App Reviewed on: iPad 3
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Disney Infinity is a super ambitious adventure/sandbox game that lets players enjoy a mish-mash of various Disney worlds and characters, while simultaneously appealing to their inner (or outer) collector by integrating physical figures that can be brought into it. It’s an awesome concept and has resulted in a remarkably cool game. Disney Infinity: Toy Box is an iPad port of the console version's Toy Box mode that allows players to create, edit, play with, and share their own custom worlds and adventures.
As a creation tool, it’s a fantastic way to curate one’s collection from just about anywhere. As a game, it’s a fairly big disappointment.
Don’t jump in to Disney Infinity: Toy Box expecting the same collection of character-specific stories and worlds found on consoles. This is just the Toy Box mode, and as such there are no “Pirates of the Caribbean” or “Monsters University” levels in sight. Instead, players can use bits and pieces collected through their console game to create their own worlds to play in. Racetracks, obstacle courses, combat arenas, and so on are all possibilities. What’s more, players can submit their creations to Disney in the hopes of being featured, and download other players’ creations. Buying any of the extraneous figures isn’t required, but it does add some variety to be able to play as someone other than the default trio of Captain Jack Sparrow, Mr. Incredible, and James “Sulley” Sullivan.
Sharing one’s Toy Box library between console and iPad is simple: just create an account and log in while the system takes care of the rest. All the unlocked items and characters will immediately be available. And if players have held on to the codes that came with each figure, they can enter those on the official website to unlock that character on the iPad. Actually editing and creating worlds is a snap, too. The touch interface feels a lot easier to use and more intuitive than the one found in the console version, and dare I say it’s even preferable.
It all falls apart once players jump in to the action, though. Disney has done a decent job of attempting to adapt the character controls to the touch screen but they just aren’t as user friendly as a controller. What’s worse, there are noticeable performance issues that make the action chug (and even freeze) fairly regularly. At least on an iPad 3.
I love the idea of Disney Infinity: Toy Box, and even I think it’s the optimal way to go about editing and creating one’s own worlds in the Disney Infinity universe. However, it’s a fairly lackluster way to actually play in them. It’s no substitute for the real thing, but it’s an excellent accoutrement to the core experience. So long as it’s only used as a tool, that is.