The toys-to-life genre is making its way to mobile devices with Infinite Arms, a project written by Tom Abernathy, who most recently wrote for Tom Clancy's The Division.
Abernathy's writing also graces Halo: Reach and League of Legends. Infinite Arms, the toys-to-life game from new independent studio Jumo, marks the next project in his portfolio. Jumo is billing the game as "Skylanders for adults."
Infinite Arms is designed entirely for mobile devices, utilizing bluetooth communications to link the toys to tablets and phones. What's more, each figure has four weapon slots: one on each hand, and two on their back. The weapons physically attach in the real world and, as shown during a recent demo, show up on the character's digital equivalent inside the game.
Each weapon also upgrades individually: Jumo showed two of the same railgun weapons, explaining that both would have their own separate progression. Just because they're the same weapon type doesn't mean they upgrade together. Jumo is trying to make sure each item and character have their own respective identities.
During a recent demo, Jumo showed off two of the figures from its "first season" of toys. They look like a cross between transformers and animals -- one, Ixion, resembled a cyborg centaur, while Skorpos, a character covered in spiked armor, appeared to be a mechanical gorilla.
By attaching a saber, flamethrower, nuke launcher, and electric railgun, I outfitted my character in preparation for his upcoming digital battle. Once my opponent did the same, we fought in a short-range PvP match using swiping controls for movement and button taps for attacks.
After the match ended, my character levelled up -- its unique chip will track its progress, should I continue to play with that character.
Like its pairing system, Jumo is planning an unusual distribution method for its toys. Players can order them through online stores, but every once in a while, they may receive a rare version of the item they ordered. That is, they could receive a gold version of a certain sword, or of a new rocket launcher.
Jumo wants to release figures every other week. The studio's main toy designer is responsible for "about 75 percent of the Transformers toys on the market today," Jumo head Keiichi Yano said, and has been working on different figures for two years now.
Yano didn't specify how many figures will be available for the first season of toys, but did say figures will cease production as their respective seasons come to an end.
Each of these seasons will contain different daily and weekly events in order to tell a story, Abernathy said. "It's not super plot-oriented," he said. "And it's nothing too linear. We don't want a ton of exposition. If you want the story, you'll be encouraged to seek it out."
Infinite Arms enters closed beta in the spring, but Yano didn't specify when the full game will release. As for the schedules of future seasons, that remains to be seen as well.