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Why you should download the Disney Infinity: Toy Box app ahead of Infinity 2.0

Sarah Jacobsson Purewal | July 23, 2014
Until E3 2014, I had no idea what Disney Infinity really was--probably because I'm not exactly Disney's target demographic. So when I wandered over to the Disney Interactive booth during last month's gaming trade show, I was completely in the dark about how the company is helping along the whole video-game-toy-mash-up thing with its play sets, interactive figurines, and platform-agnostic gameplay.

A comprehensive app

Disney Infinity: Toy Box is a free iPad app compatible with iOS 6 or higher (read: iPad 2 and newer). In the (near) future, the Toy Box will be iPhone-compatible as well; there's no word on whether Disney is working on an Android version.

The initial app is free, and if you've got a Disney Interactive account, you can sign in to play with your purchased console play sets. If you have no console play sets, no worries — the app comes with Mr. Incredible and several starter items that you can use to build your first Infinity game, including various landforms, a car, and Cinderella's castle. The app rewards you for playing: You'll receive a new item each day if you log in, but if you want to speed things up, you can always purchase the Ultimate Toy Box Experience for $7, or additional characters for $3 apiece.

When you first open up the Toy Box, you'll probably be a little lost if you've never played in a sandbox game before. You start out controlling Mr. Incredible, who's standing on a barren floating island in the middle of... space. To control your character, you use two invisible virtual joy pads: One in the upper right corner of the screen, which controls where you look, and one in the lower left corner of the screen, which controls your movement. There's a handful of virtual buttons in the lower right corner of the screen: Jump, block, two special action buttons, and a backpack that brings up your inventory.

But there's not much to do — at least, not at first. This is a sandbox, and there's no actual game here: No enemies, no obstacles, and no goals. You have to create your game, or buy one from Disney Interactive. In the upper right corner, there's a Disney Infinity button that will take you directly to the store, where you can purchase additional characters and "power disks," which offer your character objects, mounts, and weapons. In the console version of the game, power disks are physical disks with NFC tags, which you place on the Infinity reader next to your character. But in the app, they're just in-app purchases, since there's no way to hook up a reader to your phone. The good news is that if you've already purchased physical power disks (or characters), you'll be able to access all of them in the app.

Next to the Infinity button, there's a paintbrush, which is what you'll use to create your very own sandbox game. Tap the paintbrush and it will bring up a menu of objects you can place, sorted into categories such as "terrain," "plants," and "basic toys." Some objects are inanimate (such as hills and cliffs), some are inanimate until you interact with them (such as balls and toy cars), and others are animated (such as enemies and animals). To place an object, tap and drag it onto the terrain, and then use the on-screen buttons to move it up or down (you can create floating terrain this way) or rotate it. 

 

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