Just after CES wound down back in January, I was part of a (relatively) small group of journalists and bloggers present at the Disney media event that revealed Disney’s Infinity game universe to the world. Problem was, I had no clue why I’d been invited, as all the hoopla was about the console game. Toward the end, I bumped into Bill Roper, Disney’s product development chief, and asked why I was there as I gulped down a delicious, miniature milkshake.
His answer was cryptic. But the reason I’d been invited has just made its entrance onto the app store today — it’s the Disney Infinity: Toy Box iPad app, a virtual sandbox mashup that allows anyone with an iPad to take a variety of Disney characters and play with them in different Disney worlds. And it’s free — for now.
The app works more or less just like its console cousins, letting you take Disney characters, add props or equipment like cars or a giant soccer ball, and then set them loose in worlds that resemble sets from Disney movies or theme parks. Better yet, gamers with the console version can transition between the iPad and the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3. This is hugely cool, because worlds can be created on the iPad while, say, in line at the DMV, then jumped into at home on the big screen.
The game starts out with only one free character, Mr. Incredible. After that, characters (Disney says “over 20″ are available on the iPad) can be brought over using digital codes for free if you’ve already bought the figurines; or they can be bought via in-app purchase.
The app is free through October 5th. I’ve played the game on the Xbox 360, and it’s really freaking cool; if the iPad version is anything close, it’s absolutely worth spending a little time and storage space (1.23GB) to download.