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Riding the success of Disney Infinity's huge console launch last month, the Toy Box app for iPad allows players to build and test their creations from inside Infinity's creation mode, and then transfer it all back to your console. It benefits from the intuitive nature of touch controls and portability that the tablet allows, but struggles with keeping a constant frame rate even when dealing with a low number of items in your world. That takes some of the shine off of the experience, especially when transitioning from a glossy home console game.
Disney Infinity: Toy Box is meant as an extension of the full console experience, and likely won't be nearly as fulfilling to those without the home game. Theoretically, you should be able to put down the controller and instantly pick up where you left off on your iPad. It holds true to that for the most part, but the computing-intensive concept doesn't always run as smoothly as it should. In our testing, the app proved regularly choppy on a third-generation iPad, which can be distracting, plus it occasionally impedes the flow of the experience.
Building out your Toy Box is extremely simple on the iPad once you master the pinch-to-zoom and rotate controls in Build View. Selecting an item has been reduced to a quick drag of the object from the horizontal item select overlay onto the Toy Box. It's extremely simple to use, and is actually quite preferred over the console building experience. Unfortunately, controlling a character isn't quite as intuitive. One press allows you to control whichever character you have on the Virtual Infinity Base using two virtual thumbsticks, but it feels sluggish, and vehicle-based characters are nearly impossible to control when paired with the poor frame rate.
You can place any character on the Virtual Infinity Base once you purchase it within the app for $1.99 each, or redeem the download code included with each physical character figure. Swapping between them is a quick and fluid process. Moreover, sharing your Toy Box creations between the iPad and console versions is extremely easy, and requires nothing more than a quick upload through the required Disney ID tied to both. It's smooth, and the content transfers almost immediately, making it effortless to switch between the console and iPad experiences.
The bottom line. Disney Infinity: Toy Box really does bring the core creation concept to iPad, though it takes some getting used to after such a wonderful experience on the consoles. Thankfully, the fun isn't lost in the occasionally awkward transition.
iPad running iOS 6.0 or later
Truly mobile Toy Box experience that doesn't feel creatively gimped. Sharing between the console and iPad versions is quick and painless.
Poor frame rate while playing makes it tough to do much more than build.