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. Continue reading →
Sorry about the relative quiet on the blog this last week: if you have been following the Rabling Brick on Instagram or Facebook, you would have noticed that I am currently away, and I have taken some minifigs with me… And then something happened:
There I was minding my business, and browsing the iTunes store, and I checked out this weeks updates. Two excited me. These include updates to LEGO Elves: Elvendale Adventures and LEGO DC Superheroes Mighty Micros. I reviewed both of these apps earlier in the year, and while both were enjoyable, Mighty Micros appeared to have a couple of bugs in it. Elvendale adventures was satisfying, but had limited content.
Elvendale Adventures 2.0
This is touted as a major upgrade: At the end of version 1, the Elves confronted Ragana Ragana the Evil Elf Witch who had kidnapped the Queen Dragon. There was some exciting dialog at the end of the four Elemental sequences, with Ragana capturing the dragon’s essences. I was hoping our new sequence would result in a greater revelation as to the underlying story. The levels involved here are of a higher difficulty than the previous levels. Some of the tiles to collect have special powers: one type clears portions of a row, another changing all of the tiles adjacent to a certain element: great for collecting that element, not so helpful if you have two or three of these elements close together, because they will turn the other to a simple elemental piece,losing its power, and ability to be collected. Both of these pieces are required to be the second or later tile collected in a move. Multiple ‘power pieces’ can be collected in the course of a turn, and this becomes necessary as the number of tiles needing to be collected increases significantly at the higher levels.
Oncompleting the leves, there are none of the conversation bubbles that occurred in version one, and unfortunately this continues through: when the levels are completed, there is no dialog, or expostition of the storyline. Which is a shame, because it did make completing the singleplayer game well worth while with version one.
A further upgrade in 2017 is also teased.
All in all I enjoyed the upgrade to the game, but I do feel that removing the cartoon dialog boxes has detracted from the overall experience. My other gripe with the game is that while you are selecting the level to play, it is a little difficult to discern the ones you have completed, compared to those to be done. Still, if you like a casual game and have finished the first version, this will give you a couple of hours of diversion. All it will cost you is time…
LEGO DC SuperHeroes Mighty Micros 1.1.198
LEGO DC Superheroes Mighty Micros has one of the most unwieldy names of any App that I have seen. But it is fun, fast moving and a little bit amusing in all the right ways. It has
also been a bit bit buggy: I have been failing for months to unlock the final ‘sreet layout’ – this version promises bug fixes, as well as enhancing game play through the addition of stickers to unlock with achievements, including activities in the BatCave, as well as number of crashes into witches hats/ studs/ lamp posts and goodness knows what else. I am yet to unlock the elusive final level to complete… but if if fixes this problem, it will certainly be worth the bandwidth required to download it!
But will the addition of some additional achievements to unlock enhance its long term playability? It will become all about the grind, which could become fairly uninspiring for all but the most determinined completionist.
Both of these games have been great little time wasters with different limitations: Elvendale Adventures is teasing to much towards unknown content at this stage at the end of the day, and LDCSHMM being to hard to pronounce or spell, plus the game feeling like it was only about 85% finished. These new updates improve functionality and hopefully allow the bugs to get ironed out. Time has prevented me from attempting to unlock the mystery street map at this time: we will see how we go with time.
Now if only the LEGO Marvel Superheroes Mighty Micros could be simply produced. I would never get productive work completed again…
So earlier in the year, Nexo Knights was unleashed on the world. A castle sci-fi mash up theme with weird angular pieces, a garish color scheme and an associated cartoon. Then the sets hit the streets, to a generally positive reaction: certainly the sets have. With their novel angles, distinctive colour scheme and an soon to be seen cartoon, marketing people were starting to use this strange new word. Phygital. A portmanteau word: Physical play, linking in with with a digital experience: Or…some way to get the kids to play with the toy, because there is an associated video game and TV show. The NEXO Knights were set up to be a triple media experience: Lego sets, that interacted with the video game; A cartoon that inspires children to use of construction toy; A video game featuring characters from the cartoon, set up as a quest based battle game with powerups. Powerups you collect through obtaining lego sets, other merchandise, and watching the cartoon.
The Rambling Brick has already had a look at some of the new pieces and sets associated with NEXO knights…inspiring many of our early blog posts. You can see them here,here, hereand here.
But… how about the other aspects of the phygital world? Specifically the less physical and more digital. The animated series is self explanatory: the characters are developed, and grow over the course of the first series- some more so than others. These help to guide set based play, and provide stepping stones for a child’s own story telling. It is far more a Kids’ Show rather than a Family Show, particularly with the brand of story telling involved. There is also no doubt, looking at the characters that this is a LEGO series, with the graphic style being very minifig oriented. The game however warrants a look into in its own right. Continue reading →
So… having never invested in Ninjago as a theme, it seems to have taken up a little more of my time than originally planned this year. So, having looked at a couple of sets, I thought I would (once again) succumb to the message on the side of the box… Free App: Available on iTunes or Google Play. So, while Mighty Micros is an arcade racer, and Adventures in Elvendale is a colour matching casual game, Ninjago: Skybound is a platform game. The opening screens reveal that the Ninjas’s souls, except for Kai, have been captured within the djinn blade of the evil Nadakhan. Kai must pass through a number of quests to rescue his friends. Continue reading →
So there you are, tidying up the box after putting together you new Lego Elves Dragon set, and there on the box is printed a happy little notice: Free App. In my experience no App is Free. They cost time. Sometimes a lot of it. It depends on the level of challenge, the replayability, the interface, the novelty, and the engagement in the underlying story. This one seduced me on most of these aspects.
The game opens with Emily Jones, human interloper in the world of Elves, once again activating her portal and being transported back to Elvendale. Here she encounters her friends from the previous series, and meets Ragana, the Dark Queen, who has imprisoned the Queen Dragon. And here you set off on your quest with the Elves, to find the elven symbols that will allow them to charm each of the elemental dragons. Continue reading →
So I’m allegedly a grown up. I buy Lego for the construction, the figures, the pieces and the play or display value. The prospect of ‘free app for download’ is not a selling point for me. Indeed, it shouldn’t be – its free – no purchase required.
I enjoyed my Batman/Catwoman Mighty Micro set, and I thought I’d give the game a quick run.