As I browsed through my mobile platform’s App Store recently I came across a LEGO game that was new to me, the somewhat awkwardly titled LEGO City My City 2. Having missed both the placement of a colon and LEGO City My City 1, I had no idea of what to expect.
Perhaps more correctly LEGO City: My City 2, this is an app bundling various LEGO City games for your favorite mobile platform. Unless your favorite platform is Microsoft Mobile… If you prefer to play on desktop, you can find them here. Th play experience is superior on the mobile platform, as the games are already loaded and ready to go!
Construction missions and Games are based around this year’s LEGO City Subthemes: Police, Prison Island, Fire, Airport and Volcano Explorers. First you select a mission to complete – a number of bricks are required to be collected to complete these missions – building a new fire training facility, rebuilding an airport and so forth. There are then a variety of mini games to play in order to gain studs. Studs are gained by passing over them in the game field, completing the mission in the allocated time, and also a time bonus. Studs are converted to bricks at the end of a game. The current exchange rate seems to be 10 studs to the brick.
All missions are a variation of one of the three listed here:
- direct a vehicle to reach a goal, and repeat several times
- Direct a vehicle to reach a thing/vehicle and return it to base. And repeat.
- Fly in an air show through various gates, performing stunts. OK.. perhaps this is a fairly specific game, and not a variation on anything else.
Each game gives you a new vehicle to drive/fly for the first three times it is attempted. You do not need to reach the goals in the time limit to get the new vehicles unlocked.
For example, playing the fire/helicopter missions, you first fly a large, slow helicopter, the next level a smaller, more manoeverable chopper, and then you get access to a flying builders lavatory, with helicopter rotors or wings. It looks a little like the TARDIS, tumbling between the rooftops.
As you complete constructions and gain experience points (XP), you unlock components of vehicles to allow a degree of customisation, such as wings, water cannons and a variety of wheels and treads. The ‘Caterpillar tread’ allow a car to drive over rough or dangerous terrain (such as grass or lava!) faster. Helicopter rotors added to a car gives you the ability to jump over obstacles.
The games are easy enough to get the hang of, but I had a bit of a learning curve to climb to master the steering. Steering can be achieved using a steering wheel, to gently nudge into position, or left/right buttons. You only need to touch these to initiate a turn. Constant holding of the steering buttons result in frustrating death spirals. This took me a few games to master. The steering wheel option and offers a reverse control.
The games are simple conceptually, but not too easy to execute: I found this to be related to the challenges in manoeuvring your vehicle. Targets can be a tricky to locate in a field of activity, even though a gently glowing cylinder rises up around them, and some games get a floating arrow in the air to point you towards your target.
The Individual Construction Challenges include:
- Fire containers (Build the training facility)
- Fire HQ Collapse
- Prison Island Lockup
- Jetski Patrol
- Lighthouse Lookout
- Plane Storage
- Prepare for the Tourists
- Helicopter Requested
- Mobile Gem Lab
There are, as you would expect multiple levels for these construction challenges.
Individual Minigames (In approximate ascending order of challenge) include:
- Fire Frenzy: Drive a fire engine through the city and use it to put out the fires. My favourite fire appliance is the hot dog stand… A floating arrow will guide you towards the fires.
- Water Dump: Fly a fire fighting appliance to put out fires around City.Againg, a giant floating arrow points you towards the next fire.
- Catch the Crooks (Chase the crooks through the streets of LEGO City, and tag them several times) – city street based.
- Floating Crooks Roundup. Water based – use your boat or jetski to get close to the crooks attempting to escape Prison Island in a floating tyre. A floating arrow will guide you towards the escapees in the latter half of the round. But beware of the whirlpools!
- Plane mechanic: Around the airport, you look around the airport for parts of different planes, and return them to the partially built planes in their hangers. Colour coded collection areas match up with the planes to deliver then too. The final component is guided by a reassuring floating arrow.
- Stunt Show: You fly a plane along a stunt course, gaining time bonuses and multipliers for flying through rings, and gaining studs for avoiding obstacles. If you miss a ring, you lose the score multiplier. Pass through 10 rings to complete the mission. You are automatically guided along the course, but steer to reach the rings.
- Explorer Evacuation. Fly your helicopter around the volcano field to locate the vehicles in danger. You carry them back to base and then continue. If you get hit by lava or exploding rocks then you drop your load and need to pick it up before returning to base. You are guided back to base, or if you drop your load by a floating arrow.
- Rolling Rocks. Drive a vehicle to retrieve lave rocks around the fiends (Warning: no real, actual science at work). Rocks can be dropped, and must be picked and returned to base to complete the games.
As you complete mini games and collect XP you gain ‘build pieces’. These can be used for the third level vehicle in any of the games, allowing modification – tracks for rough ground etc. There are 64 of these elements/assemblies to collect as the game progresses. Some improve your performance, and some are just hilarious.
The games are conceptually simple, and the controls take a little getting used to, but I found the games enjoyable and repayable. Gaining elements to allow customisation of the vehicles adds to it’s appeal, and reminds players that you do not need to build a vehicle according to its instructions.
I recommend this for anyone looking for a ‘chase’type game. I give it 3.5 arbitary praise units. I am happy to play and replay this game, but I have not become such an addict or completionist about it that I will not be able to walk away from it before collecting all of the elements to be found.