I'd seen the Skylanders series of games in stores for quite some time, but never really wanted to spend the money. When I saw it for almost half off it was like a sign. I couldn't wait any longer, so I purchased it, rushed home, ripped it out of the packing and started playing. I had only intended to play for a few minutes to see what it was like, but ended up spending half the night playing.
Skylanders Giants Starter Pack
The game play itself is fairly simple. You control a variety of characters, one at a time, and go through a series of puzzles and battles, collecting items along the way, and trying to accomplish a specific goal for that particular level. By itself it's a fun game, but with the "portal of power" the game gets even better.
The portal of power is a USB powered device that hooks to the console and lets the player use a variety of physical figurines. When the figurine is placed on the portal, it immediately shows up in game as a playable character. Different tasks, like pushing large items or jumping to higher places, requires specific types of figurines, which are either sold separately or as a booster pack.
The greatest thing about the figurines, however, is that they use RFID technology, and the information about each one, such as character level, traits, and special traits are stored on the figurine itself, rather than in the game. This means that you can take your figurines to a friends house and play without having to start a character over.