The game has the player place their Disney Infinity figures onto the circular spots of the Disney Infinity base to jump into the game and come alive in a fully animated interactive world. With the exception of non-biped characters such as those from the Cars series, each character has a double jump and a default set of attacks, as well as an ability unique to each figure.
For example, Sulley can roar to scare others whilst Violet and Randall Boggs can turn invisible. There are two main modes in the game: Play Set and Toy Box.
Play Set mode
Play Set mode has Disney Infinity play sets of films which are accessed via placing the relevant play set piece onto the hexagonal spot of the Infinity Base. This includes Pirates of the Caribbean, Monsters University, The Incredibles, Cars, The Lone Ranger, and Toy Story. These play sets have their own unique campaign, which can be played with up to two players locally. The player takes control of characters, and plays as them in original adventures in different worlds. In these worlds, the player battles enemies, solves puzzles, overcomes obstacles and completes a variety of other unique quests. Each play set is essentially a self-contained world, based on a specific movie or series with recognizable characters, gameplay and storylines. Characters from one world cannot enter into another world, meaning two figures from the same series are required to play a play-set in split-screen multiplayer. Playing through the play sets unlocks objects and vehicles that can be used in the Toy Box Mode.
Toy Box mode
Toy Box mode allows the player to create their own world and stories, similar to Toy Box mode in Toy Story 3: The Video Game. It also allows the player to mix and match everything that is unlocked within the play sets including characters, weapons and gadgets. There are various "adventures" in this mode, which help teach the player how to use the mode's tools. Players can also earn "spins", which can be used to unlock additional items in the Toy Box, by playing through play sets as well as the "adventures" for the first time, or leveling up their characters. The mode supports online multiplayer, in which players can play around with items that only the other player has, albeit only during that session.
A portable Toy Box became available in late 2013, exclusively for the iPad. A version of the Toy Box is also available for the Microsoft Windows personal computer. These versions of the Toy Box utilize the web codes included with each Disney Infinity character.
The Starter Pack edition of the game is bundled with three figurines (James P. Sullivan, Captain Jack Sparrow, and Mr. Incredible), the play set piece for Monsters University, Pirates of the Caribbean, and The Incredibles, and an Infinity Base. The Infinity Base has two round spots to place figurines, and a hexagonal spot to place play set pieces. When the figurines are placed on the Infinity Base, the characters are imported into the game, while play set pieces unlock Play Sets.
Power Discs are discs that can be placed on the Infinity Base along with their characters to add new elements to the game. Players can use up to three environment enhancements (Hexagonal Power Discs) that can only be used in the toy box mode, and up to two character enhancements (Circular Power Discs) per character. The environment enhancements can alter the terrain, change the background "sky," add new vehicles or add new weapons. The character enhancements will alter things about the character such as damage done, replenish health, allow for faster experience gain for leveling and so on. One Power Disc is included with the Starter Pack whilst additional discs are sold in blind bags each containing two discs.
Following a delay, the PC version of Disney Infinity was released on November 14, 2013. This version is available free of charge, and can be downloaded from the official Disney Infinity website. This version originally contained only the game's Toy Box mode, similar to the iPad version. However, a patch was released on February 28, 2014 that added in all six Play Sets, putting it on par with the console versions. The game features several changes from the console version, however. The game does not support the Infinity Base. Instead, characters are unlocked either by purchasing them from the Disney Infinity website (at a discounted rate, due to the lack of a physical figurine) or by redeeming a web code card included with the physical figurines. Since Power Discs do not come with web codes, they must be purchased from the PC Shop. The game also does not support multiplayer, though players can link up with the console version to share Toy Boxes between the two versions.
Due to the space limitations of the Wii platform, some design decisions had to be made in the game. The gameplay does not have online play or multiplayer in Play Sets, but there is multiplayer in Toy Box. That means: smaller play set worlds, no downloadable or shareable toy box worlds. Toy Box version has only 6 different Toy Box Worlds, each with different toys and tools. On August 21, 2014, the Disney Infinity software was released as a free download for the North American Wii U eShop, for the convenience of upgrading to the superior Wii U version for players who originally own the Wii Starter Pack, although the Wii version is backwards-compatible on Wii U.The follow-up game is not available for Wii.
Different from the console and PC versions, the Nintendo 3DS version of the game is a party game, in which up to four players play on various themed game boards and participate in various minigames. The Toy Box mode can be used to create new game boards. This version uses its own Infinity Base, which has only one character slot compared to the console version, and connects to the 3DS wirelessly.
Comparable to "townspeople", they are not their actual respective namesakes as there can be several of the same "costume" at once. This allows future playable versions of the Disney Villains possible, yet not feel forced upon.
In the Toy Box mode, adventures can be accessed by stepping on the red circle on the Disney Infinity hub. There are two types of adventures: basic adventures, and character adventures. Basic adventures can be accessed by any character, while character adventures can only be accessed when a certain character is present. The Cars characters can only access Castles & Slingshots, Sumo, racing adventures and their own adventures.
There were rumors of discussions to use characters from other properties owned by Disney such as the Marvel Universe and Star Wars, who are reported to be in development.
On April 30, 2014, Disney announced a follow-up game, Disney Infinity: 2.0 Edition, for release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PS Vita, Wii U, iOS, PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 in Q4 2014, featuring characters from the Marvel Comics universe, as the first installment of Disney Infinity 2.0. The game will feature improved Toy Box editor tools and introduces Toy Box Games, discs which allows players to create games based on genres such as tower defense. The game will also be compatible with all figurines and accessories from the previous Disney Infinity. The starter pack will contain figures for Avengers characters Iron Man, Thor and Black Widow, with figures of Captain America, Hulk, Hawkeye, Nick Fury, Stitch, Maleficent, Donald Duck, Tinker Bell, Merida, Aladdin, Jasmine, Spider-Man, Venom, and other assorted Spider-Man characters being released separately alongside the game.
Disney Infinity received mostly positive reviews from critics (except for the 3DS version, which received negative reviews). It received a 74 and 75 out of 100 on review aggregrator site Metacritic, for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 respectively.
The sandbox mode, namely the Toy Box mode, received much praise. Steven O'Donnell of Good Game: Spawn Point stated that "it's a bit like Minecraft in that you're dropped into an open world that you can then build some pretty spectacular structures in." Kevin VanOrd of GameSpot called the Toy Box "a gleefully entertaining shared space," and greatly preferred it over the story mode.
The figurines of the playable characters received mixed to positive reactions. Daniel Krupa of IGN said that they're "well-made statues," and that "each one really captures the personality of that character with a charismatic stance." The soundtrack and dialogue of Disney Infinity also received mixed reactions. Andrew Reiner of Game Informer said that "characters repeat dialogue way too often," and that the soundtrack is "often surprisingly absent." Andy Robertson of Forbes stated that his children loved playing the figurines, both in the game and as toys.
The overall price of the game and all of the toys received media coverage. Jeff Cork of Game Informer said that to purchase all items at the launch (the game, all launch toys and power discs) it costs a minimum of AUD$460. Kevin VanOrd of GameSpot called Disney Infinity "a platform designed to keep you spending money." Nick Cowen of The Guardian warned parents to "get ready with those wallets."
In September 2013, Disney revealed that the game had sold 294,000 copies in the United States during its first two weeks on sale.
On October 18, 2013, Disney Interactive announced that the game had sold more than a million copies worldwide. With more figures not yet released, Disney hopes the number of units sold will continue to grow. As of January 20, 2014, three million starter packs have been sold.
The game was nominated for the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards in 2014, but lost to Just Dance 2014.
Although Raoul ÇaRoule and Max Schnell appear on pictures in Ramone's House of Body Art, they do not make a physical appearance in the game.
Although Lizzie, Sarge, and Sheriff do not appear in the game, they are mentioned various times. Sarge was mentioned by Finn that he agreed to let Finn run Sarge's Surplus Hut while he is on vacation. Flo mentions that the hut needs to be built since Sarge and Sheriff are on vacation, as well as mentioning Lizzie as to find some of her license plates that are scattered around.
Although Tony Rydinger does not appear in the game, he was mentioned by Violet wondering what he was doing, and Dash singing "K-I-S-S-I-N-G" about Violet and Tony. Also, Jack-Jack Parr was mentioned by Mr. Incredible, who hopes that he will handle well with his babysitter. He was also mentioned by Mrs. Incredible, who also mentions Kari McKeen in different lines, wondering if she is handling Jack-Jack.
The Battle Races, turbo boost packs, and some music and sound effects from Cars 2: The Video Game are reused in the game.