We've known since the beginning that the enormously popular toy/video game combo of Activision's Skylanders would come to Apple's iOS platform at some point, and now here comes the official announcement that Skylanders fans are getting not one but two different iOS games to play. Skylanders Battlegrounds will be the game that most closely matches the current console versions: It'll be a more standard RPG/action game that will even pair up with a Bluetooth "portal," to let players connect their Skylanders toys up to the in-game action, just like on the PS3, Wii and Xbox versions.
The portal will be available at retail stores sometime this November for US$49.99, along with three figures, a code for the downloadable iOS game and a "Platinum Treasure Chest" with codes to redeem for lots of in-app purchases. Even if you don't buy the portal, though, you'll still be able to pick up the game for a price "between $5 and $7" (probably) and play it without figures. But of course the big draw of Skylanders is this combination of physical toys and the digital titles: Players can level up their characters in the game, and then save that progress right onto the physical figurines.
And Skylanders: Lost Islands is a free-to-play take on the universe that looks a lot like your standard freemium town-building game. That one is already in beta in Canada, which means it should be available very soon here in the US (possibly within the next few weeks or so). Lost Islands should also work with the buy-it-separately Bluetooth portal, but Activision will also be kicking off its own social network soon, called Activate, that will tie together all of players' little figure data through the cloud as well. Both of these games should be out by next month, and fans of Skylanders (or, more likely, their parents) will have yet another piece of the series to buy and play.