While we are still getting a full-fledged Skylanders game this year, the Racing Mode also included is seems to be a pretty hefty addition.

Skylanders SuperChargers Racing Mode

How Racing Mode Works

If you've played other racing games (i.e. Mario Kart) a lot of this will sounds familiar. However, there are a few twists and Skylander-specific issue that must be addressed.

The Players

You will be able to play with two players, split-screen, offline, locally or up to four players if you choose to play online.

Each race will contain a total of eight racers, but the remaining positions will be filled by computer players. You will be able to race against other Skylanders, Villains, or possibly even some Mabu.

If your opponents are on your Friends List you will be able to use Voice Chat during the race, but if you're playing strangers you will not be able to contact them directly.

The Tracks

Included with the Starter Pack, you will have six different Race Tracks to choose from. These include:

  • Chompy Garden (Land)
  • Dragon Spine (Land)
  • Mystical Vault (Sea)
  • Frozen Fossil Festival (Sea)
  • Calamity Canyon (Sky)
  • Cloud Factory (Sky)

If you choose to purchase the three Racing Action Packs (sold separately) you will be able to add an additional six tracks to this number. More info on the Action Packs below.

The Vehicles

When actually playing online you will not need your Portal, but you will need it before you can play online.

To minimize the downtime before and between races, you will load your Skylanders and Vehicles onto the system before you go online. Then you will be able to select you Vehicle of choice from a menu instead of having to worry about physical figures and the Portal.

You will be able to race with Mods that you have collected and applied to your Vehicles.

At this time we're not really sure how much of an advantage these Mods will give you in a race, but at least you'll be able to look cool.

The Weapons

Each Vehicle will have its own native weapon(s) to use. However, you ammo is limited.

Scattered along the race track though you will find Ammo Pods. These Pods will allow you to refill you ammo throughout the race so you should never be without some sort of weaponry.

In addition to your own personal weapons there will be Magic Item Boxes along the track.

These boxes behave very much like the item boxes in games like Mario Kart. When you run into one of these boxes you will be rewarded with a random item.

The biggest difference here seems to be that the Magic Items will be activated as soon as you collect them. It doesn't seem like you can save them for later in the race.

Magic Item Boxes contain Magic Items from previous Adventure Packs. From the videos I've watched so far I've seen:

All of these items basically seem to do what you would expect. Check out a video or two and I think you'll see what I mean.

The Rewards

Racing online or offline you will receive some kind of reward. (Right now it sounds like the online rewards may be greater.)

Based on the position you finished you will receive a certain amount of Coins and Gear Bits. As in past games, the Coins are used to purchase upgrades for your Skylanders while the Gear Bits can be used to purchase upgrades for your Vehicles.

It looks like you will be able to achieve a total of three Stars for each race. The first Star will be awarded for finishing in 1st Place on the Easy Difficulty, a second Star for 1st Place on Medium Difficulty, and a third Star for 1st Place on Hard Difficulty.

If I had to guess, I would assume these Stars would count towards some sort of Portal Master Rank like we've seen in recent games.

Finally, it appears that there may be some optional goals to work towards during your race. Achieving these goals could reward you with Wish Stones which can be used back at the Skylanders Academy to win various prizes in some sort of lottery system.

Racing Action Packs

Racing Action Packs are taking the place of Adventure Packs this year.

There will only be three Racing Action Packs: one for Land, one for Sea, and one for Sky.

Each Action Pack will contain:

  • 1 SuperCharger
  • 1 Vehicle (the Signature Vehicle of the included SuperCharger)
  • 1 Villain Trophy

Golden Queen - Sea TrophyEach Racing Action Pack will retail for $34.99.

The Trophy will unlock two new Race Tracks of the associated type. It will also unlock three new modes: SuperVillain Cup, Boss Pursuit, and Mirror Cup.

Within these modes you will be able to race/battle Villains. Once defeated, you will be able to use those Villains and their Vehicles in other races.

Each Trophy can unlock four of the twelve available Villains. You will need all three Trophies to unlock all twelve Villains.

[box]NOTE: No official word yet on what the Kaos Trophy will do. It seems to be similar, but different. All we know for sure is that it will allow you to race as Kaos somehow.[/box]

SuperCharger Challenges

Each SuperCharger will also have a special solo mission that will take place on one of the Race Tracks. This seems to be a watered down version of the Heroic Challenges that we had in Spyro's Adventure and Giants.

In order to access these SuperCharger Challenges, you will need a SuperCharger and their Signature Vehicle.

Wii and 3DS Versions

As usual, not much information has been provided about the 3DS (and this year, the Wii) version. Here's what they've told us so far…

Fans can augment their SuperCharger experience with a complementary, dedicated racing combat game — Skylanders SuperChargers Racing — for the Wii™ system and Nintendo 3DS™ hand-held system. All-new tracks, augmented with power-ups, boosts, hazards and more, offer up to 50 different and exciting gameplay experiences. On Nintendo 3DS, gamers can go head-to-head with competitive multiplayer via local play or online with up to four players.

So it sounds like it will have the same basics as the Racing Mode in the full game, but I imagine that there will still be a few unique levels to make it worth checking out.

Also, as expected, the 3DS will be able to play online, but no such luck for the Wii.

Racing Videos

If you haven't seen any videos yet, here are three short clips (one for each type). There are many longer videos out there if you're interested, but this will give you the general idea.

Land Racing

Sea Racing

Sky Racing