Disney Infinity Starter Pack Review

Written by gabriel velez. Posted in Disney Infinity, Disney Interactive

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Published on August 25, 2013 at 3:00 am with 26 Comments

Disney Infinity is a gaming gamble that Disney Interactive Studios hopes will catch on like wildfire. Truth is they have something on their hands that works well on many levels. Those who are familiar with Skylanders will understand the concept immediately. But even if you’ve never played that game, Disney Infinity is approachable and fun for almost all ages. But, to play, you’ll need to buy the starter pack, which gives you some toy figures, a digital base station to put them on and some other knickknacks you’ll need.


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The game is separated into two sections, Play Set mode and Toy Box mode. The starter pack includes a Play Set Piece that allows you to jump into three specific worlds. Monsters University, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Incredibles are made available from the start and you are given three figures Sulley, Mr. Incredible and Jack Sparrow that allow you to visit these worlds. I could review each Play Set here, but the amount of time required for each one would not do these individual Play Sets justice. Expect reviews on each Play Set soon.

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Within the Play Set mode, boundaries have been set. Only characters from that world are allowed to step foot in the various Play Sets. With only three figures included in the starter pack, those who want to play co-op mode within the worlds will need another figure related to that set in order to play. This is an aspect of the game that will either bother you or it won’t.

I worried how each Play Set could differ from one another. Would they all share the same experience and design settings or would they capture each world and make them unique unto themselves? Saying I was surprised is being modest. The sheer amount of main objectives, side missions and freedom within each Play Set as well as the immersiveness of each world is something unexpected, but greatly welcomed.  The similarity between each Play Set is the mechanics, which helps you integrate into each world with a sense of familiarity.

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While missions vary on difficulty, one thing that struck me was how much exploration was needed in order to complete various tasks. Each Play Set shared a similar plastic art style, showing that we’re playing with digital toys. The length of time to complete each Play Set varies depending on how involved you get. The main storyline takes roughly four and a half to five hours to complete, while the side missions add another couple hours to the experience. Within each world are toy capsules that can be collected and used in the Toy Box mode. For those who don’t really care about experiencing the Play Sets, this may be the added incentive to play them.

There are a few issues though, as audio seemed to repeat itself at random times and building textures seemed to become transparent sporadically. The camera seemed to cause an issue while in shooting missions. The camera wouldn’t rotate or would put you in odd angles causing a brief moment of loss when trying to aim at enemies. Climbing buildings would get frustrating as the controls would become sensitive or inoperable, either causing you to mistakenly jump off the building or not jump at all. Aside from these issues, the frequency in experiencing this wasn’t that bad and software updates should address these issues if Disney is paying attention to user comments (as I’m sure they are).

For the amount of time that can be spent in each Play Set, the mode that really shines is the Toy Box. Here you’re allowed to play as any character (released of course) you want to be and create or play in custom worlds. After completing the beautifully created “Spark” introduction, you are transported into the Toy Box Launch. Here you’re allowed to experience what the Toy Box mode is all about, with various mastery adventures that teach you how to create a custom world to your likening.

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The amount of creativity in this realm is strictly up to the player’s imagination and hard drive space. You start with a small amount of pieces to work with, such as basic terrain pieces, and a few items to let you experience what everything is about. There are two ways to add more pieces to the Toy Box Mode, through the Disney Infinity Vault and from the capsules you’ve found throughout the various Play Sets.

The Disney Infinity Vault is a shuffleboard that randomly chooses an item to unlock which can be used within the Toy Box mode. Obtaining star medals, mostly obtained in the Play Sets, allow you to use this vault. While the Play Sets only allow two player local co-op, the Toy Box allows four player online co-op. Each player can customize the world at the same time, making building a massive area a lot easier to accomplish.

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Aside from capsules littered throughout the game, themes and objects can also be obtained through Power Discs. They come in hexagonal and circle forms each representing a particular item. One hexagonal piece may be the use of the Dumbo mount from the theme park rides. Another may be a Dome piece of Nemo, which alters the background to look like you were in the ocean from Finding Nemo. Circular discs primarily work great in the Play Sets where they may give you added powers.

The attention to detail within these discs set them apart from each other. While driving around in Cinderella’s carriage, the theme music from the movie plays. Cinderella hums a portion of “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” and this loops every couple minutes. Stepping out of the carriage, the music stops and reverts back to its background themed music, in this case, Finding Nemo’s Beyond The Sea theme song. For all the craziness you can do in this mode, it was at this moment that I stopped and appreciated what was done here.

With the launch of the game, five Disney Toy Boxes are made available for free to download. The main one, Disneyland, was announced at D23 this year. This is an imagined experience that loosely fits how Disneyland looks. While the castle, Matterhorn Mountain and Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion are buildings within the game; everything else is meant to “represent” the various lands.

The other four Disney Toy Boxes for download are Wonderland Maze which takes players through a huge maze with enemies of all types waiting to attack. Floating Castle allows players to control the floating castle while trying not to be launched back to the ground. Medieval Arena lets you joust each other while riding peculiar mounts like a Bullseye from Toy Story 2 or an elephant. Tron Sugar Rush is a small racing arena that melds the Tron and Sugar Rush worlds into one. These are available for most systems except the Wii and Nintendo 3DS versions.

Where the starter packs stops is where Disney hopes you’ll be willing to invest more money into its world. As the name “Infinity” implies, there is an endless possibility of worlds and characters for them to sell you as time goes on. Spending $74.99 on the starter pack is pricey, but does come with a lot for that price. To fully experience what the game has to offer, Disney hopes you’ll spend you’re hard earned money on figures and Play Sets to add more to your Toy Box creations. Various price points come into play when talking about expanding your collection. If you want to buy separate characters or “Standalone Pieces,” this will run you $12.99 per figure. Sidekick Packs or Villians Packs offer three figures for a price of $29.99. If you want to experience a new world like Radiator Springs, the Cars Play Set Pack will run you $34.99.

Blind sets of Power Discs add features to the game such as power-ups, new transportation or gadgets. This costs $4.99 and you will not know which ones you obtain till you open the pack. This begins to add up very fast if you want to experience every portion of this game. The initial release of characters will start with just over 17 characters with more being released in waves over the coming months.

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The big announcement at D23 showed off quite a few new characters such as Buzz Lightyear, Jessie and Woody from Toy Story, Wreck-It Ralph and Vanellope from the Wreck-It Ralph movie, Jack Skellington from A Nightmare Before Christmas, Rapunzel from Tangled, Elsa and Anna from the upcoming film Frozen, Agent P and Phineas from Phineas & Ferb, and Mickey Mouse as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice from the movie Fantasia. This all means more money to spend in order to enhance the gaming experience. This is where you’ll need to decide how much you want to be ‘invested’ in this game.

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The launch of Infinity did come with a bit of a glitch, the PS3 version of the game became inoperable, ruining many peoples experiences and save files. While a patch was released two days later, on Tuesday the 20th, it still caused a lot of headaches for those who put time into the game already, just to lose everything from a corrupt data error from the previous patch. Wii owners who bought the game found out that the limitations of the system meant they would miss out on various portions of the game, one being no co-op play in the Play Sets and not having an online co-op mode.

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With all of its faults, Disney Infinity has a lot that shines. For a first year iteration of the game, it offers players a massive amount of things to experience and do. For those who want a story mode, all the Play Sets offer this experience. For those wanting to jump in and create, you’re allowed this as well with the exception of many items. This forces players to run through the Play Sets to expand the creation of the Toy Box. For some this is a non-issue and for others this may be a deal breaker.

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A potential deal breaker for some is the price of adding on to the game through figures, Play Sets and power discs. But for those who already collect things like Disney pins and Vinylmation, the figures are well made and of collectible quality and price. If you placed them on a shelf or desk, they’d look like they were never part of a game. With future patch releases and upgrades, software glitches should go away and the future characters and Play Sets coming out should add replay value to an already massive game. Disney Interactive took a gamble with Disney Infinity and I believe it will pay off in many ways. So much so that MiceChat is expanding to be your single source of discussion about Disney Infinity with discussions, columns, tips and possibly even a trading forum.

You’ll find the MiceChat Disney Infinity forum HERE.

Expect reviews of each Play Set with its corresponding figures in the coming weeks. We also welcome you to join the discussion and help give ideas to the future project called MiceChatland within Disney Infinity itself.

Happy playing everyone. We look forward to your thoughts, tips and reviews.

About gabriel velez

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  • MasterA1024

    And when you said headaches with the PS3, I mean big time! I got the game the first day out for the PS3 and was quite disappointing as I couldn’t play without corrupting files and having to restart. However, once I actually got to start playing, I havn’t been able to stop. Id have to agree that Disney Infinity really is a great game and loads of fun!

  • JFS in IL

    I am not investing in a new system (we have a plain old wii) in order to play this. I am not investing in this game for the wii if not all features will be available.

    • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

      It’s an expansion board to your Wii that ‘reads’ the characters you’ve placed on it, unlocking new content. Very clever. And it’s really not that expensive. In fact, the characters are cheaper than buying new games and they come with hours of game play. The new worlds are downloaded for free. If anything, this is an inexpensive way to satisfy your new game craving without actually having to constantly buy full priced new games. I’m already a big fan.

    • Gabriel Velez

      If the Wii is the only system you and your family have, think about the investment because you’re right the experience on the Wii isn’t complete like it is on the PS3, Xbox 360 or Wii U. If you have any of these three though or you plan on buying any of the three then it’s worth waiting and buying it for these systems instead. The Wii is an older system with many limiting capabilities for a game of this nature. It’s actually very surprising that it was released on the Wii platform at all and for that we need to commend Avalanche/Disney Interactive for making it possible to even get the game to function on this system.

      If you have the Wii U, it does offer second screen support which allows you to turn off your TV and use the gamepad control to play. Plus looking through your toy box on the Wii U’s control screen is a very easy and clean looking way to make up various creations.

      • JFS in IL

        Would the Wii U then make this like an iPad game? My son with autism loves the touch screen of his iPad – is Wii U touch screen? We got an older X-box simply to hook up a Kinect
        (he can’t handle the controls for X-box so can’t use it for non-Kinect games).

    • Gabriel Velez

      Actually the Disney Infinity: Toy Box app on the iPad 2 and up will be coming out soon which will allow people to create lands in the Toy Box mode on the iPad and upload it to your Disney Interactive account. You can then download your iPad creation to your Xbox 360-, PS3 or Wii U when you get home. That may be a great option for your son and family.

  • Tielo

    I have a few problems with this Skylanders rip off.
    First we don’t know how good or bad the coming expansions are going to be. Will they offer new textures and old gaming modes or are they complete games on their own. If we look at Disney’s track record they essentially released a few games with new textures of the movie replacing the old ones.
    Will these game also come to the new consoles coming this autumn and what will the extra horsepower of these consoles add to the game?
    The power disk are a scam. For your money you almost get nothing and a lot of people who bought a bunch of them got a lot of the same ones.
    On the plus side, the figurines look great and for what the game is offering now it looks promising.

    • Gabriel Velez

      The Play Sets offer full gaming experiences as a full single title game would. They base the game mechanics off the world being played in. In the Monsters University Play Set, you’ll scale the walls and do missions centered around what we know these characters to be, monsters. The worry of skinned gameplay that matches each other is very worry some, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised as they offer far different experiences from each other. The reviews for each play set will be coming soon to detail what each one offers.

      From what was stated by Disney Interactive, these will not be released this fall on the Xbox One and PS4. Can this stance change? Of course, but it makes sense why they wouldn’t invest putting this game on these consoles yet. The user install base is and will be bigger on the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, Wii & 3DS. I’d expect the next iteration of the game, “Disney Infinity 2,” to come out on the new systems when its released though.

      The blind power disc packs can be frustrating. I can see why Toys R Us is having a trading event on September 7th as it brings in more customers and allows for an opportunity for people who aren’t already trading/buying discs online. This is where as a consumer deciding if the investment in this game is worth it. Some of the discs really do offer a fun experience and everyone in your room is able to use these items while playing in the online co-op Toy Box mode.

    • Soulquarian

      Other than small toys being out on a base, Disney Infinity has essentially nothing in common with Skylanders. Far more varied and challenging content in the playsets. The toy box mode in and of itself is an unmatched experience for a game like this. Skylanders has nothing to compete with regarding that mode, which is where the bulk of players will be spending their time.

  • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

    I haven’t been this excited for a game in a long time. I’m already a collector of things like Vinylmation and these figures look like something I’d buy at that price point anyway. But what I’m most interested in is the Toy Box mode where you can create your own world. That’s more or less the mode that I spent years playing in Rollercoaster Tycoon.

    Since there’s plenty of content now, the prospect of more coming out in a constant stream (like mini expansion packs) is guaranteed to keep me playing.

    Great job on the article Gabriel and thank you for taking the light box photos of the figures!

  • BC_DisneyGeek

    The game is impressive so far. The main game is pretty fun without being overly frustrating. It’s a little bit too easy at times (if you die you just respawn at the exact same place), but there is the occasional challenging moment (like tasks you must complete within a time limit).

    I’m not a fan of the blind buy power discs. At $2.50 a disc, they’re already pretty pricey for what you get. Factor in the odds of duplicates and that some of the discs are rare, you’re looking at a lot of money to assemble a complete set.

    I think they’d be just as fun to collect if you could see what you were buying. A compromise might be packs with one disc visible and one a mystery. That way you could complete the set at a reasonable cost, especially when you have 19 of 20 discs and don’t want to spend a fortune trying to find the last one.

    The good news however, is that the game can read the discs while they are still in the package. You can therefore scan them and return any duplicates. You can also feel through the package to determine which shape of discs you’re getting and whether you’re getting a rare one.

  • Stitch 626

    While I am disappointed in the lack of co-op or online play for the Wii, I am just enjoying the heck out of this game. The figures look great, it’s easy to play, and crazy fun. I am looking forward to seeing what they have in store for us down the road. I hope that Stitch is in their plans.

  • Barbossa

    Gonna pick up the Xbox 360 set early next week after the long weekend (and payday). Contemplating getting the 3DS and PC versions as well. The PC version is slated to come out in October. Would love to see TRON figures for this, or a Marvel set.

    • Gabriel Velez

      Just remember that the 3DS version is a Mario Party styled game. It is nothing like the console versions of the game and does not let you create in the Toy Box mode.

  • OogieBoogie

    One thing to think about is that very soon there will be a new Xbox and Playstation, making the PS3 and the Xbox 360 obsolete. What happens then? Will we have to buy the game all over again and lose all the progress we’ve made in it?

    • Gabriel Velez

      Disney Interactive has stated they would not be bringing the game to the Xbox One or PS4 platform this fall when those two systems are released. If that remains true, we’ll have to see. I’d put money on a release of “Disney Infinity 2″ to be also available on those platforms which will allow figures and Play Sets to be used on the new game. This has been confirmed. Will they allow us to use the Infinity Base instead of having to pay for a whole new starter pack is unknown and we’ll have to see what gets stated in the coming months.

  • waymire01

    I fully intended to purchase as soon as it was released.. until I found out how overpriced the additional packs were. We have been long time fans of Skylanders and have invested quite a lot of money in additional figures, levels, etc. so I know how quickly it can add up.. and Disney has gone way overboard on their pricing. I’m going to wait a while and see.

    • Gabriel Velez

      First week of the release had a lot of great deals. Half off on the two additional play sets, Cars and The Lone Ranger at Target. Walmart was selling $29.99 three figure packs for $14.96 and Toys R Us had a buy one get one half off on figures. Within the Disney Infinity forums on the site, I’ll be making a thread with all the latest deals for the figures, play sets and anything else that can be used for the game. This should hopefully help everyone make the best choices for buys.

  • mrcoaster

    I waited a few days before deciding to pick up the game. I haven’t played it yet, as I’m wanting to have some time when I can really spend with it to get started.

    The pricing doesn’t have to be bad. Many retailers offered discounts or extras. One had the play sets nearly half off, and the extra character figure packs at half off. If you bought the starter pack, you got a $15 gift card. So I picked up much of the initial released collection paying just over half list price, and the sidekicks pack for free. Took some of the edge off the initial investment.

  • JFS in IL

    Oh – should I ever get this – how many characters can fit on the base and be used at once? Do they have to stay on the base, or do you just set them on it to register them, then remove and add more figures, until you have everyone you want?

    • Gabriel Velez

      Two figures can be used on the base at the same time in the play sets and in the toy box mode locally. Co-op play only works on the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii U. The Wii does not offer co-op play. You’ll also have to keep the figures on the base in order for the characters to be used.

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  • ranman101

    I picked up the day it came out. After going to three different places ( due to the fact that’s where me and my kids had gift cards for) we got home and realized we had all but three figures. We played the game and loved it. So Next day picked up final three figures.
    I agree on Power Disk, they are very repetitive. Also seems like some don’t add much. Over all though I like the concept.
    Toys are great quality, so much so I added them to a glass case that’s by our entertainment set up. They look awesome in there.
    I have spent a bit of time with the game and must say so far I love the Pirates area. Ship fights are crazy fun. Also if there is one great thing….my son 8 and daughter 10 have actually been working together to complete tasks in game. Working together, not fighting…..YES!
    The comparison to Skylanders is valid, but unless you do research online, no one really knows the Skylanders story or characters. Who doesn’t know Disney characters. Buy it if not for yourself, then for the kids.

  • Tas2357

    Any idea if Disney will bring Marvel and Star Wars characters/gameplay into this as well?

    • Gabriel Velez

      John Vignocchi, the Executive Producer at Disney Interactive Studios, has not been shy about stating they would like to incorporate the characters into the game. They have never stated anything past that though. It will happen eventually, most likely in the next iteration of the game.

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