There was a time when every animated movie came with a quick and dirty platforming tie-in console game. Thanks to the magic of Disney Infinity 3.0 those days are back, only now they come with toys.
Available today for $US40 or so alongside the Star Wars-themed Disney Infinity 3.0 starter kit, the Inside Out playset finally gives younger console gamers the hastily crafted movie tie-in we used to take for granted back in the day. Along with figures of Joy and Anger the set includes a piece that unlocks exactly the sort of game I've been looking for since the Infinity series began — the good old loosely-related movie platformer.
Note that this is not something I am angry about — I'm actually excited. Games like this were a guilty pleasure back before mobile started getting all the movie tie-ins. I've missed them, and I've been hoping Infinity would be the perfect vehicle to bing them back. Up until now however, most Infinity playsets focused on open world exploration. Not Inside Out.
Sometimes it's a 3D platformer with puzzle-packed levels dressed in the fanciful trappings one might find inside the mind of a young animated girl. Joy, Anger and the sold separately trio of Disgust, Fear and Sadness must traverse the terrain, gathering collectibles and flipping switches as they go. Each character has a special power that can make navigating levels easier — thankfully the game allows characters to temporarily dress up as others so players don't have to own all five to progress.
Other times it's a 2D side-scrolling platformer. The collectibles and puzzles are still present but in simplified form. Different angles give children of varying ability a chance to shine, while showing off the flexibility of the ageing Infinity Engine.
All of this wrapped in a plot involving movie teen Riley briefly seeing something scary before bed, requiring the emotions to journey into her mindscape to make things right. Whatever. It's a chance for characters from the movie to visit locations based on those from the movie, briefly extending the enjoyment the movie delivered in the first place.
Basically the Inside Out pack is a quality budget movie tie-in, just like grandma used to make, packed with a pair of gorgeous figures which can be fooled about with in Toy Box mode once the platforming action is over.
As Luke said of the Star Wars starter set, were it a bit less pricey I'd buy it just for the toys. bundled with a splendid trip down movie game memory lane it's well worth picking up.