Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Give Kids a Healthy Dose of Competition with Skylanders Superchargers

I'm at the starting line with the engine revving. The pure horsepower of this vehicle is making the metal rattle and the gentle thrumming of the engine entrancing. I look over at my opponent. He thinks he's going to win by that look on his face but I have news for him, I'm not backing down.

The course was full of obstacles. Anything and everything comes your way in a heartbeat and you have to decide, which way will I go?  We raced until we were neck and neck at the finish line and I hear him utter the worst three words imaginable: "I'm the best!"

Downstairs was our sanctuary, our getaway. A half a dozen or so steps into the much cooler basement felt like a way to get away from everything upstairs that we were required to do. This is where we'd feel like winners and it was us who held our destiny in our hands.

We'd fire up the system and pop in a game making sure to blow in the cartridge just to make sure we weren't interrupted by a glitch. My brother and I would while away the hours in the basement playing video games together not only bonding through game play but creating a healthy competition between us. Who could get the highest score? Who would eliminate the most enemies? Who could gather the most gold?

We often beat levels together in games like Contra but when it came to games that required us to go head to head, the kid gloves came off and I was determined to destroy him. No mercy was shown. There was no medal for runner up. There was only the checkered flag.

In 1996, Mario Kart 64 came out and the competition cranked up a notch. I had just finished college and he was completing his senior year in high school. Granted, he had more practice than I did but the races we would play became super competitive. My brother became his favorite player Toad, and when he's beat me he'd yell out his catch phrase "I'm the best!" and laugh in my face.

Now that I'm older and I have much more real driving experience, I've taken my talents to Wii's Skylanders Superchargers Racing and I've taken on another foe, my ten year old son. This time, we're playing Activision's Skylanders Superchargers Racing for the Wii. Skylanders Supercharger games are brilliant toy to life games with characters that you not only collect but when put onto a portal are transported into the game. Characters can be customized and are upgraded throughout the game to enhance their abilities. My son, so invested in the Skylanders world outside of video game aspect, even invented a way to play with the toys away from the screen.

In a world where participation trophies are passed out almost absentmindedly, Skylanders Superchargers Racing is a game that eliminates the notion that just showing up is good enough. It's healthy to instill a sense of competition in your children and anyone that competes against them. They shouldn't be compliant robots that let others walk all over them. My son is a nice kid but he could use a little cockiness every once in awhile and if he gets too cocky? My inner Han Solo comes out.

There's a great feeling that comes along with winning but it also means that you have to hone your skill, practice and become better everyday. Skylanders Superchargers Racing provides that healthy competition by inspiring you to want to be the best. In split screen fashion, much like Mario Kart, your chosen Skylander and chosen Skylander vehicle team up for head to head racing.

Your racing ability earns you performance points which boosts your level. This allows your character to upgrade armor, speed, weapons and other features that will help you proclaim that you are the best. Not only do you race on land but also air and sea. My favorite part of the game play are the obstacles you have to face along the way. You may have to dive underwater to avoid oil slicks or jump over obstacles which might slow you down. Along the way are upgrades for your weapons to knock the person boasting about being in third place to your eighth place down a peg. In addition to that, you also have a health meter which can be raised by collecting food along the way. Lose your health and your vehicle stalls allowing others to pass you by.

If you have a Wii like our family has, you're in luck. The Skylanders Superchargers Racing is available for this system and as an added bonus, Bowser who doubles as an Amiibo character is included in the starter pack along with his Clown Cruiser which can be fully upgraded to the vehicle below.

If you play on any other platform, you can play Skylanders Superchargers in a whole different way. You will follow the story line as Kaos once again tries to take over Skylands only this time the adventure not only has battling elements but you get to explore the environments in the various vehicles too! Also just recently announced, you can play Skylanders Superchargers on iOS devices! That's right, now you can play it on the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Apple TV. Not only that but game play can be saved with your iCloud account to keep your game moving forward across all devices. So dust off your shelves to make room for your trophies and play the game that promotes a good sense of competition in your children with Skylanders Superchargers

Disclaimer : I was compensated for this post by Activision all opinions expressed in this post are those of DadNCharge alone. You should totally play it with me but I'd beat you because "I'm the best!" 

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