be needed to make it global.
Although the demo did not appear to support it (we will have more information on this at a later date), the power discs are also intended to be stackable, allowing gamers to combine multiple enhancements to the game at one time.
Where it gets really interesting, however, is in networked, multi-player toy box mode. Here you will have up to four players who will be able to interact with each other within the same dome, so every edit one player makes to the dome will affect all other players in real-time. This includes customizations via the power discs, so if one gamer applies the Tangled sky dome power disc to the ‘Disney Infinity’ reader, it becomes the background for all of the gamers. In order to negotiate where there may be conflicts, the last player to apply the conflicting power disc will take control, so you can see where there may be some physical ‘interaction’ involved between players in addition to the in-game activity.
At launch time, there will be a first wave of 20 power discs to collect and use with additional waves to be introduced throughout 2013. In addition, a line of ‘Disney Infinity’ accessories will be available to help display and store the figurines as well as the power discs.
So how does one acquire said power discs? That’s another interesting aspect of the game. While a random power disc will come inside each starter pack, they will mostly be obtained via blind-packs of two for $4.99. In other words, you won’t know which power discs you’ve purchased until you open the pack up. This of course leads to potentially owning duplicates of certain power discs, which in turn will encourage trading and collecting amongst friends in the real world.
In addition, distribution of the power discs will be weighted, with some (such as the Abu elephant mount) being rarer than most of the others (essentially chasers). Some power discs will even have lenticular effects for their image, adding to their collectibility.
If you have any questions on ‘Disney Infinity,’ feel free to ask them in the comments below. We’ll begin to start compiling a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and will answer as earnestly as possible. We also anticipate getting more hands-on experience with ‘Disney Infinity’ in the weeks ahead.
As a reminder, you can watch the entire ‘Disney Infinity’ launch event embedded below:
DISCLAIMER: Disney Interactive Media Group provided complimentary travel and other accommodations which made this report possible. This did not influence the article in any way.